Footy Times

Diego Costa scores four as Atlético Madrid run riot over Real Madrid in New Jersey

Ayoub Rahman

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Diego Costa scored four goals before getting sent off as Atlético Madrid demolished city rivals Real Madrid 7-3 in the International Champions Cup at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey today.

Former Chelsea talisman Costa fired Atlético in front inside a minute and completed his hat-trick by half-time as the Rojiblancos led 5-0 in the embarrassingly one sided contest in New York.

Costa added another after the break and was sent off in a fierce clash with Real’s Dani Carvajal who was also shown a straight red card after committing a nasty foul on Thomas Lemar when the match crossed the hour mark.

The lively Madrid derby took place miles away was the show of armories both the Spanish giants acquired recently as Costa was set up in the box by the excellent Joao Felix for whom Atlético paid sumptuous amount after just 45 seconds and the striker’s shot deflected in off Sergio Ramos to give Atlético a dream start.

The early goal with an element of luck gained Atlético the momentum and they took the complete control as Saul crossed from the left and Joao Felix slotted in for 2-0 with just eight minutes from the match.

Angel Correa, who had replaced the injured Alvaro Morata minutes earlier, turned and instinctively steered the ball into the corner for a third in the 19th minute to make things look bleak for Zinedine Zidane’s side.

The nightmare was far from over for the Los Blancos as Saul intercepted a loose pass by Ramos to Luka Modric and quickly freed Costa for a simple finish past Tibout Courtois after 28 minutes.

Vinicius Junior then hit the post in late first half rally by Madrid but it was too short lived as Isco clattered Costa in the box in the injury time and the striker himself finished with a cool penalty to make it 5-0 at the interval.

Costa started from where he stopped to make it 6-0 just after the break, converting a lovely chip of a beautiful ball from Felix who showed the big crowd attended the match that he was worth every penny of €126m paid by Atlético.

Madrid who finally woke up pulled a goal back after an hour as Nacho bundled in from close range following an excellent supply by the otherwise-quiet Eden Hazard who is tipped to be a Galactico after securing a record breaking move from Chelsea.

To add more drama to the lively affair, the Costa onslaught had an abrupt ending after the bench clearing scuffle with his Spanish teammate Carvajal.

Real’s woes continued after Atlético’s Vitolo came off the bench to run through the heart of their defence before firing in a low shot from just inside the box for 7-1 with 20 minutes still left. The former Sevilla man almost added a second moments later but his lobbed effort was just over the bar.

Both sides then made a host of changes with Gareth Bale on for what may well be his last appearance before moving to China. The Welshman had a couple of efforts late in the game, but could do little to change the course which was almost over by then.

However Madrid did pull two goals back, though, substitute Karim Benzema netting from the spot after Nacho was fouled by Hector Herrera and youngster Javi Hernandez poking home from close range right at the end.

“We prepared well for the match, we understand that we do damage to a rival and we had a great game,” Atlético manager Diego Simeone said. “We found good spots to get out quickly and with precision. It’s important the precision in football and every time we had a chance to score we could.

“We saw a great atmosphere, with the crowd in the stadium, and the truth is that it was a great night.”

Real Madrid will take on Tottenham on Tuesday in the Audi Cup semi-finals while Atlético will face the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday.

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