Juventus player Douglas Costa is expected to be hit with a hefty ban after headbutting and then spitting at an opponent during Sunday’s 2-1 win over Sassuolo.
The game should have been remembered for Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his first two Juventus goals, but villain Costa’s late antics took the attention away from his team-mate.
Costa’s minute of madness came in stoppage time and began with him taking out Federico Di Francesco with a bad tackle. He then elbowed his opponent as they both rose to their feet.
The referee allowed play to continue as Sassuolo were still in possession and attacking. And indeed they went on to score, with Khouma Babacar heading in a consolation goal.
As Sassuolo tried to rush the ball back to the halfway line so that they could resume the game, Costa and Di Francesco clashed again.
This time Costa headbutted Di Francesco, before spitting at him from very close range.
Referee Daniele Chiffi sent Costa off after consulting the VAR.
The 28-year-old former Bayern Munich star could face more than three games on the sidelines if found guilty of both violent conduct and spitting, the latter of which would be categorised as ‘gross unsporting conduct’.
It's all going on in Turin. A bad challenge from Douglas Costa, then an elbow, Sassuolo score, and then there's a headbutt and spitting. This will be HUGE news in Italy. #Juve pic.twitter.com/xJ2AJ3cNv5
— Eleven Sports (@ElevenSports_UK) September 16, 2018
After the game Costa took to Instagram to say sorry for his actions, telling supporters:
‘I want to apologise to all the Juventus fans for this over the top reaction I had during today’s game.