Football News

Explained: Why Diego Costa was sent off against Barcelona

By Harry Edwards

Published: 13:42, 7 April 2019

Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano has explained why he sent off Diego Costa in Atletico Madrid’s game against Barcelona on Saturday night.

Costa was shown a straight red card after 28 minutes in La Liga match at the Nou Camp, which Atletico Madrid went on to lose 2-0 thanks to late goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

Why was Diego Costa sent off against Barcelona? Four key things to know…

  1. Costa was sent off after 28 minutes of Atletico Madrid’s La Liga match with Barcelona.
  2. The Spaniard was remonstrating with referee Manzano over a challenge made by Arthur.
  3. But Manzano took exception to what was said and showed Costa a straight red card.
  4. In his post-match report, Manzano has revealed Costa verbally abused him by uttering obscene language.

The incident came after Diego Costa expressed his unhappiness with a challenge made on him by Arthur, leading to a confrontation with the referee – who initially appeared to be reaching for a yellow card for dissent.

However, as he has done on several occasions in the past, Costa talked himself into a straight red – leaving many to speculate what was actually said by the striker.

And Manzano has now revealed what led to Costa’s dismissal via his post-match report, which was released to the media.

It said: “In the 28th minute the player (19) Da Silva Costa, Diego was sent off for the following reason: To address me in a loud voice, in the following terms: ‘I s*** on your w**** mother! I s*** on your w**** mother!’

“Once expelled, even on the field of play, he grabbed me on separate occasions by the arm with the purpose of preventing me from showing the admonitions to both team-mates 24 (Jose Gimenez) and 2 (Diego Godin), respectively.”

And according to reports, Costa could be set to miss between four and eight games as a result of his sending off, potentially ruling him out for the rest of the season.

For their own protests, and despite Costa’s best efforts, Gimenez and Godin were booked. But the Atletico defence were able to cope with their numerical disadvantage until the 85th minute when Suarez opened the scoring.

Barcelona’s win has seen them open up an 11-point lead over Atletico at the top of La Liga with seven games left to play.

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Simeone: Costa denies abusing referee

Despite Atletico losing further ground in the race for La Liga title, manager Diego Simeone was left to answer questions over yet another controversial Costa moment.

And while the Argentinian revealed Costa’s denial of saying the statement reported by the referee, Simeone believes his forward was rightly punished if the referee’s interpretation was true.

He told reporters: “I asked the referee and he told me something that Costa tells me he hasn’t said. Other players have said things and aren’t sent off, but that doesn’t justify Diego.

“If the referee interprets there was an insult, then it’s a justified red card. But it’s not always the same, it’s not always the same.

“They sent off [Fernando] Torres [in 2015/16], they sent off Torres… an icon! After that, anyone can be sent off.”