Diego Costa might have been an unused substitute in Wolves’ 4-2 defeat to Leeds on Saturday, but the veteran striker still found himself in the thick of the action as tempers boiled over late on at Molineux.
It was a tough afternoon for the hosts, who remain just three points clear of the Premier League relegation zone after a damaging loss to the Whites.
Wolves were trailing 3-2 as the match entered stoppage time. As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, Julen Lopetegui’s side were also a man down following the dismissal of Spanish left-back Jonny.
The visitors went on to bag their fourth goal in the 97th minute when Rodrigo found the back on the net.
However, the strike wasn’t without controversy – with the Wolves bench convinced that Leeds midfielder Marc Roca had pulled Adama Traore’s shirt in the build-up to the goal.
Those claims would be checked by referee Michael Salisbury when he was instructed by VAR to review the goal on his pitchside monitor.
Despite Wolves’ protests, Salisbury saw no reason to overrule his original decision and the goal stood.
As Leeds celebrated a vital win on the road, the home bench was absolutely raging.
Perhaps the most upset member of the Wolves camp, though, was midfielder Matheus Nunes, who simply refused to accept that the decision had gone against his team.
While aggressively making his case, Nunes appeared to barge into a linesman – an act that unsurprisingly earned him a red card.
Although he’d been given his marching order by the referee, Nunes was in no mood to disappear down the tunnel.
Instead, the 24-year-old tried to square up to referee Salisbury to continue arguing.
It was left to an unlikely peacemaker to try and calm the situation down.
Throughout his storied career, former Spanish international Costa has typically never been far away from trouble. With that said, the tables were turned on Saturday, as the 34-year-old took it upon himself to lead his younger teammate away and prevent him from getting into further trouble.
It was a smart move from Costa, but just not something that we’re used to seeing from him. You can check the clip out for yourself below.
Video: Diego Costa turns unlikely peacemaker during Wolves 2-4 Leeds
Per the Daily Mail, Wolves were so incensed by Salisbury’s decision that coach Edu Rubio and club secretary Matt Wild requested a private meeting with the official after the match.
Boss Lopetegui wasn’t part of that discussion but did express his frustration in his post-match interview saying: “I want the decisions to be fair and not have the sensation of feeling it is unbalanced.”