Madrid, Jan 4: Diego Costa returned to the field for Atletico Madrid with a goal as his side virtually assured their progress into the quarterfinals of the King’s Cup knockout football competition with a 4-0 away win to third-tier side Lleida.
Costa and Vitolo both made their Atletico debuts as substitutes in the second half of the game on Wednesday although they had signed for the club over the summer but had not been allowed to debut until January as the result of a FIFA signing ban, reports Xinhua news agency.
Both entered the game after Diego Godin and Fernando Torres had put Atletico 2-0 ahead before the break.
Costa netted his side’s third goal with 20 minutes left to play and Antoine Griezmann netted a fourth in injury time to make next week’s return leg a mere formality for the Madrid-based side.
Last season’s defeated finalists Alaves also took a huge step towards the quarterfinals as they won 3-1 away to Formentera. The win came thanks to two goals from Ermedin Demirovic and a late goal from Munir el Haddadi.
In what shaped up to be a night of no surprises, Sevilla also secured a comfortable away win as goals from Jesus Navas and Nolito gave them a 2-0 victory away to Cadiz.
Finally, Paco Jemez kicked off his term as Las Palmas boss with a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia.
Jonathan Calleri put Las Palmas, who are in the La Liga relegation zone, ahead in the 36th minute, but Rodrigo Moreno gave Valencia a vital away goal four minutes from the end.