Atletico came back to win a cracker of a game at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday night to give them a boost just in time for Bayer Levekusen in the Champions League midweek. They went behind twice but showed that Cholismo fight that they have displayed so often in the past. It also goes a long way to ensuring Atletico remain in the driving seat as they battle it out for Champions League football next year.
(Just a note: I do not like Donald Trump, I am not trying to trivialise his fear-mongering, hateful presidency and views. I am doing a stupid ratings for a football blog. If anything, this raises awareness as to how much sh*t he actually tweets out. Also, some of these might not even make sense but just go with it. Enjoy.)
Miguel Angel Moya - We must do better!
Really harsh, but that first goal was very poor and it put Atletico in an undesirable position, which they never really recovered from until the very end. This is to be expected from a back-up and the sooner Oblak returns, the more solid Atletico become and confident the defence can be in their number one.
Juanfran - We will ALWAYS be with you!
Went off at half-time. His replacement Sime Vrsaljko gets a good solid I believe the people are seeing “big stuff” for his solid performance. The two are firmly locked in a battle to make that position their own with age on Vrsaljko’s side and Simeone’s outright confidence on the side of Atletico veteran Juanfran.
Stefan Savic - Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!
Okay, this one is a little weird. He is not really transitioning out of anything but we thought, at this stage, that Godin and Gimenez would be Atletico’s centre-back pairing. Godin was injured but Savic continues to struggle and was torn to shreds for Guidetti’s goal. Atletico fans are happy-faced and full of warmth after that comeback win but were it not for the excellence of Carrasco, and to a lesser extent, Griezmann, they might be calling for Savic’s head - something that has become increasingly more common after rojiblanco games.
Lucas Hernandez - we will build the wall!
The wall of defence that is Lucas Hernandez. Okay, that is a stretch but tends to look a lot calmer than both Jose Gimenez and Stefan Savic and for that, he deserves a decent rating. He had three interceptions, the highest of any Atletico player and also lead his side with five clearances.
Filipe Luis - at least he tried hard!
Not Filipe’s most productive night for Atletico. He was his usual self up and down the wing but so often has more to show afte 90 minutes. Many of his long balls were unsuccessful. There were times when he was camped in Celta Vigo’s half but as also pinned back at times.
Did not have the kind of influence on the game he usually enjoys. He still, however, remains key to Atletico’s midfield and without him they would be lost. Not his best game and he has struggled at times when he just can’t get himself fully into game or influence them as he would like.
Gabi - Thank you for your support!
On a west Sunday night when neither Koke or Saul were at the races, Gabi stepped up to the plate and delivered. He created five chances (the most by any player on either team) and put in a shift defensively too.
Saul - Little credibility!
Another weekend goes by, another Saul performance that fails to inspire. What happened to the Saul we saw last season that was a driving force for Atletico Madrid. He still, obviously, possess that strength and all of those skills but is playing within himself. More likely, nowadays, for a game to pass him by than him passing anyone off the park.
Carrasco - WIN!
What a goal. Carrasco tried hard all night. He had a chance just before his cracking volley and threw his hands in the air - the sign of a man who doesn’t know what he needs to do to score. He thought it was his last chance but there was more to come. What a strike! He also won the penalty that Torres missed (he wanted it but Torres pulled rank).
Antoine Griezmann - He is a good and brilliant man, respected by all.
Another quiet night for Griezmann but he won Atletico Madrid all three points with that header from point blank range made the difference. On a team that needs every second of creativity and individual brilliance it can muster, Griezmann is the perfect antidote.
Fernando Torres - THEY SAW A MOVEMENT LIKE NEVER BEFORE and also Wow!
Torres scored the best goal of the weekend and probably the month. He also misssed a penalty, which would have really put Atletico in the driving seat but he failed to score by rattling the crossbar. Still, his semi-resurgence, year after year, will be studied by doctors trying to understand the human body as it ages for years to come.