Jan Oblak (8.5): The Slovenian was called into action far earlier than usual when Luis Muriel tested him in the fourth minute, but he made a great reaction save down to his right. After that, there was nothing much for Oblak to do, as his defenders did a much better job protecting their keeper. He would not keep a clean sheet though, with Pablo Sarabia scoring just five minutes from time and Nolito adding another three minutes from time.
Šime Vrsaljko (7.5): An unspectacular match from Vrsaljko, who was often involved in the build up but struggled to involve himself in the final third. But he was strong defensively and has been vital to Atlético Madrid’s second half surge.
José Giménez (8): Another very mature performance from the young Uruguayan, who looks like he makes a great partner for his compatriot Godín. It’s been a great period of form for the very promising defender, who could solidify a first team place in Stefan Savić’s absence.
Diego Godín (8): It becomes difficult to say how solid Godín is as a center back because he is the model of consistency. He simply knows exactly what he’s doing.
Filipe Luís (8): Filipe looked sharper from the start and combined well with Diego Costa, a partnership that has been fruitful in the past. After Atlético went up comfortably, the Brazilian did not make as many forward runs, content to stay back when Atleti pushed forward and adding solidity.
Thomas (8.5): Continuing his run in the team, Thomas partnered Gabi in central midfield and primarily sat back, but when the opportunity came, he showed comfort making forward runs. Frankly, Thomas has looked the best in that central midfield role and deserved to play there, as he continued to be disciplined defensively (4/4 on tackles). Ángel Correa replaced him on 63 minutes.
Gabi (8): Despite no longer being able to dominate matches in the way he used to, Gabi provides a very strong option in the middle of the park, and is so solid with ball progression, and putting a foot in when needed.
Koke (8.5): Playing on the left wing is not Koke’s strong suit, but he did well in the first half, completing an impressive triangle between himself, Costa and Filipe. After Sevilla again coughed up the ball in their own penalty area midway through the second half, Griezmann pounced and back heeled it into Koke’s path, and the canterano finished well from about seven yards out. The midfielder was substituted on 71 minutes for Vitolo.
Saúl (8): Fairly indifferent from Saúl after a good performance against Athletic Bilbao, but this was likely because of the awkward positional fit. Clearly, this formation does not get the best out of either Koke or Saúl — but based on today’s performance, it’s more beneficial to the team as a whole. After the Thomas substitution, Saúl returned to the center of the park and was much more involved. A great surging run into the box allowed the young Spaniard to feed Griezmann for his third and Atleti’s fifth.
Antoine Griezmann (9.5): Griezmann scored a special goal with his weaker foot at the end of the first half, curling a ball into the top corner to make it 2-0. It came from a sloppy period of play from Atleti, but some hard work from Koke kept the ball in, and it ultimately ended up at Griezmann’s feet. After Sergio Rico took out Costa for a penalty, Grizi took charge of the spot-kick and finished calmly into the bottom left corner. The Frenchman then pounced on an atrocious back pass from Sevilla to unselfishly feed Koke for what could have been Griezmann’s hat trick goal. He very nearly got said hat trick when he rattled Rico’s post after a long, searching ball, and he got that elusive third by striking the ball from near the penalty spot after a great cutback from Saúl.
Diego Costa (9): Costa acquainted himself with the Sevilla defenders early on in the match, forcing Jesus Navas off with a calf injury. Costa would be booked on 28 minutes for simulation, but on the resulting free kick, Sevilla coughed up the ball in the penalty area and Costa made no mistake putting it beyond Rico for 1-0. Early in the second half, Costa at last won Atlético’s first penalty of this La Liga season, which Griezmann dispatched. The Brazilian-born Spaniard was brilliant, and got a cheeky 15-minute rest when he was substituted for Gameiro.
Ángel Correa (7): Nothing special off the bench for Correa, but gave Simeone the width he needed.
Vitolo (7.5): Quite a good run out for Vitolo, of course entering the match as public enemy #1. Nearly scored on his second playing return to the Pizjuán.
Kévin Gameiro (7): Solid from the Europa League Maestro, who came on to give Costa a rest, provide some extra running up front and generally troll fans of his old team.
Mattress Maker of the Match:
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