Diego Costa angers journalists after Liverpool 2-3 Atletico Madrid by 'fake coughing' in mixed zone

Liverpool FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

In the eyes of some, Liverpool’s Champions League last-16 second-leg clash against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night should have been played behind closed doors.

Coronavirus is now officially a pandemic, the World Health Organisation have announced, with entire nations currently in lockdown.

Wednesday’s other Champions League clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund was played behind closed doors at the Parc des Princes, while the Premier League clash between Manchester City and Arsenal was postponed.

Around 3,000 Atletico fans travelled from Spain - one of Europe’s worst-affected countries - to watch their team in action at Anfield.

With Madrid currently in lockdown due to coronavirus, it begs the question: should this really have been allowed to happen?

We all have to hope that Wednesday’s match doesn’t lead to an increase in coronavirus cases in Liverpool over the coming days.

Everybody is acutely aware of the need to be extra careful when it comes to personal hygiene - washing hands thoroughly and so on.

And with many on edge at the moment, it’s easy to understand why journalists were left angered by Diego Costa’s antics in the mixed zone at Anfield after Atletico’s 3-2 victory over Liverpool.

Liverpool FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

The Daily Mail’s Dominic King, Carl Markham of the Press Association and Italian journalist Antonello Guerrera all report that Costa theatrically coughed at journalists while ignoring questions as he walked through the mixed zone.

Watch a clip here...

“Nothing like humour… and that was nothing like humour from Diego Costa,” King tweeted. “He was the only who laughed.”

“Not particularly funny or appropriate,” Markham added.

“Not nice. Not funny either,” Guerrera said.

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It was a strange night for Costa, who was on the winning side but didn’t enjoy his best evening on the pitch.

The fiery forward was subbed off for Marcos Llorente early in the second half and reacted badly, kicking a water bottle while being goaded by the home supporters.

Maybe he was still annoyed by how his night went from a personal perspective, but that doesn’t excuse his behaviour in the mixed zone.

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