Antonio Conte believes Diego Costa would not have deserved a red card against West Ham.
Costa avoided a second yellow card for his late challenge on Hammers goalkeeper Adrian, then fired the last-gasp winner as Chelsea prevailed 2-1 last night.
The Spain striker handed Conte the ideal start to his Premier League career at Stamford Bridge, but Hammers boss Bilic and captain Mark Noble believe the 27-year-old should have already been sent off.
Eden Hazard’s penalty handed Chelsea the perfect second-half start, only for James Collins to blast a late equaliser.
West Ham were unable to hold out for the draw, however, with Costa sliding into the bottom corner with one minute to play.
Referee Anthony Taylor booked Costa for dissent in the first half, but refused to act on the striker’s lunge on Adrian.
New Chelsea manager Conte moved quickly to defend Costa’s actions in victory, insisting his star forward did not deserve to be sent off.
“I must be honest Diego tried to put pressure on Adrian, and then before the contact he stopped,” said Conte.
“And then for this reason I think that the referee took the right decision.
“We know Diego is a passionate man, and he puts passion into everything he does.
“And he showed he will run for everything.
“But in this situation I must be honest I think that the referee took the right decision.”