Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho put the blame on Diego Costa for his running battle with the Chelsea striker at the Etihad Stadium.
Costa was furious with Fernandinho after the Brazilian elbowed him in the head in first-half stoppage time - although City's holding midfielder insisted the contact was accidental.
And the 30-year-old argued Costa's response at half-time - the Spain international had to be held back by his team-mates as he tried to remonstrate with Fernandinho - highlighted a general problem with the Chelsea centre-forward.
"He is always trying to offend the opposition, but I keep calm and keep playing," Fernandinho said.
"I just didn't want to fight or have any confrontation and just to play for my team.
"It was an accident and the nature of the game. It was a shock and I received a yellow card.
"It happens in football."
In his past seven seasons, Costa has developed a fiery reputation, having never received fewer than eight yellow cards, with the 26-year-old picking up 10 in his maiden campaign with Chelsea.