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Atlético Madrid 2-0 Athletic Club: Player Ratings

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Atlético continued their strong February with a convincing win over Athletic.

Atletico Madrid v Athletic Club - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Jan Oblak (8.5): In cruise control throughout. He had a moment of madness/brilliance when he played with the ball at his feet and dribbled beyond two Athletic players, and on the following sequence, Atlético Madrid scored. Coincidence? I think not.

Šime Vrsaljko (7): A mixed afternoon for the Croatian, as he took up good attacking positions, but his final ball was missing. Given how good his assist numbers have been this season and the quality of cross he’s put in, it’s not worth worrying about for now.

José Giménez (8.5): A monumental performance from Joséma, who looks like he may be coming into his own in the center of this defense. The Uruguayan completed 95 percent of his passes, which for a center back is fantastic.

Lucas Hernández (7): Lucas started the match well, as he completed all 20 of his attempted passes and chipped in a tackle. Unfortunately, he suffered a muscular injury that saw him withdrawn at the start of the second half. Get well soon, Lucas!

Filipe Luis (7.5): Though he played well Sunday, there were some worrying signs from Filipe. He looked a bit slow when in attacking positions, but hopefully this is just representative of him coming back from injury.

Thomas (8): Again Thomas showed his worth to this Atlético side, as well as an ability to bounce back. He struggled in the first half and beginning the second, struggling to complete passes at times. However, once Atleti took the lead, he became an all-action defensive midfielder, winning back possession on numerous occasions.

Saúl (8): Very mature performance from Saúl in the center of midfield. He’s capable of doing most everything on a football pitch and showed it against Athletic Bilbao, winning tackles, passing well and creating opportunities.

Ángel Correa (7): Only an okay day for Correa, who could not really get involved for long periods. He played a hand in the buildup for the first goal. Eventually he was substituted, but put in a decent shift.

Koke (7): The captain at the start of the match was much more active and effective than in recent weeks. A key improvement was in tackling, which is not a trait often associated with Koke. The midfielder/winger made three successful tackles, and completed better than 81 percent of his passes. However, on 59 minutes, Koke was substituted for Kévin Gameiro as Diego Simeone looked for the lead.

Antoine Griezmann (8.5): All in all a good day for Griezmann, who was perhaps unlucky not to score, but nevertheless assisted Gameiro for the opening goal. Griezmann seems to enjoy his new, more withdrawn role and looked as if he could be effective pulling the strings behind Gameiro and Diego Costa. He really worked his socks off too, winning four tackles.

Diego Costa (8.5): What can always be appreciated about Costa is that everyone knows how he is going to play. He will kick and push and fight his way to goal, and he certainly gets no favors from opposing defenders. Costa is crucial for Atleti because he will always take the shot, where players like Gameiro or Griezmann may look to pass. He is the focal point and showed how deadly he is one-on-one when Gameiro played a stellar pass into his path for the second goal.

Subs:

Diego Godín (8): The second captain on the day, Godín is the most desirable defensive substitute, and he did his job as always. The Uruguayan is nothing flashy at this age — he just turned 32 — but remains solid as ever.

Kévin Gameiro (9 - MMoTM): Out of nowhere comes Kévin Gameiro, who made a strong statement with a goal and then an assist for Costa. This was one of Simeone’s best substitutions of the season, as he made the desired impact and operated well alongside Griezmann and Costa, rather than in place of them. His finish was spectacular, and long may it continue!

Gabi (7.5): A quiet sub appearance for the day’s third captain but did what was required to maintain the result. Again, this is a great option to have off the bench, especially against a fairly strong team.

Poll

Mattress Maker of the Match:

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Gameiro
    (78 votes)
  • 10%
    Correa
    (14 votes)
  • 5%
    Gabi
    (8 votes)
  • 23%
    Godín
    (31 votes)
  • 2%
    Other
    (3 votes)
134 votes total Vote Now