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19th Dec 2020

WATCH: VAR fails to reverse penalty after apparent Diego Costa dive

Simon Lloyd

Never change, Diego

Though he was undoubtedly one of the finest strikers on the planet at one point, Diego Costa has, on occasion, been accused of being a tad theatrical at the slightest hint of contact from an opponent.

We were reminded of this again on Saturday, as the Brazilian-born Spanish international won and converted a controversial late penalty to seal victory for Atletico Madrid.

Two goals from Luis Suarez had Diego Simeone’s side two goals up inside an hour at home to Elche, only for their lead to be halved with 25 minutes to play.

Costa, though, was able to make sure of a return to winning ways late on. An Atleti throw from the right wing was flicked towards Costa inside the box. Controlling the ball on his chest, the former Chelsea striker soon went tumbling following a high boot from Iván Marcone.

Despite fierce protests from the Elche players, a VAR review of the incident upheld the referee’s decision, despite the replays showing very little – if any – contact at all.

Costa recovered to step up and convert the spot-kick, killing off any hopes of Elche salvaging a point.

Atleti, who lost last weekend’s Madrid derby, have moved three points clear at the top of La Liga ahead of second-placed Real Sociedad’s trip to Levante later in the day. After that, they will still have a game in hand over the Basque side.