Jan Oblak (8.5): The beastly Slovenian stopper returned after picking up a mildly concerning injury midweek that saw Axel Werner make his debut. Despite clearly not being 100 percent Oblak made some vital interventions, particularly nine minutes from time, when he made a solid save to maintain his clean sheet.
Šime Vrsaljko (8.5): Vrsaljko has been able to lock down the right side of the pitch for Atlético Madrid as they’ve struggled to find consistent wingers. Šime has had a lot of work to do and looks back to his pre-injury form.
Diego Godín (7.5): In the first half, Godín was probably Atleti’s most dangerous attacking player, which gives you an idea of what kind of match it was. The big center back got his head on a Koke set piece and very nearly opened the scoring. The experienced defender nearly gave away a goal, however, when he lost possession in his own box just five minutes before halftime, but Celta Vigo squandered the opportunity.
José Giménez (8): Joséma picked up a rare assist, heading down (unintentionally) for Antoine Griezmann’s opener. He also found himself on goal kick duty in order to guard against further damage to Oblak.
Lucas Hernández (8): After playing really well midweek in the center of defense, Lucas was deployed on the left Sunday and was equally good.
Koke (8.5): Much, much better from Koke, who has made progress in finding a role in this Atleti team. With this team composition, Koke is the team’s best passer not named Griezmann and always has a killer ball in his locker if necessary. As the season has progressed, Koke has improved at linking the team together in a way that is vital for scoring goals.
Vitolo (8.5): Vitolo showed Simeone why he should start regularly, as he contributed a great deal to Atlético’s play at both ends of the pitch. Vitolo really put a shift in during the first half, presumably exactly what Simeone would have wanted from a winger in his system. His hard work paid off in the second half, when he got on the end of a great reverse pass by Griezmann, and chipped Blanco wonderfully on 55 minutes. Just a couple minutes later, he was replaced by Ángel Correa, but this was his best performance in an Atlético shirt thus far.
Saúl (7.5): Consistent and quite good from Saúl today. No shots from a million miles away in this match, but seemingly Saúl is getting more and more comfortable everywhere in midfield.
Gabi (7.5): Still solid from the captain. There are few times when Gabi misplaces a pass, as he often completes more than 80 percent of his passes, but these days his defensive involvement is less than in previous years.
Diego Costa (7): It has been a frustrating couple weeks for Costa, who has been in the middle of a dry spell in terms of goals. Sunday was no different, but what can never be questioned about Costa is his commitment and work ethic. The striker was obviously frustrated when he was withdrawn for Fernando Torres, and even more worrying was that he appeared to be suffering from an injury to his right foot as he walked down the tunnel.
Antoine Griezmann (9): After a difficult match at Camp Nou, Griezmann got back on the score sheet with a very calmly taken goal just one minute before halftime. The ball from the corner came to Griezmann on the edge of the six-yard box, and Antoine blasted it in the top right corner, leaving Rubén with no chance. The Frenchman’s glowing form continued as he provided a great assist for Vitolo to double the lead. Kévin Gameiro replaced him on 69 minutes.
Ángel Correa (8.5): On 63’ the Argentine got on the end of a pass from Koke, had his initial effort blocked, but maintained possession and drove a shot hard and low to the left corner for Atlético’s third.
Kévin Gameiro (5): Didn’t get a lot of service, and was not hugely involved when he did. Should get 90 minutes in Russia on Thursday.
Fernando Torres (5): Same as Gameiro, nothing of note, did well to maintain possession, but other than that, Torres was not involved that often.
Mattress Maker of the Match:
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