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ATLÉTICO MADRID

Dour derby dooms Diego Costa to longest drought of his career

Diego Costa lleva 16 partidos sin marcar un gol en la Liga.

DANI SANCHEZ

The Atlético frontman has not found the net in the league since February and he drew another blank against Real Madrid in the Bernabéu.

Diego Costa was hauled off by Atlético Madrid boss in the 68th minute of the derby against Real Madrid on Saturday night after a far-from-stellar performance but the Argentinean’s decision also confirmed the longest league goal drought of the Spain striker’s career.

Bought back from Chelsea last year as his own replacementSimeone had tried and failed several times to fill the void that Costa’s 2014 departure created – for a club record fee, the 29-year-old has now failed to find the net in LaLiga since last February, a run of 16 game without a goal.

That unwanted record beats his previous non-mark of 15 games between October 2010 and March 2011 while also at Atlético, who he had joined from Valladolid the previous summer after underwhelming loan spells at Braga and Celta.

Costa not living up to cost on Atlético return

After his initial struggles on his return to Atlético Costa subsequently scored 10 league goals on loan at Rayo in 2011-12 and the same number at the Calderón the following season before bagging 27 as Simeone’s side won the Liga title in 2013-14, which led Chelsea to fork out his buy-out clause of 35 million euros to take him to Stamford Bridge.

There, Costa scored 52 times in 89 Premier League appearances, winning two league titles before returning to Atlético for a fee of 60 million euros last year, eventually making his second debut on January 1 when the club’s ban on registering new players expired. After scoring in the Copa del Rey a few days earlier, Costa’s Liga return was typically headline-generating, the striker scoring and getting sent off all within seven minutes.

Costa has found the net in other competitions, scoring twice in the European Super Cup victory over Real and again in the Champions League opener against Monaco and Simeone will be hoping that he can bring his league drought to an end when Betis visit the Metropolitano next weekend.

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