Former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has suggested that Diego Costa has failed in the Champions League with the Blues this season.
Costa failed to score a single goal in all seven of his Champions League appearances for Chelsea this season, including in Wednesday night's shock 2-2 draw against 10-man Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge.
The Brazil-born Spain international was involved in a number of altercations during the match, and even managed to get into a bust-up after the full-time whistle with PSG substitute Yohan Cabaye.
Hasselbaink: This is why Costa has failed in Europe
But rather than focus on his fiery temper, Hasselbaink - the current manager of League Two outfit Burton Albion - chose to talk about the reasons why Costa has found it so difficult in Europe this season.
“Diego Costa needs space behind the defence, that’s where he’s at his best,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show. “The Champions League is another level to the Premier League though.
“Last year he had that space when playing for Atletico Madrid, but this campaign he hasn’t looked as good in Europe as when he’s playing in the Premier League.”
Costa sometimes a liability
Costa was one of three Chelsea players award a 3/10 rating from respected French publication L'Equipe - along with Branislav Ivanovic and Oscar - for his disappointing display against PSG.
The 26-year-old, at times, appeared more intent on winding up the opposition than scoring goals - and when in that type of mood he borders on becoming a liability for Chelsea; a red card waiting to happen.
Costa has been in excellent form in the Premier League this season, scoring 17 goals in 21 appearances, but his failure to score in seven Champions League matches should concern manager Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese coach will be confident that Costa will bounce back stronger next season - after all, the striker scored eight goals in the Champions League last season to help inspire Atletico all the way to the final - but Hasselbaink makes a good point about his effectiveness when teams are prepared to sit back.
Costa must sort out his ridiculous temper
Costa must fine-tune certain aspects of his game to ensure he's a constant danger, whether opposing defences push up or sit back, while it's imperative he works harder on his professionalism.
The former La Liga star is famous for his short fuse, and opposition players have subsequently made him a target.
If he can somehow learn not to react at every little thing which frustrated him, he will become a much more effective striker for Chelsea.
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