Jan Oblak, GK: 6
Rarely challenged on the night, held his own when Rostov did manage to string some passes together late in the game.
Juanfran, RB: 8
Julen Lopetegui may not see a use for him, but Juanfran again flashed his credentials as one of the top full backs on the continent Wednesday. His crossing proved dangerous for Rostov, as evidenced by the cross that created Yannick Carrasco’s winner, and other than a needless yellow card he was unshakable in defense.
Stefan Savic, CB: 7
Was involved in one mixup midway through the first half that led to a chance for Sardar Azmoun. Otherwise barely put a foot wrong. The mustachioed Montenegrin has become so dependable next to Diego Godin.
Diego Godin, CB: 7
Like his partner in the center of defense, Godin did not have a whole lot to do but was his usual excellent self when called upon. Both of Rostov’s starting forwards were hauled off before full time, and Godin’s positional awareness and leadership guided the back four through what could have been a tricky game; Rostov had not lost at home since May 2015.
Filipe Luis, LB: 7
The Brazilian was very good on the left side, taking tons of touches and playing smart, creative, quick passes. Filipe and Juanfran again demonstrated why they are the best full back tandem in Europe right now.
Angel Correa, RM: 5
After bagging a goal and an assist against Granada at the weekend, Diego Simeone handed Correa another start in the cold, unforgiving Russian climate. This one did not go as well. Correa missed two sitters in the first half and was struggling when Simeone removed him before the hour. It’s great that he’s seen more playing time, however, and the consistency will come.
Gabi, CM: 7
A workmanlike 90 minutes from the captain. He snuffed out Rostov half-chances in the center-right of midfield and had success winning the ball in the air. Helped keep the midfield - which is Increasingly becoming Koke’s domain - under control.
Koke, CM: 7
Koke is taking more and more control in the center of the park, and it is good to see him bark out directions, circulate the ball and dictate tempo from a more natural position. He did drift to the left some as Atletico’s build up play was very fluid, but when a pass needed to be made to keep things ticking, Koke made it. (A quick aside: his set piece form from 2013-14 is gone and I don’t know when it’s coming back.)
Yannick Carrasco, LM: 8
He struggled to score, now he can’t stop. Carrasco notched the only goal of the match - his second in this season’s Champions League and his fifth in the last four games - by collecting a Juanfran cross at the back post and hammering it into the net. The Belgian was pretty dangerous throughout, but was at his best when playing within the flow of the team, rather than taking on every last Rostov defender. (Not that we want to dissuade him from doing that.)
Antoine Griezmann, FW: 7
It’s a bit strange that Griezmann has not scored yet in this season’s Champions League, but he’s managed to find ways to exert his influence anyway. He may have registered just a single shot Wednesday, but Griezmann found spots all around the final third and used his exemplary vision to find runs and create chances.
Fernando Torres, FW: 6
Torres came very close to opening his Champions League account for this season by nodding a header off the roof of the net in the second half. His running and aerial prowess were important, and his decoy act in front of the net just after the hour freed up Carrasco to claim the goal.
Kevin Gameiro, FW: 5
Entered for Correa in the 57th minute. The fast Frenchman was bundled up on the bench and found it hard to break into open space when he was called upon. Now has a return engagement at Sevilla to look forward to this weekend.
Saul Niguez, LM: N/A
Entered for Carrasco in the 89th minute. Got to test out his ankle and help see out the game.
Tiago, CM: N/A
Entered for Griezmann in added time. He, too, was brought on to ensure Atletico sealed the three points.