Diego Costa scores, has injury scare in return to Atletico
Published: January 3, 2018
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Diego Costa scored a goal and had an injury scare in his first five minutes back with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.Costa went on as a second-half substitute to help Atletico win 4-0 at 10-man Lleida in the first leg of their Copa del Rey's round-of-16 meeting.But his celebration was cut short by pain to his right leg. The Brazilian-born Spain striker grabbed the area around his right knee and limped off the pitch to be attended by team medics. After a few minutes on the sidelines, he returned to the pitch and finished the match without visibly favoring his left leg.It was Costa's first competitive match since playing with Spain in June. Costa moved back to Atletico after he fell out with Chelsea coach Antonio Conte despite helping the English side win the Premier League last season.However, Costa and fellow newcomer Victor "Vitolo" Machin couldn't play for Atletico until 2018 when the club's ban on fielding new players for violating FIFA regulations regarding youth players expired.Costa and Vitolo both came off the bench after Diego Godin and Fernando Torres had put the hosts 2-0 up at third-division Lleida.Coach Diego Simeone sent Costa on the in the 64th minute. He connected with a pass by Juanfran Torres to get his first goal upon his return five minutes later.After shaky off the knock to his leg, Costa looked like his old self, rattling rival defenders with his powerful runs and never-back-down attitude.Antoine Griezmann, who also went on as a substitute, scored Atletico's fourth in stoppage time from a free kick after Lledia's Marc Trilles was sent off following his second booking.Costa, 29, helped Atletico win the 2013 Copa del Rey and the 2014 Spanish league title, as well as reach the Champions League final, before moving to Chelsea where he played for three seasons.