Jan Oblak (8): It almost gets to be routine writing about Oblak performances. Solid as anything when called upon, but consistently his most impressive trait is being able to make saves after long periods of no involvement. Radamel Falcao had the best chance to rob Jan of a clean sheet, but even he could not beat the Slovenian, missing the net entirely from the spot.
Santiago Arias (7): Arias is getting opportunities to prove himself within this lineup, and in his last two matches has shown two different sides to his game. Against Barcelona, Arias was tasked with defending one of football’s most productive attacking fullbacks the last five years. Against Monaco, Arias was staked out in the opposition half, hugging the line and serving as an attacking option, which was billed as one of the stronger aspects of his game.
Stefan Savić (4): It was only a matter of time before Savić reminded us why it is always worrisome when he gets an extended run in the team. He completed all 54 of his passes, which is extraordinary for a center back. However, he also gave away a penalty and got sent off.
Lucas Hernández (8): Far more important in the absence Atlético Madrid’s first team center backs is just how impressive Lucas has been in that role. He completed 90% of his passes and made no mistakes defensive. While left back has been a black hole for Atlético this season, Lucas is too good in the center to be deployed there.
Filipe Luís (7): Compared to the weekend’s defensive nightmare, Filipe did a fine job at left back — still not marauding like he used to, but performing his job well. It was perhaps a surprise that Filipe has played so much football, but Atlético’s lack of any senior left backs or any first team-ready academy products ready to fill that role leaves Diego Simeone little choice.
Thomas Lemar (7.5): Lemar played a vital role in the first goal against his former club — just a minute into the match. From his own half, the Frenchman made a darting run through the midfield to open up plenty of space ahead of him into which the attackers ran, and this eventually resulted in Koke’s deflected goal.
Thomas Partey (7): As can be expected of Thomas, he played well if unspectacularly. There have been rumblings of Thomas being discontent with his playing time, and though he has certainly never played himself out of the team, his contributions have yet to reach the heights they did at times last year.
Rodri (8.5): Another stunner for Rodri, who has taken to his role like a duck to water in almost every way. It was his ball that beautifully cut through Monaco’s defense and ended with Antoine Griezmann putting the ball into the back of the net. For a player of his age, it is incredibly rare to show that much confidence and poise on the pitch in what is arguably the most important position in modern football. Combine that with the fact this is his THIRD full professional season, starting for his new club in the Champions League.
Koke (7.5): The captain looked more like himself, if still lacking involvement somewhat. Koke got fewer touches of the ball than any of Atleti’s defenders and midfielders. For some reason, he has struggled to really stamp his authority on matches, but he’s still capable of special moments — and though his goal was deflected, it was a good look for a long shot and it paid off.
Ángel Correa (7.5): Probably Correa’s best performance this season to date. He assisted Griezmann’s goal with a great run and devastating cutback. He was lively defensively, too, with three tackles in addition to his attacking work.
Antoine Griezmann (8): Atleti’s best player put in another solid performance this season, and it is likely the form and security of Griezmann’s future which has made his start to this season better than last year’s. Though he is not playing to his full capability yet, it is good that he can still pop up even in matches where he’s not the most involved. This was more of the dominant Griezmann, with more shots than anyone on the pitch and joint-most key passes of any player.
Saúl (6): Saúl’s quest to play every single minute of football possible goes on, but without anything of note this time around.
Vitolo (6.5): From his sub appearances, Vitolo has looked more of the player Atlético thought they were getting when they signed him. Now he just needs to get some starts under his belt.
Nikola Kalinić (5): We’re still waiting for something promising from Kalinić. Granted, his opportunities have been few and far between as Simeone’s fourth-choice striker at the moment.
Mattress Maker of the Match versus Monaco:
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