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Diego Costa.

Diego Costa shouted something hilarious at ter Stegen during Barcelona v Atletico

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The Premier League is a little less colourful without Diego Costa.

Chelsea sold the 29-year-old striker back to Atletico Madrid after he fell out with Antonio Conte towards the end of the title-winning 2016/17 campaign.

Costa scored 52 goals in 89 Premier League games and won two league titles during his three seasons in west London.

Meanwhile, his replacement Alvaro Morata has failed to find the back of the net since the end of 2017.

"He [Costa] has been a big miss because he's a big character on the pitch and he can change the destiny of games, not so much with his ability sometimes - but with his character," said West Brom boss Alan Pardew.

"When you've got one of those at the top of the pitch they're very difficult to replace."

The enigmatic frontman has scored five goals in eleven games since returning to Atletico but was on the losing side in Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Barcelona.

Costa's cheeky words to ter Stegen

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has conceded just 13 goals in 27 La Liga games this season and is widely regarded as one of the finest stoppers in Europe.

Despite Antoine Griezmann and Costa's best attempts, the 25-year-old kept another clean sheet at the Camp Nou in Sunday's top-of-the-table clash.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-ATLETICO

However, at one point Costa tried his best to trick ter Stegen into gifting Atletico a goal.

The German goalkeeper was preparing to take a goal kick and the former Chelsea striker began hurriedly shouting at ter Stegen.

"Brother [Hermano]", said Costa cheekily. "Here! Here! [Aqui! Aqui]"

Ter Stegen didn't fall for it and Costa's huge grin that followed just about sums him up as a footballer.

Never change, Diego.

"If we take Messi and put him in an Atletico shirt, we win this match 1-0," said Atletico boss Diego Simeone. "Messi is a special player, he made the difference."

The 30-year-old Argentine scored the only goal of the game - a beautiful free-kick in the 26th minute.

Barcelona v Atletico Madrid - La Liga

"There is no player like Messi in the world," said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde. "Obviously there are several matches left, but we have taken a step forward. We'll see what the future holds.

"It was a very important game because being eight points ahead is not the same as two."

The Catalan giants now have an eight-point gap over Atletico with 11 matches remaining.

Topics:
Diego Costa
La Liga
Chelsea
Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Football

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