Tag Archives: Diego Costa

Diego Costa denies dream send-off for Arsene Wenger

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Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger was denied a last chance to lift silverware after the Gunners were beaten by 2-1 on aggregate by Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final.

With the score 1-1 from the first leg, former Chelsea striker Diego Costa returned to the Atletico side to haunt the Gunners again, scoring from a composed chip on the brink of half-time which ended their European hopes.

Antoine Griezmann, who scored Atletico’s away goal at the Emirates, slipped the crucial pass through to Costa after coming close with a powerful strike from a tight angle.

Arsenal were crestfallen going into the break but almost responded within minutes of the restart when Aaron Ramsey found himself through on goal. However, his touch let him down and the chance was wasted — as were a number of opportunities for the visitors throughout the second half.

It was a bad night made worse for Arsenal when captain Laurent Koscielny was carried off with an Achilles injury, which may rule the Frenchman out of this summer’s World Cup.

Two-time champions Atletico will now face Marseille in their third Europa League final in eight years in Lyon on 16 May, while defeat for Arsenal means they will miss out on Champions League football for the second straight season.

Wenger, who will leave the Gunners at the end of the season after 22 years in charge, has never won a European trophy with the club.

Lionel Messi free-kick sends Barca eight points clear in La Liga

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A Lionel Messi free-kick was enough for FC Barcelona to defeat nearest challengers Atletico Madrid with a 1-0 win at the Nou Camp and establish an eight-point advantage.

The result meant that to overtake Barca, Atletico would need to win all their remaining games — including a trip to face local rivals Real Madrid in early trip — and hope that Barca lose three of their remaining 11 games.

Nonetheless, it was a deserved win for the Catalan team although they also had several chances to add to their tally, chief among them a fierce left-footed volley by the excellent Sergio Busquets from a corner, forcing Atletico keeper Jan Oblak into a smart reflex save.

However, Messi’s goal — a landmark 600th of his illustrious career — after after 25 minutes was all his team needed to step closer to another La Liga title as he breached a stubborn Atletico defence that has only conceded 12 goals in 27 league games.

Atletico did not throw in the towel easily despite conceding either, as their manager Diego Simeone opted to pour men forward finished with four forwards in a bold 4-2-4 formation, with Diego Costa, Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro and Angel Correa up front and starting to target direct long balls in the direction of Costa.

It was unlucky for the Madrid team that their striker Costa was heavily subdued by the excellent home central defensive pairing of Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti, while Griezmann couldn’t maintain his golden form after coming into the game on the back of consecutive hat-tricks.

The only possible negative of the afternoon for Barca was the loss of skipper Iniesta with a hamstring injury, which is likely to keep him out of action for around a month.

If that comes to pass, it would meant that Iniesta would not be able to feature in the second leg of the Champions League tie with Chelsea, and could also miss the first leg of the quarter-finals should Barca be able to progress after having drew 1-1 in the first leg away against the London team.

Diego Costa completes return move to Atletico Madrid

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Chelsea striker Diego Costa has completed his £57m move to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

Both Chelsea and the Spanish giants had agreed on terms last week, with the 28-year-old Spanish international having also passed his medical on Monday.

However, he will not feature in the Champions League game between Chelsea and Atletico as he cannot be registered to play for the La Liga side until 1 January, when the club’s transfer window ban comes to an end.

The Brazil-born striker is expected to be at the stadium on Wednesday having attended the weekend league victory against Sevilla, and Blues coach Antonio Conte was asked about his strained relationship with the player. – Cara Daftar Sbobet

While Costa won two Premier League titles and the League Cup with Chelsea, he found himself exiled at Stamford Bridge over the summer after a dispute with a fitness coach which had followed reports of an offer from China that would have been worth £30m a year in salary. Additionally, he was informed via text message by Conte himself that he was not needed in the manager’s plans for this season and he spent much of August in his native Brazil.

“As I said before, I have no problem with Diego Costa,” the Italian said. “I said that we wish, for him, the best for the future. We want to thank him for the last season. But, I repeat, I have no problem with him.”

Meanwhile, Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard, who is yet to start in the Premier League this season after recovering from a broken ankle he suffered in June could feature for Chelsea in the game. Hazard came off the bench against Leicester, Arsenal and Stoke this month and Conte is keen for him to exert his influence on the Champions League.

“Last season Eden played a really important season, played very well and he was very important for us in winning the league,” said the Blues manager. “Last season, he showed in every game great talent, to be a really good player, a top player.”

“This competition is very important for him, but I think it’s important for the team. It brings you to another level.”

“I think he (Hazard) has all the possibilities to do this. He’s a really top player. Now he’s totally fit and in contention for Wednesday’s game. I think it’s the right moment.”

Diego Costa to return to Chelsea in bid to ease transfer to Atletico

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Diego Costa could end his self-imposed exile from Chelsea with suggestions that he is increasingly inclined to return to London in a bid to speed a transfer to Atletico Madrid.

The forward has been in Brazil all summer after receiving a text message from the Chelsea head coach, Antonio Conte, informing him that he is no longer in the club’s plans.

The London club then secured Alvaro Morata for a club record fee in the transfer window as a replacement while allowing Costa to be absent from their preseason tours in Asia, believing that they would be able to strike a deal with Atletico for the disaffected player to move back to Madrid, whom he left for £32m in July 2014.

However, with the situation complicated by the Spanish club’s transfer ban and a compromise over a fee proving elusive, the 28-year-old refused his employer’s demands to return to Cobham and began training on his own in his Brazil hometown of Lagarto.

Costa is understood to be incurring fortnightly fines while he continues to remain absent without leave, and both clubs failed to agree a deal before the closure of the Spanish transfer window on Friday.

For their part, Chelsea had hoped to recoup as much as £49m for the forward’s signature, but can still negotiate the player’s sale over the next few months ahead of the expiration of Atletico’s transfer ban in January.

Still, both Atletico and Chelsea had informed player regarding the need for him to return to London and reintegrate himself into professional football, with Atletico — rivals in Chelsea’s Champions League group — keen to ensure he is fit enough to make an impact with them over the second half of the campaign.