Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has hinted that he could be heading to Chelsea in the summer after helping to knock Jose Mourinho’s side out of the Champions League.
The Blues appeared to hold the advantage after drawing 0-0 in the Spanish capital in last week’s semi-final first leg but Atletico produced a superb display at Stamford Bridge as they came from behind to win the second clash 3-1.
After Fernando Torres’ deflected shot had given the Premier League side the lead, Atletico equalised and grabbed the crucial away goal just before the interval when defensive frailties in the home defence allowed Adrian to net despite mis-hitting his shot.
The La Liga leaders dominated the second half and deserved their place in the final which came courtesy of Costa’s spot-kick, after he had been upended inside the penalty area by Chelsea substitute Samuel Eto’o, and Arda Turan’s 72nd-minute effort.
Koke also hit the woodwork in the opening minutes as Atletico set up an all-Madrid final on 24th May in Lisbon following Real’s demolition of last season’s winners Bayern Munich in the other semi-final.
Costa, who is one of the favourites with bet365 to score the opening goal in the Champions League final, said after the win in London: “Chelsea in my future? We’ll see, I know there are offers for me. I feel well here at Atletico. Let’s see.”
The 25-year-old, who was born in Brazil but represented Spain in a friendly international victory against Italy in March, has been in scintillating form for Atletico this season.
Costa has scored 35 times in 41 Champions League and La Liga appearances for Diego Simeone’s side so far this season and is one of the most sought-after players in the world.
Chelsea manager Mourinho has bemoaned his attacking options throughout this season and is widely expected to bring in at least two new forwards in the summer having lost patience with Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba.
He allowed Romelu Lukaku to spend this season on loan with Everton and the 20-year-old Belgian has impressed for Roberto Martinez’s side, scoring 13 Premier League goals in 29 appearances.
Last season, while on loan with West Brom, he found the net 17 times in 35 league matches and is expected to be given his chance by Mourinho next season.
Meanwhile, Simeone accepted that Adrian’s goal just before half time on Wednesday proved to be the turning point in the two-legged semi-final.
The first 135 minutes of the semi-final had been extremely tight, but the Spanish side went on to dominate the second half at Stamford Bridge on their way to recording a well-merited victory.
Former Argentina international defender Simeone said: “I’m happy. Our first goal was important and the start of the second half was very good.
“We understood that we had to move the ball quickly between Tiago and Mario Suarez and then to the sides so we could break their defence. At 2-1 we meant business.”