Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has praised Diego Costa’s performance against Sporting Lisbon as they won 2-0 in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.
Costa started the match upfront with Antoine Griezmann and it didn’t take long for Atletico to make their mark on the game.
Costa pounced on a loose pass within the opening passage of play before laying it off to Koke to finish after just 23 seconds.
It was Griezmann who added the second before half-time and Costa had the chance to make it three on a couple of occasions in the second-half but missed.
Simeone was more than happy with his all-round game though as well as his assist early on.
‘This was Costa’s best performance for us since he came back,’ he told reporters at the post-match press conference.
‘He was an animal — he ran, pressured, kept it up for the whole game.’
Costa has not found the net as often as he would like since his Atletico return, scoring just six in his 16 appearances.
He had the chance to make it seven when he was one-on-one with the Sporting goalkeeper, but failed in his attempt to take the ball around him.
The Spaniard will be hoping he can return to scoring ways when Atletico take on Real Madrid this Sunday. Both sides are vying to finish second behind Barcelona.