By Peter Hall
EASTRUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) – Diego Costa scored four goals as Real Madrid were embarrassed 7-3 by rivals Atletico Madrid in the final match of their United States tour in New Jersey on Friday.
Real fielded a strong side once again, with new signings Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic starting up front and Gareth Bale again on the bench, but were 5-0 down at the end of a shambolic first half.
Atletico fielded a host of new arrivals, including club record signing Joao Felix, who immediately caught Real cold on the counter before playing Costa in for his opening goal in the first minute.
The 120 million euro (107.4 million pounds) signing Felix got among the goals himself seven minutes later before Angel Correa, an early substitute for the injured Alvaro Morata, shocked Real with a third in the 19th minute.
Saul Niguez capitalised on more slack defending from Real to thread through to Costa who fired in the fourth with just 28 minutes on the clock.
Costa capped a disastrous half for Real in stoppage time, winning a penalty before converting from the spot.
The punishment did not stop after the break, as Felix again fed Costa six minutes into the second half before Nacho pulled one back for Real near the hour-mark.
The Costa onslaught ended abruptly, with he and Real’s Dani Carvajal both red-carded for fighting, adding further drama to an incredible friendly.
Vitolo added a fine seventh for Atletico, before Karim Benzema and Javi Hernandez scored late for Real to avoid what would have been the side’s biggest defeat to their city rivals in a competitive match.
Humbled Real head home with no wins from their three games in the U.S.
(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Ian Ransom)