Costa double boosts Atletico
Diego Costa scored twice as Atletico Madrid began the new campaign with an impressive 3-1 win away to Sevilla.
Last Updated: 19/08/13 7:00am
Diego Costa scored twice as Atletico Madrid began their Primera Division campaign with an impressive win away to Sevilla.
The 24-year-old Brazilian, a reported target for Liverpool this summer, struck in each half before substitute Cristian Rodriguez's superb third in stoppage time.
Sevilla more than played their part in an open and entertaining game but had only Diego Perotti's long-range goal in the first half to show for their efforts.
Arda Turan was booked inside a minute for the hosts for handball. Sevilla's Federico Fazio then blocked Gabi Fernandez's effort in an otherwise quiet opening.
That all changed when Carlos Bacca met Coke Andujar's cross in the 22nd minute with a diving header but saw the ball cannon to safety off the crossbar.
Just two minutes later, David Villa moved on to the ball just outside the box and swept an effort goalward which glanced off the outside of the post, with goalkeeper Antonio Beto credited with a touch and a corner awarded.
Diego Costa and Gabi threatened for Atletico before the former gave them a 35th-minute lead, volleying home an awkward bouncing ball after Joao Miranda flicked on Jorge Koke's corner.
But Sevilla hit back almost immediately when Perotti, teed up by Marko Marin, let fly from 25 yards and found the top corner.
Sevilla introduced France international Geoffrey Kondogbia at the interval and started the second half brightly.
Striker Vitolo put an effort from a good position into the side-netting as Thibaut Courtois closed the angle down effectively and Marin tested his fellow on-loan Chelsea player with a fierce long-range strike, Bacca poking a follow-up effort tamely at the Belgian goalkeeper.
Filipe Luis' low left-foot drive at the other end was well parried by Beto, though the offside flag was up against two Atletico players right in front of him.
Marin saw one effort blocked by Juanfran and another parried by Courtois before Diego Costa scored the decisive goal.
Racing on to Koke's beautifully weighted pass, the striker slotted calmly past the advancing Beto from inside the penalty area.
He was denied a hat-trick by Coke's block before Juanfran again threw his body on the line at the other end to repel Perotti's shot.
But Rodriguez put a late coat of gloss on Atleti's win with a mesmeric solo goal, dancing past Alberto Moreno on the touchline and Federico Fazio in the box before his left-foot finish wrong-footed Beto at his near post.