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Costa suspended eight games for ref insult, arm grab

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Mothers are off limits.

Diego Costa will miss the rest of Atletico Madrid’s season as a result of the red card he received for verbal abuse of a referee in a loss to Barcelona last week.

[ MORE: Smalling, McTominay okay with result ]

The referee’s report claims Costa told official Gil Manzano that he’d do something to disgusting to his mother.

The 8-game ban includes four for insulting Manzano and four more for touching his arm receiving the red card, according to Marca, which says:

Costa and the club had fought against the punishment, with the player insisting that he had said “I (expletive) on my mother”, but the Committee have consulted Manzano for clarification and reached their decision.

Have to love the “no, no, you misunderstood. I was saying I’d do something gross to my mother. Not your mother. My mother.”

If it makes Costa and Atleti feel better, just pretend the suspension is for any number of awful thing he’s done on the field which have gone unpunished.

Costa has five goals and three assists in 21 matches this season.

Atleti can appeal the ban, sitting nine points back of leaders Barcelona and two in front of rivals Real Madrid.

Costa could miss the rest of the season after red card v. Barcelona

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Diego Costa has had a rough 2018/2019 season back at Atletico Madrid, and his frustrations appeared to boiled over on Saturday against Barcelona.

After failing to receive a free kick, Costa ran over to the match official Jesús Gil Manzano and began to shout at him. Per AS in Spain, there’s disagreement over what Costa actually said, but Manzano said in his match report that Costa used some pretty harsh language – to put it nicely – at him, necessitating the red card.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

According to the AS report, if La Liga follows the letter of its laws, if someone uses “insulting or offensive language” at any of the referees, they could be handed a four to 12 match ban. With just seven games remaining, it could see Costa’s season end prematurely. In addition, Costa grabbed the arm of Manzano on multiple occasions to try and pursuade Manzano to not give his teammates yellow cards. Grabbing an official could also lead to a four to 12 game ban.

Regardless of the outcome, it’s an ignominious end of the season for Costa. He’s scored just two goals in 16 games (14 starts) in La Liga this season, and he’s being overtaken by new signing Alvaro Morata up top for both club and country.

Costa hasn’t been the same since his spat with former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was revealed, which led Costa to miss six months of soccer while waiting for a transfer away from Chelsea in 2017. He received the move he wanted to Atletico Madrid, but it hasn’t come off as well as he played at Chelsea or Atletico Madrid before that. The 30-year-old may be wondering if he’ll still be able to get one last big contract before he retires.

Messi, Suarez save Barcelona in 2-0 win over 10-man Atletico Madrid

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Diego Costa was sent off in the 28th minute for Atletico Madrid for abusing the referee, and while it looked like the visitors would miraculously hang on at the Camp Nou, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were on hand to bail out the Blaugrana with goals in the final five minutes to give Barcelona a 2-0 win and all but secure the La Liga title.

After going up a man, Barcelona put together a stellar attacking display but just couldn’t get over the hump with the visitors packing things in in front of net. Ultimately, Barcelona completed 250 of 297 passes in the attacking third and ripped off 21 shots with 10 on target. Messi had five of the team’s 10 shots on target and also created three chances.

They finally broke through in the 85th minute as Luis Suarez at the top of the box touched inside to his right foot before unleashing a shot that found the back of the net and broke the deadlock. Once Atletico conceded, they fell apart.

Immediately off the restart, Messi put the game away as he burst down the right before slowly making his way towards the middle, and while Jose Gimenez initially produced a tackle to dispossess Messi in the box, the Barcelona star snatched the ball right back and buried a shot.

The win put Barcelona up 11 points at the top of the table, leaving them in prime position to win the La Liga title for the sixth time in the last 10 years. Atletico Madrid now sits in second with 62 points, two above Real Madrid. The victory also made Lionel Messi the winningest player in La Liga history, passing Iker Casillas for his 335th career league win.

La Liga: Bale saves Real Madrid, Morata scores first Atletico goal

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Alvaro Morata finally grabbed his first Atletico Madrid goal to pave the way for a 2-0 win over Villareal at home. The former Chelsea man joined in January and had gone three league matches without finding the back of the net, but he whipped a 31st minute volley low into the bottom-left corner to open his account.

Saul added the second as the game wound down, looping a chip over the goalkeeper with two minutes to go. The hosts could have had more, but Jose Gimenez and Diego Costa both saw close-range headers saved by Sergio Asenjo in the second half. The win moved Atletico back within seven of Barcelona at the top of the table, and five ahead of third-placed Real Madrid before Los Blancos kicked off.

Real Madrid, however, was able to return the points gap to two as Santiago Solari made five changes from the side that fell last time out and Gareth Bale provided the difference from the spot in a 2-1 victory. Karim Benzema initially put Madrid ahead with a penalty of his own after VAR awarded the spot-kick. Luka Modric’s powerful cross crashed into Enis Bardhi’s arm who simply raised his hand to protect his face, and that allowed Benzema to send Aitor Fernandez the wrong way from the spot.

Levante equalized through Roger Marti’s 10th goal of the season, but there was plenty of controversy surrounding the winning moment. Casemiro went down in the penalty area under minimal (if any) contact, and despite the referee’s consultation of the video monitor at the behest of VAR, the penalty was awarded. Bale delivered the goods with 12 minutes to go, and Madrid took home all three points. Both teams finished with 10 men as Ruben Rochina earned his second yellow card in the 86th minute, and just two minutes later Madrid defender Nacho earned his marching orders as well.

Real Betis jumped to seventh in the La Liga table with a 2-0 away win at Real Valladolid. Betis scored both goals near the end of a half, as Aissa Mandi opened the scoring in first-half extra time with a beautiful scissor-kick after Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi Masip came way too far off his line to challenge a free-kick delivery. Joaquin then left no doubt in the 87th minute, tapping home after Sergio Canales burst down the right and across the byline, cutting a cross that saw defender Kiko completely whiff at controlling before it reached Joaquin. The loss for the home side leaves them still in a precarious position, in 16th just three points above the drop.

Valencia was pegged back by a late Martin Braithwaite goal in a 1-1 draw at Leganes. The visitors had gone ahead in the 22nd minute via Gregory Kondogbia who headed home off a free-kick. That goal was Valencia’s only shot on target in the match, and their only real chance other than Jose Gaya’s 10th minute vicious effort that came off the far post. Leganes, meanwhile, pushed the whole match for an equalizer, and exploded forward as time ran out. Braithwaite equalized in the 88th minute before they nearly won it in stoppage time through Youssef En-Nesyri who saw his effort saved by Neto after a turnover.

Atleti takes 2-0 lead over Juve in Champions League (video)

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  • Morata sees goal disallowed via VAR
  • Gimenez, Godin score early
  • Atleti takes two goals away for 2nd leg

The defenders got it done, with a little help from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin scored second half goals, the latter putting his home after a Ronaldo deflection, as Atletico Madrid beat Juventus 2-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match on Wednesday at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Atleti had an opening goal ruled out before Gimenez pushed home.

The second leg is March 12 in Turin.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

If you were betting on two defenses to conspire against the score line, this was it; Juve and Atleti allowed a combined 10 goals in 12 group stage matches.

Most of the prime chances resulted in user error, as typified by Diego Costa early in the second half. That said, Wojciech Szczesny made a finger tip save on Antonie Griezmann which was quite superb.

And when Atleti looked to have collected its lead through Alvaro Morata, the former Juve player saw his goal overturned through VAR.

Morata headed home, but the camera caught his shove on Giorgio Chiellini, initially unspotted by the referees.

Gimenez then made one count.

Morata won a header that hit Mario Mandzukic and fell into the path of Gimenez for a deserved goal.

Federico Bernardeschi had a solid bid to restore the deadlock, but Jan Oblak made a pretty save to keep it 1-0.

And Godin mopped up a shot that deflected off Ronaldo to double the hosts advantage after one leg.