Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said he could not argue with the decision to show Diego Costa a second yellow card for celebrating a goal with the fans in Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to Getafe but added that the striker had “transmitted fear” on his first La Liga game since returning to the club.
Atletico attacker Angel Correa opened the scoring on 15 minutes at the Wanda Metropolitano, finishing smartly after Antoine Griezmann had drawn the defence and sent him clear.
Costa first went into the book near the hour mark for catching marker Djene in the face with a raised arm, then risked a sending off by raising an arm against Getafe’s other centre-back Juan Cala soon afterwards.
The former Chelsea man soon did get his marching orders when he jumped the advertising hoardings to celebrate with the crowd after turning in Sime Vrsaljko’s low cross for 2-0.
After his side held out for victory, which keeps them in second place in the La Liga table, six points behind leaders Barcelona, Simeone told reporters that Costa had got carried away after spending so long on the sidelines before his registration this month.
“After being six months out [Costa] scores a goal and wants to celebrate with the fans,” Simeone said. “The referee cannot think about the emotional part — he is there to follow the rules.
“If you go and celebrate with the fans, the yellow is deserved. We must accept that.”
Costa also scored in Wednesday’s 4-0 Copa del Rey win at third-tier Lleida, and Simeone was clearly happy to have the Spain international’s aggression and attitude back after three-and-a-half years without him.
“Diego brings us intensity, directness, more strength in attack, and above all he transmits fear,” Simeone said. “You can feel that and see that.”
Including Costa’s double booking, Atletico were shown seven yellow cards to Getafe’s three, but Simeone did not criticise referee Jose Luis Munuera Montero.
“It was not an easy game, between two intense teams,” he said. “I imagine the referee was trying to do his job as well as possible. We try to collaborate as well as we can. Sometimes you can see things very clearly.”
Simeone said overall he was very happy with this players’ performance in a local derby in which they were generally in full control throughout.
“We expected a difficult game and managed it well,” he said. “We had chances in the first half, as well as the goal. The second half the same and although after Costa was sent off the game was different, we were solid in defence.”