Jan Oblak (7): This was Oblak’s worst performance in a while, and he was not even that bad. He only conceded from two set pieces where individual errors from defenders cost him the goals. It feels like Oblak is letting in too many goals this season, but that could be due to his defense being quite bad and a manager who more often than not orders his players to sit back and absorb pressure.
Santiago Arias (7.5): Probably the best of the back four today, Arias has been really good since coming into the squad into the last few weeks. It’s been really good to have that solid full back on one side at least, hopefully by next season Atléti will have two.
Stefan Savic (6.5): Overall Savic was fine today, but as always watching Savic was not a calm experience. His fellow defenders were worse, which makes his performance look better than it likely was. Amazingly, Savic registered an assist today, providing Griezmann with the pass to put Atléti 3-2 up.
Diego Godín (6): On the second terrible corner of the second half, Diego Godín let Enes Ünal get space at the back post to head the ball into the danger area and eventually the back of the net. Atléti’s defending of corners this season has been terrible, and that continued today.
Filipe Luis (6): Unfortunately for Filipe, this season seems to just not get any easier. Though Atléti are desperate for full backs, when called upon Filipe has shown that he may have begun the downward trend of the age curve. For Valladolid’s first goal on 57’, Filipe was the man beaten from the corner, leaving a free header for Calero, who made no mistake. Three minutes later, Filipe was hooked for Thomas Partey, ending another rough day for the Brazilian.
Ángel Correa (7): Correa played an important part in the first goal, finding Griezmann on the way to Kalinić scoring. After that though, his impact was pretty limited and could not find a way to impact the match during the second half. He was the final player
Koke (7): The midfield duo of Koke and Rodri was absolutely excellent today, and is becoming quite a good partnership, which is great to see because Koke was struggling to start the year. If he can find his role within this midfield, especially now that Rodri can more than handle some of the duties for Koke where he isn’t as strong.
Rodri (7): Again, Rodri showed that regardless of the noise or problems going on around him, he is capable of putting in a good performance. That kind of stability is invaluable in the midfield, especially in the role that Rodri plays. His passing was excellent again, and he just glides around the pitch with such confidence that he has been by far Atléti’s MVP of the first half. Perhaps one of his best contributions was a shot he had blocked after rifling the ball into Savic’s backside, the ball found its way to Griezmann who scored.
Saúl (5.5): Credited with the own goal that was the fault of Godín, Saúl has found it difficult to readjust to midfield after a couple games at left back. He would eventually have to play left back once Filipe came off, which is just getting ridiculous that a player of Saúl’s quality is being put in these situations by his coach.
Antoine Griezmann (9): It was Griezmann’s pass that was responsible for the opening goal on 26 minutes, scything through the Valladolid defense to find a wide open Kalinić to finish. The Frenchman also earned his side a penalty for handball on the stroke of halftime, which was confirmed by VAR. The penalty was dispatched beautifully into the top right corner by Griezmann, who had a very tidy first half with a goal and an assist. Griezmann would strike again in the second half, but not until 10 minutes from time once Valladolid had equalized. After some pinball, Savic found Griezmann who calmly restored Atléti’s lead.
Nikola Kalinić (8): The great run of form and appearances for Kalinić goes on in Diego Costa’s absence, but he has really gone from strength to strength. He’s not the type of striker like Griezmann or Correa who are far more involved in all phases of the match, whereas Kalinić is very much a fixed point for others to make runs off of. The finish for Atléti’s opening goal was excellent, but more importantly was how good of a short run it was to open up space on the Croat’s right foot. On 69’ Kalinić was brought off for Vitolo, capping off what was a good day and performance for Nikola.
Subs: Gelson, Vitolo and Thomas all got off the bench today, and all looked lively in their cameos. Vitolo and Gelson in particular were good at progressing the ball, in particular making dribbles that could open up space and allow Atléti to kill some time. Thomas was good too, largely taking Saúl’s job as he moved to left back. Thomas did almost score a wondergoal with one minute left in regular time, but it flashed just over the bar.