Costa treble lifts Atletico
Diego Costa's assured hat-trick guided Atletico Madrid to a deserved 3-2 victory in an enthralling Primera Division encounter at Osasuna.
Atletico have been on a poor run and that sequence looked set to continue as Osasuna bossed the opening exchanges and deservedly went ahead through Kike Sola on 31 minutes. However, after that it was all one-way traffic as Brazilian striker Diego Costa took centre stage, slamming home his first shortly before the interval and adding a quickfire brace in the second half.
Javad Nekounam pulled one back for the hosts from the penalty spot, but Osasuna's hopes were ended late on when Sergio saw red for violent conduct.
The hosts were denied on 15 minutes by a superb triple save by David De Gea, who kept out Fernando Soriano's effort before denying Soriano twice more on the rebound. Soriano was again missed on the half-hour, this time pulling his shot wide when he had the time and space to do better.
But moments later the hosts were ahead after a slick passing move. Osasuna moved the ball around nicely before picking out Alvaro Cejudo, who delivered a low cross from the right which Sola smashed home emphatically.
Diego bags three
Osasuna were in control, but let the lead slip on 39 minutes when Tiago's pass split the home defence and Diego Costa ran in to coolly lift the ball beyond Ricardo.
Atletico were livelier after the restart and went ahead on the hour when Mario Suarez picked out the run of Diego Costa and the striker dispatched a crisp low finish into the left corner. Three minutes later the hat-trick was complete when Osasuna gave the ball away in midfield. Suarez picked up on the loose ball and played in Diego Costa, who kept his composure to fire home low through the legs of Ricardo.
Jose Antonio Reyes then spurned the chance to add a fourth from the penalty spot after the former Arsenal man had been hauled down. Reyes picked himself up to take the penalty, but Ricardo guessed right.
The hosts were back in it with ten minutes remaining when the referee signaled a penalty after spotting Tiago's handball in the Atletico wall as the visitors defended a free-kick. Nekounam converted the penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way with a finish just inside the left post.
Osasuna's hopes, though, of snatching a point were effectively extinguished five minutes later when Sergio saw red for swinging an elbow into the chest of Diego Costa. There was still a chance for Osasuna to snatch a point at the death, but Javier Camunas fired wide after latching onto Dejan Lekic's flick-on.