Real Valladolid 0-3 Atlético Madrid: Diego Costa scores on return from suspension
Diego Costa scored on his return from a suspension as Atlético Madrid bounced back from back-to-back defeats to win 3-0 at Real Valladolid.
The Brazilian was suspended for Atlético's last two games against Rayo Vallecano in the Primera Division and Rubin Kazan in the Europa League, both of which ended in defeat.
Diego Simeone had backed Costa to help Atléti break their poor form and the forward duly delivered with a well-taken second-half goal.
Radamel Falcao hit his 20th league goal of the season after eleven minutes of play, although the Colombian was lucky to be given the benefit of the doubt in a close offside call.
A free-kick was chipped into the box for Diego Godin, and when his close-range volley was expertly saved by Daniel Hernandez, Falcao was following up to tap the ball over the line.
The visitors were good value for their lead and Costa almost made it 2-0 at the break but his lobbed effort was saved by Hernandez.
The 24-year-old did make it two just eight minutes into the second half when he was played in by Jorge Koke's cute header and he finished low and hard beyond the goalkeeper.
The visitors' victory was cemented in the final minute as a defensive blunder allowed Cristian Rodriguez to poke the ball home from close range, after Antonio Rukavina's attempted chest back to his goalkeeper fell short.
The win keeps Atlético in second-place of La Liga but they still trail leaders Barcelona by 12 points.