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Valencia 0-2 Atletico Madrid: Player Ratings

Atletico go provisionally top after winning a wild game at Mestalla

Valencia CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Jan Oblak, GK: 8

Jan Oblak’s daily routine: wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, collect a clean sheet. This one was tougher than normal, though, as Valencia challenged Oblak throughout and the Slovene had to come up with a dazzling point-blank save on Eliaquim Mangala in the dying moments.

Juanfran, RB: 7

Notched the assist on Kevin Gameiro’s goal with a fantastic long ball from behind the halfway line. Steady as ever in the final third, eventually won his battle with Nani after the Portuguese had him by the neck early in the game.

Stefan Savic, CB: 6

Savic normally wins a good percentage of his aerial battles, but he did not win one Sunday. Valencia tried to catch him out with pace and width, and while the Montenegrin didn’t play his finest game, he was good enough.

Lucas Hernandez, CB: 8

A splendid performance from the opening minutes. The 20-year-old showed calm, poise and a positional knowledge well beyond his years in a difficult atmosphere. He flashed great awareness and speed to take a goal away from Santi Mina with the game still in the balance early in the second half. Not bad for a fourth-choice center back. Such a talent.

Filipe Luis, LB: 8

Outstanding defensive performance, and again controlled rhythm and tempo in the final third. Throughout the game, Atletico’s wing play flowed through Filipe, and this was important in the second half, when Atleti upped its possession total to 60% for the game. Plus, the game’s winning goal came from his side.

Gabi, CM: 8

Other than a really poor penalty that Diego Alves could have saved in his sleep, Atleti’s captain was excellent Sunday. He broke up play with ease and consistency, teaming up with Juanfran to wipe out the left side for Valencia’s pacy attackers. Even after the missed pen he could have scored, as he struck the post from long range inside the last 15 minutes

Koke, CM: 7

Koke kept things ticking through the center of the park, playing simple passes and working openings for Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann and drifting toward the left wing when Atletico looked to counter.

Saul Niguez, CM: 5

A bit more attacking intent from the canterano, but things just didn't quite fall into place for Saul on Sunday. He lasted less than an hour for the second time in three games and could probably use a bit of rest (although Julen Lopetegui has called him up for Spain’s World Cup qualifiers or whatever it is they’re doing).

Angel Correa, FW: 5

Drew a penalty late in the first half. Was otherwise disappointing and unable to break into space. Correa as a super sub is fine, he’s very effective later on in games, but as the season wears on he will be called upon to deliver over 75-90 minutes.

Antoine Griezmann, FW: 7

Missed another penalty...but scored another match winner. Griezmann scored his goal (his sixth of the season) like he took his penalty: trying for the top of the net with all his might. The talisman was ineffective between the missed penalty and the goal, but he was terrific before the penalty, creating opportunities out of nothing and from anywhere on the pitch.

Kevin Gameiro, FW: 9

Sunday’s star of the show. All game long, Gameiro punished cheating defenders with his blinding speed, but in the 63rd minute a quick pass in the box for an onrushing Griezmann to blast home turned the game around. Gameiro got the goal he deserved very late in added time: after another run into the box, he put the moves on Alves and tore away in celebration. Gameiro has created six goals in seven league games and it appears that he fits Simeone’s system like a glove.

Yannick Carrasco, LM: 6

Entered for Saul in the 58th minute. Full of want and intent as ever, and he played a hand in Griezmann’s goal, setting up Fernando Torres for the save that got Alves out of position.

Fernando Torres, FW: 6

Entered for Correa in the 63rd minute. Can claim a hockey assist for Griezmann’s goal as Simeone again showed his deft touch with substitutions; Torres made an immediate impact. He had anot her good chance later in the game, when he struck a header just over the bar.

Tiago, CM: N/A

Entered for Griezmann in the 80th minute. Just back from injury, Tiago was booked almost immediately and came very close to seeing red as added time approached.