Former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has warned his old side about Diego Costa ahead of their return leg against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
The 31-year-old had to settle for a substitute role last night as Diego Simeone’s men beat the Reds 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, but Johnson believes he could have a bigger part to play in the second leg of the last-16 tie at Anfield.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Debate (18/02/2020), Johnson said: “For me, they need him [Costa] in that game [second leg] because he’s a sort of guy that knows how to be a pest if you like in those big matches.
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“But he has the ability to back it up as well, so he’s obviously a big guy that likes to create havoc for the centre-halves and try and get them thinking of something else as opposed to their game plan.”
These days, Costa does not seem like the striker he used to be. Since last season, he has scored just four league goals, a dramatic drop off from his Chelsea days.
During his final campaign there, the Spain international scored 20 goals in the Premier League and was averaging 3.2 shots per game (via WhoScored). That average has now gone down to just 1.3 per match, so it will be interesting to see if Costa can still pose a threat in a game of this magnitude.
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