Costa brace enough for Atletico
Diego Costa returned from his midweek Champions League suspension to fire Atletico Madrid to a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo.
Last Updated: 06/10/13 3:59pm
Diego Costa scored twice and also missed a penalty as Atletico Madird kept up the pressure on Primera Division leaders Barcelona with a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo.
The Brazilian striker missed from the spot in the first half but netted either side of the break to draw his side back level on points with Barcelona at the top of the table.
Celta's consolation goal came from Nolito, but they were not able to grab a share of the spoils.
The game was just three minutes old when Celta's Hugo Mallo became the first player to be booked for a foul on Diego Costa.
David Villa had the first opening for the home side, but headed wide from the edge of the area following a corner by Mario Suarez.
Villa then forced a save out of Celta goalkeeper Yoel Rodriguez who punched his shot clear, Arda Turan firing the rebound over the bar from distance.
Atletico forced a succession of corners, but the Celta defence proved up to the task and were able to clear the danger.
Atletico continued to exert pressure by forcing more corners and then were presented with the chance to open the scoring as Celta conceded a penalty after 24 minutes.
David Costas fouled Filipe Luis but Diego Costa was not up to the job from the penalty spot.
He placed his penalty to the bottom right of the goal but Rodriguez was able to keep the effort out.
Diego Costa then headed over from Suarez's cross and Rodriguez saved efforts from Suarez and Turan as the home side looked to force a breakthrough.
Diego Costa was thwarted twice more before he finally made amends for his penalty miss by opening the scoring just before half-time.
Filipe Luis set up the chance with a pass which Diego Costa converted from close range.
Atletico could have added to their tally, but Rodriguez was on hand to keep them out, punching clear a corner from Jorge Koke before saving a Silva header from another Koke flag kick.
Rodriguez proved equal to a header by Diego Godin from a Koke corner as Atletico started the second half looking to increase their lead.
Villa was wide with another shot before Gabi set up Diego Costa for his second goal, the striker again slotting home from close range just after the hour to stretch Atletico's lead.
Celta's Charles was booked for a foul on Turan and was replaced shortly after by Levy Madinda.
With 20 minutes remaining the visitors came back into the game when they scored.
Celta's Nolito drilled home a shot from the right side of the six-yard box to cut the deficit.
Diego Costa tried his luck with another shot but was again frustrated by Rodriguez who pulled off a save.
Thibaut Courtois was twice tested in the closing stages, the Atletico keeper catching a shot from Toni and then parrying a 25-yard free-kick from Nolito as the home side held out for three points.