Diego Costa in form but his goal not enough as Atletico fall to Sevilla
Diego Costa scored, but was helpless to prevent Atletico Madrid from slumping to a disappointing 2-1 defeat in their Copa del Rey quarterfinal first leg at home to Sevilla on Wednesday night.
The striker was on it from the off, going close on a couple of occasions early on -- it is just a shame that his teammates were not as up for it as he was. An even first period saw chances shared, however, when Costa fired in after the break it appeared that Los Rojiblancos would keep up their winning habit.
A rattled Sevilla rattled were gifted a route back into the tie as Miguel Moya, deputising for No. 1 keeper Jan Oblak, punched a deflected cross that was headed wide into his own goal. A brain fade from Stefan Savic then let in Joaquin Correa to seal a win for the out of form visitors and leave Atleti with an uphill task if they are to progress to the semis next week.
Few, however it looks like Costa has never been away. Oh, and the fact there is a second leg.
Throwing away the lead when you are outclassed is one thing, but to do it in these circumstances is farcical, especially for such a tight defensive unit. Atleti were cut open on the break a couple of times in the first half but did not heed the warning signs and were deservedly punished.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- Diego Simeone's starting lineup raised a few eyebrows and he did not rectify the fact that Sevilla were dominant in midfield. Poor substitutions and faith in Savic capped off a night to forget for the Argentine.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Miguel Moya, 4 -- Jekyll and Hyde, with some decent saves in the first period. Ultimately his flap at a simple cross resulted in Sevilla getting a foothold in the game. Might have done better with the winner, too.
DF Juanfran, 6 -- Attacked well and did what was required at the back without ever excelling. Regular Sime Vrsaljko will sleep easy tonight.
DF Stefan Savic, 2 -- Utterly rubbish. Looked nervous all night, frequently giving the ball away and made a number of sloppy errors. Not sure why Simeone continues to persist with him.
DF Diego Godin, 5 -- His worst performances in his Atleti career have arguably come this season and they have always been while partnered with Savic. Never looks comfortable next to the Montenegrin and something has to give in that situation.
DF Lucas Hernandez, 6 -- Deflected the cross that Moya punched in, however he cannot really be blamed for that. Otherwise he was solid, but got caught napping a couple of times and looks jaded after an extended run of games.
MF Koke, 6 -- Played a lovely couple of through balls to Costa and Carrasco that on another day would have bagged him assists. Best of a bad bunch in the middle.
MF Gabi, 5 -- This was not a game for the captain. In recent months he has struggled against energetic, high-pressing midfields and why Simeone thought it would be a good idea to start him against a team who do just that was baffling. Always offered himself for the ball, to his credit.
MF Saul Niguez, 3 -- Looks like he is suffering from playing too much football over the past couple of years. Could he have been given the night off? Simply told, yes. Needs to be taken out of the team for a couple of weeks as in this form he is a hindrance.
MF Vitolo, 5 -- A decent-enough 45 minutes from the new boy, who is still learning the ropes at Atleti. Let himself down with a couple of pathetic dives attempting to con the referee.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 5 -- Struggled to get involved and was anonymous before going off. Well marshalled by the visiting defence but never really looked at it.
FW Diego Costa, 8 -- The only player who can walk away pleased with his night's work. Saw a goal wrongly disallowed early on and was denied by a couple of spectacular saves before finally opening the scoring with an emphatic finish.
MF Angel Correa, 5 -- Not for the first time was lively off the bench, but -- likewise -- not for the first time his decision making was awry.
MF Yannick Carrasco, 4 -- See above. Messed up a one-on-one moments before Sevilla equalised.
FW Fernando Torres, NR -- Thrown on in desperation at 2-1.
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.