Mousa Dembele has explained his reasoning behind his eye-gouge on Chelsea striker Diego Costa earlier this month.
During Tottenham’s heated clash with Chelsea, Dembele was seen gouging the eye of Costa as the north London side’s Premier League title challenge imploded.
Tottenham led 2-0 at Stamford Bridge as they chased Leicester for the title, but goals from Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard held Mauricio Pochettino’s side to a draw which crowned Leicester champions.
A number of Tottenham players lost their cool during the match, with referee Mark Clattenburg handing out nine yellow cards to visiting players.
Both sides were charged by the Football Association for failing to control their players, while Dembele was hit with a six-game ban.
The Belgian has already served two of those games, which both ended in defeats. Southampton came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 on May 8, then Pochettino’s side were thrashed on the final day against Newcastle, as St Totteringham’s Day was celebrated once more.
Discussing the eye-gouge incident on Costa with Sky Sports, Dembele explained that the “emotion” of the game led to him lashing out.
“I think it was just a very emotional game,” he said. “Things happen, and my intention was not to do something bad.”