99 days after leaving Chelsea in less than harmonious fashion, Diego Costa has returned to competitive football.
And inevitably, he’s marked the occasion with a goal.
The bullish forward’s predatory finish came five minutes after the came off the bench for his second Atletico Madrid debut.
Costa and Antoine Griezmann came on for Fernando Torres and Angel Correa in the 65th minute against Segunda B side Lleida in the Copa del Rey.
The 29-ear-old Brazilian-born Spaniard reintroduced himself to the fans soon after when he connected with Juanfran’s pull-back from the byline to find the bottom corner.
His celebrations were somewhat muted as he appeared to pick up a knock to the knee in the act of scoring.
And naturally, he couldn’t resist squaring up to an opposition player before the final whistle.
Never a dull moment with Diego…
Costa was forced to wait for his return because of the Atleti’s transfer ban.
His 27-goal haul in the 2013/14 season inspired the club to the most recent La Liga triumph in their history.
Fans have been desperate to see the controversial forward in action once again and will be hoping he can close the gap between Atleti and Barcelona at the top of the league.
Diego Simeone’s men have lost just one domestic game this campaign but find themselves nine points behind Ernesto Valverde’s impressive troops.
Atleti won the round of 16 fixture 4-0 with Diego Godin, Fernando Torres and Griezmann also on the scoresheet.
Will Costa’s X Factor inspire them to a trophy once again?
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