Axel Werner (7.5): After Atlético Madrid’s opener, Lokomotiv Moscow piled on the pressure, taking many shots at Werner’s net. He saved two, but was caught a bit lacking after a third effort from quite some distance that he could not keep out. After that, Werner made a handful of saves and organized the team well on set-pieces.
Juanfran (8): Following his sensational first leg performance, Juanfran had a long shot tipped onto the bar on 35 minutes and was his vintage active self down the right wing. He did very well making interceptions and was very active defensively, but he was removed at halftime due to muscular irritation.
Diego Godín (7): Solid as ever. Godín seems to be really benefitting from having a younger, more athletic partner alongside him to do the things he struggles to do nowadays. There wasn’t much for the pharaoh to do other than hoof the ball up the pitch every once in a while.
José Giménez (7.5):There were some hairy moments for the Uruguayan, but he can be forgiven given the harsh conditions of the match. For the most part he shepherded Jefferson Farfán well, and that was for the best, as Farfán’s pace against Godín would not have been pretty.
Filipe Luís (8): A typically perfect night for Filipe when he was on the pitch. The Brazilian picked up an assist for Atlético’s second, supplying a great pass for Saúl Ñíguez. Unfortunately, he had to be stretchered off with a left leg injury on 60 minutes.
Saúl (8.5): Afforded a freer role with Gabi and Thomas alongside him, Saúl made many more adventurous runs into the box than he is typically allowed in Liga play. This paid off right at the start of the second half as the Spaniard combined well with Filipe, and the Brazilian returned the favor so Saúl could score Atlético’s second with a calm finish on his weaker foot. The midfielder got a well-deserved rest on 60 minutes.
Gabi (7): It seems odd that the elder statesman of the Atleti midfield is not the player chosen to sit deepest to conserve his energy, but Diego Simeone seemingly prefers for his captain to be more involved in the attack.
Thomas (8): Simeone also sees Thomas as the ideal defensive midfielder for his team, as he sat deepest in a team that featured four central midfielders. Thomas’ role was to pick up the ball from the central defenders and either make the pass, or use his athleticism to make a run into space, allowing for Atleti to be a bit more expansive. Not only did he do his defensive duty, he also had two really good efforts saved by Anton Kochenkov.
Koke (7.5): Still operating in a wide role, Koke was very active in this match and linked play very well. He was committed as usual with his defensive duties. Nothing eye-catching, but kept the team ticking over and was typically surgical with his passing. He did well to play a dummy and let the ball run for Saúl, who scored Atleti’s second at the beginning of the second half.
Ángel Correa (9.5): The little Argentine continued his nice run of form with a tremendous run into the Lokomotiv box and a sensational placed shot into the side netting just 16 minutes into the match. Koke was on hand to play the one-two with Correa, who again showed his natural talent in both pace and close control. Correa did a lot of running in this match, and a good assist on 70 minutes underscored his hard work as Fernando Torres slotted home. After a sensational sombrero flick just five minutes from time, he set up Griezmann who finished with a sensational chip.
Fernando Torres (9): In the first half, Torres was active in holding up the ball and had a really good chance to score that was straight at the keeper. El Niño was quieter in the second half, but took the penalty on 65’ that Griezmann won, and converted well to further kill the tie. He followed that up just five minutes later with another goal (like London buses) taken in trademark placed fashion after a good pass from Correa.
Šime Vrsaljko (7): Vrsaljko picked up where Juanfran left off and was excellent in the Spaniard’s place.
Antoine Griezmann (9): His first involvement after coming on for Saúl was to win a penalty after a surging run into the box. It was an obvious penalty, and it was a nice gesture from him to let Torres take it. He did get on the score sheet himself after a great pass from Correa, when the Frenchman chipped Kochenkov in sensational fashion, scoring his second world class goal in European competition this season.
Lucas Hernández (7): Was good when he came on, though it was obvious that the team lost the attacking threat from the left flank once Filipe went off. Defensively though, Lucas was excellent, making a couple crucial interceptions and headers to clear danger.
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