DIEGO COSTA saw red for a vile outburst at the referee – as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched Luis Suarez and Ljonel Messi steal victory for Barcelona with late crackers
Manchester United chief Solskjaer looked on shocked as Atletico’s former Chelsea striker Costa allegedly told official Gil Manzano: “I s**t on your f***ing mother”.
If Solskjaer’s jaw dropped at that tirade, it might have fallen even lower when Suarez and Messi turned on the style in the last five minutes for United’s Champions league quarter-final opponents.
Because until Messi awoke in the last half-hour, Barca struggled to break down ten-mman Atletico.
With Suarez especially quiet before that, and Philippe Coutinho still not matching his Liverpool form, Barcelona mostly had to rely on Messi for inspiration
And despite Messi’s muted start, it was from the Argentina maestro’ss superb pass that Jordi Alba hit the post in the 14th minute.
And as Barca upped the tempo, Coutinho swapped passes with Suarez for a low shot well saved by Atletico keeper Jan Oblak.
Costa was sent off almost straight after that but it just made Atletico more stubborn in defence.
Messi fired an effort straight at Oblak on 56 minutes as the second period continued in the same fashion – Barcelona pressing without totally convincing.
But Messi weaved through for a mis-hit shot before teeing up Suarez, who was only foiled by Rodri’s brilliant block.
And as both Messi and barca went up through the gears, the 31-year-old evaded Antoine Griezmann for a long-ranger that Oblak grabbed at the second attempt, with Suarez ready to pounce.
Griezmann had a rare Atletico chance – a free-kick round the wall – easily foiled by home keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Then Messi stormed forward, forcing Oblak into a shapr double save – from the playmaker’s bottom-corner drive and sub Malcom’s follow-up effort.
Yet a far better opportunity came for Rodri when he nodded a Griezmann free-kick wide when completely free at the backpost.
But finally the pressure told.
Suarez fired home a cracker on 85 minutes.
Then, almost inevitably, and even more majestically Messi killed the game off two minutes later.