Atletico Madrid 3-0 Valencia

Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa celebrates scoring against Valencia

Diego Costa scored two goals as Atletico Madrid went level with Barcelona at the top of La Liga after a comfortable win against Valencia.

The 25-year-old opened the scoring after an uneventful first half with a quality low finish after cutting into the Valencia penalty area.

Substitute Raul Garcia doubled the lead with an angled strike from seven yards before Costa missed a penalty.

But he made amends by scoring from the spot after being fouled again.

Costa now has 21 goals this season and he once again propelled Atletico to a deserved victory which sent them five points clear of neighbours Real Madrid.

More importantly they are on 43 points - the same number as Barcelona, who they entertain on 21 January.

Atletico, who last won La Liga in 1995-96, have now kept three successive clean sheets in La Liga.

Valencia are ninth in the table after a fifth defeat in eight games for Miroslav Dukic's side.

They were not helped by some poor defending which saw Victor Ruiz and Antonio Barragan concede needless penalties.