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Costa fumes referees 'want to give me a card', but Simeone plays down penalty row

Diego Costa was enraged after helping Atletico Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0, claiming referees "want to give me a card" after he was denied a first-half penalty.

Costa followed up Kevin Gameiro's opener to keep up Atletico's fine recent form, although a first-half incident was sharp in his focus post-match.

The Spain striker was clumsily felled by Unai Nunez in the area, but referee Jose Luis Gonzalez waved away appeals, prompting furious protests from Costa that eventually saw him booked.

Atletico have not been awarded a penalty in domestic competitions this season, and Costa was in suitably conspiratorial mood after the game.

"Some people are crazy about me, you can't change that, they want to give me a card," Costa told beIN Sports.

"The press invents many things about me. It's simply not necessary to lie and invent stories."

Simeone was far more tranquil when pressed on a similar matter in his news conference, attempting to defuse a discussion he believes puts unfair pressure on officials.

"The more we talk about it, the worse it becomes for the referees," he said.

"They then arrive in our matches with the thought of needing to give a penalty, and it consumes them as they read and listen to it all week.

"As such, the more we talk about not getting penalties then the less penalties they will give us."