DIEGO COSTA lived up to his reputation as he struck four goals – and then sparked a 22 man brawl as Atletico Madrid thrashed Real Madrid in New York.
Costa went from sublime to ridiculous as he stole the show with a brilliant display in Atleti’s 7-3 victory before being sent off after an hour.
The former Chelsea star kicked out at Real’s Dani Carvajal, leading to the two players locking horns in the middle of the pitch as team-mates rushed into join the melee.
Both Costa, 30, and Carvajal were shown red cards as the high-profile friendly in the MetLife Stadium boiled over.
Players from both sides then had to be pulled apart and Real boss Zinedine Zidane was forced to run onto the pitch to calm his team down.
The incident overshadowed a stunning display from Atleti which heaped humiliation on their Madrid rivals.
Zidane and Diego Simeone named strong sides for the International Champions Cup match, but Real were stunned as they fell 4-0 down inside just 20 minutes.
Costa struck a first-half hat-trick along with goals from £114million new signing Joao Feliux and Angel Correa to ensure they led 5-0 by the break.
Real, featuring Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos and Thibaut Courtois, were completely outclassed as Zidane was given a taste of just how big his job will be to turn the club’s fortunes around this season.
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Gareth Bale was again left on the bench amid suggestions he is closing in on a £1m-a-week move to the Chinese Super League.
The second half was no different for Real as Atleti scored again within six minutes when Costa struck his fourth.
Only when Bale came on the pitch did Zidane’s side show any signs of improvement but that could not stop the side crashing to a 7-3 defeat which will heap pressure on the manager.