Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea: Blues Must Stop Diego Costa to Stifle Atleti

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Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea: Blues Must Stop Diego Costa to Stifle Atleti
Associated Press
Diego Costa is second in La Liga in scoring with 27 goals this season.

If Chelsea have any chance of advancing to the Champions League final, they must find a way to stifle La Liga’s second-leading scorer, Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa.

Remarkably, Costa is fit to return for the first leg of this semi-final despite suffering a severe gash two weeks ago on his knee.

Costa collided with the goalpost while scoring the second goal in a 2-0 victory against Getafe.

Upon seeing the gruesome injury, many feared the worst and felt they had lost their star striker for the season. Considering Costa has carried this team to its first Champions League semi-final since 1974, as well as a comfortable first place in the league, a season-ending injury would have been disastrous.

Now, it is up to Chelsea captain John Terry to stop Costa, whose 27 league goals are sandwiched between Cristiano Ronaldo’s 28 and Lionel Messi’s 26.

Matt Dunham
John Terry (right) must do what he does best to stop Costa tonight: Frustrate him and take him off his game.

Although Costa has been linked to a Chelsea move this summer, Terry must put that aside and do what he does best: Frustrate opposing strikers.

Terry is no longer as physically gifted as he was in his youth, but the 33-year-old’s positioning and instincts are second to none. Moreover, he is not afraid to clash with anyone on the field either.

If anyone is going to take Diego Costa off his game mentally and physically, it is John Terry.

Furthermore, Costa has a knack for losing his temper and getting in multiple on-field skirmishes. 

Much of Costa’s headstrong nature is due to exclusively playing street football until the age of 16. He has developed a ruthless attitude, which causes as many controversies as it does goals. Costa has contributed an efficient seven Champions League goals in six games so far.

Thus, pairing Terry and Costa seems like a perfect recipe for Chelsea success.

Terry could have a field day harassing Costa, setting up a much more comfortable second leg at home next week.

On the other hand, Costa and Atleti are aware of this matchup. They will coach Costa into maintaining his composure and staying focused on the importance of this semi-final matchup. Atletico are attempting an unprecedented double, as they have a chance to win both the Champions League and La Liga.

Upon closer look, they have a very strong chance to accomplish the feat.

A focused Costa makes that even more possible.

Look no further than this tweet from Squawka, detailing just how sensational the Brazilian-born Spanish international has been:

If Chelsea plan to keep the 6'2", 187-pound Costa away from goal, they need a prototypical English defender who can impose his will on strikers. There are fewer defenders who exemplify this standard better than the 6'2", 175-pound Terry.

The battle of Terry vs. Costa could ultimately decide this epic semi-final leg.

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