MADRID: Atletico Madrid extended their lead at the top of La Liga with 2-0 win at Getafe yesterday, but victory came at a price as Diego Costa was stretchered off after colliding with the goalpost as he scored his side’s second goal.
Uruguayan defender Diego Godin took advantage of a goalkeeping error from Jordi Codina to head home the opener from Koke’s corner five minutes before half-time.
Costa then saw a second-half penalty saved by Codina after Angel Lafita received a red card for pulling down Miranda, but the Spanish international redeemed himself by slotting home Adrian Lopez’s low cross six minutes from time.
Costa was immediately stretchered off, but Atletico confirmed he has just suffered a flesh wound meaning he should be fit to face Elche in Los Rojiblancos’ next outing on Friday.
Diego Simeone’s men now lead city rivals Real Madrid by three points with five games remaining, whilst reigning champions Barcelona are a further point behind in third.
And Simeone confirmed that Costa’s injury is not as serious as first feared.
“Diego is fine. We don’t need to worry, it was just a scare,” he said.
“We are where we wanted to be with five games to go. Our discourse has changed from game to game, now we have final after final.”
Despite their exertions in knocking Barca out of the Champions League on Wednesday to progress to the semi-finals for the first time in 40 years, Simeone made just two changes from the side that started in midweek.
Top scorer Costa returned up front after a hamstring injury in place of Adrian, whilst Mario Suarez also replaced Tiago in midfield.
The visitors were first to threaten when Costa just failed to reach David Villa’s dangerous cross to the back post.
However, both sides struggled to create chances from open play thereafter with the majority of opportunities coming from set-pieces.
Godin came close on 27 minutes when his header from Koke’s corner was beaten away by Codina.
However, the keeper undid his good work five minutes before half-time when he got nowhere near the ball as he came off his line to collect a Koke corner and left Godin with the simple task of heading the ball into an unguarded net for his sixth goal of the season.
It was Getafe who threatened from a corner early in the second-half as Juan Rodriguez forced Thibaut Courtois into a fine save low to his left.
Courtois then made a more comfortable save to deny Adrian Colunga before Atletico were given a golden chance to seal the three points 25 minutes from time when Lafita hauled down Miranda as the Brazilian defender attempted to get on the end of another corner from Koke.
Lafita was shown a straight red card for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, but Costa missed his third penalty this season when Codina dived to his left to save his spot-kick and recovered well to also block Raul Garcia’s follow-up effort.
Costa did eventually double Atletico’s advantage when he bravely slid in to turn Adrian’s cross home for his 34th goal of the season before colliding with the post.