Shawcross: Costa is soft

Chelsea striker Diego Costa has developed a reputation as an intimidating forward, but Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross says he's actually not so tough.

The Spain international struggled against the one-cap England international as the Blues lost 1-0 to the Potters last weekend, and Shawcross insists that the former Atletico Madrid star is not nearly as prickly as those he met in England's second tier.

"I played in the Championship and there's a lot nastier people in the Championship and tougher people," he told BBC Sport.

"Once you've got Costa concentrating on you rather than the game you've won the battle. I was pleased he was concentrating on me and just delighted to keep him quiet because he's a fantastic player."

Stoke's victory at the Britannia Stadium saw them rise to 12th in the Premier League standings while Chelsea dropped to 16th with their third consecutive defeat.

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