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Diego Costa to Escape Retroactive Punishment for Škrtel Stamp

It's totes okay to stick your studs into a guy's chest so long as the referee saw it and didn't care, apparently.

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For a fixture with a long and often contentious history, Liverpool's match against Chelsea on Saturday managed to end without any player being shown a red card by referee Mark Clattenburg. Liverpool still received four yellow cards and Chelsea received one, but both teams finished the match with all eleven players on the pitch.

One conspicuous and chronic absentee from the referee's book is Diego Costa, whose only skill that perhaps eclipses his goalscoring is his ability to manhandle the opposition without being penalized for it. Sure, Costa has three yellow cards already this season and has already been retroactively banned once for trying to muss Laurent Koscielny's face in a match against Arsenal, but on Saturday he added a chest stamp on Martin Škrtel to the list of fouls that escaped punishment on the pitch.

There was some talk post-match that Costa could retroactively face another ban, this time for four matches, should the FA decide to punish him for the incident. On Sunday it was determined that Costa would not be banned due to the FA's fantastic loophole rule that does not allow for retroactive punishment for actions witnessed during the game by the referee. Thank you, eagle-eyed Mark Clattenburg.

It's not a decision that really affects Liverpool one way or the other aside from causing a brief blip of annoyance amongst fans, of course. The only real teachable moment to take from the Costa škrfuffle was how his victim essentially laughed off the incident. Škrtel and Costa have tangled in the past, and the Liverpool defender choosing to be the bigger man demonstrated the kind of leadership that led to him receiving the armband after James Milner got substituted.

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