Diego Costa quickly finds the net in first appearance since leaving Chelsea

Atleti could only finish third in their group. Image PA Images

Despite the injury scare, Costa revelled in his return, saying: "I'm very happy to have played for Atletico Madrid again".

The gruff striker came off the bench on 64 minutes with the La Liga giants already 2-0 up at the Camp d'Esports.

"I could not have asked for anything more on my second debut, to be back playing again and to have scored a goal is fantastic".

Having been forced by a Federation Internationale de Football Association transfer ban to sit out the first half of the season following his €66 million return from Chelsea last summer, Costa entered early in the second half and within five minutes had finished smartly at the near post from Juanfran's cross.

Costa will be hoping to make his first competitive club appearance since Chelsea's FA Cup final loss to Arsenal on May 27 past year.

I couldn't have hoped for a better start to my second spell with Atletico.

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He appeared to injure his knee in the process and limped to the sidelines before returning to the pitch and completing the game.

Despite having helped the Blues to two Premier League titles during his time in England, the Spain global striker found himself frozen out by Antonio Conte at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

"His departure annoys me because his play hasn't been accompanied by goals at a team which doesn't wait".

Simeone, however, is unhappy the 24-year-old has not been able to make the impact befitting his level of ability, with Vietto yet to score this term.

But he was told by text message he was not in Antonio Conte's plans, did not play for Chelsea this season, and spent much of August in his native Brazil.

Valencia are now third in La Liga, two points behind second-placed Atletico and 11 adrift of leaders Barcelona.

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