Diego Costa believes he is targeted by officials and rival players in the Premier League.
The Chelsea striker, who scored the winning goal in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over West Ham on Monday, has gained a reputation for his aggressive style of play.
He was booked by referee Anthony Taylor for dissent with just 19 minutes of the match played at Stamford Bridge.
The striker is aware that under new Premier League rules, a referee has the power to book a player if they speak aggressively towards them or complain about decisions.
He came close to being sent off in the second half against West Ham when he produced a studs-up challenge on goalkeeper Adrian but Taylor chose not to show him a second yellow card.
Despite a degree of leniency on that occasion, Costa, who was booked 11 times and sent off once for the Blues last season, thinks he has become an easy target.
‘I can’t ask for anything, the crowd here always loved me. It’s a support which I always appreciate. It’s important to get the three points, it’s important to start winning,’ Costa told ESPN Brasil.
‘I am aware of [the new dissent law] now. The second time I went to talk to him, he showed me [the yellow card]. I even found it a bit weird, but then I understood. I went to apologise at half-time and that’s it.
He added: ‘But I’ll be honest, I am targeted here, by the referees, the people… if I do something, it’s totally different than if any other players do. It needs to be seen, that people targeted me.
‘It’s something I have to deal with and I ask God that these things don’t disturb me and don’t take the sequence of the games from me, which happens sometimes and gives me suspensions.’