Diego Costa’s return to La Liga action with Atletico Madrid proved to be bittersweet as the striker was sent off immediately after finding the net.
The former Chelsea striker tapped home from close range to put Diego Simeone’s men 2-0 up with 68 minutes gone of a feisty derby clash with Getafe and charged into the crowd to celebrate his effort. The Spain international striker, however, had already been booked for a stray elbow on Djene Dakonam earlier in the second half, and was shown a second yellow for his exuberance.
It was the second time in as many matches in which the 29-year-old had found the net for the capital side. He came off the bench in a midweek Copa del Rey last-16 first-leg clash against Lleida Esportiu and scored the goal that made it 4-0 to Simeone’s side.
While the coach said that the red card was merited, he had sympathy for the forward.
“The referee cannot think about the emotional part – he is there to follow the rules,” the Argentine said.
“After being six months out he scores a goal and wants to celebrate with the fans, but if you do that, the yellow is deserved. We must accept that.
“Diego brings us intensity, directness, more strength in attack, and above all he transmits fear. You can feel that and see that.”
Saturday’s clash, however, was the first time that he had started a match for Atleti since his return to the club was announced in September following an acrimonious departure from Stamford Bridge. It also marked his return to the Spanish capital.
As Atleti were banned from registering new players until January 1, he was unable to play until the start of 2018.
Since starting his career at Braga, he has earned a reputation of being a hot head, though he was only sent off once at Chelsea. During his previous stint at Atleti, he was dismissed twice.
Despite his reputation, this was the first time he had been sent off in a league match since March 2010, when he received his marching orders in the first half of a scoreless draw against Espanyol when playing for Valladolid. That was his only previous top-flight dismissal.
He now faces at least a one-match ban, so will miss the return match with Lleida in midweek.
Culled from goal.com