Mel: We’d all like Diego Costa

Pepe Mel has downplayed the criticism facing Diego Costa after his influence on proceedings during Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 win over Real Betis.

The striker netted the only goal of the game, caught Ruben Perez with a studded challenge and was spat on from close range by Antonio Amaya.

“To me, Diego Costa is a magnificent footballer, that I would like to have on my team,” reflected Mel post-match.

“It is the opponents’ problem if they fall into the things that he proposes or not. We have no problem with Diego Costa and recognise him as the great player he is.

“Overall, the impression of the game was more a 0-0. We made a mistake from a corner and we conceded a goal, but I think that it was a game that should have ended 0-0.

“I think today we had a good chance to win but it was not possible, because it should have been 0-0. Nothing was happening, nothing happened, both teams defended well, but neither Adrian nor Courtois have had to step up for anything.

“0-0, a mistake, an oversight and we have conceded a goal.”

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