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Arsenal 1-1 Atlético Madrid: Player Ratings

Ratings from an eventful first leg.

Arsenal FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Leg One Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Starting XI:

Oblak (9): Absolutely sublime in net. After Šime Vrsaljko was sent off, there was initially some more added pressure before Atlético Madrid weathered the storm. Oblak was a major part in this. From the beginning of the game to the final whistle, Oblak came up big. Although he did not keep the cleansheet, Oblak kept Atlético in the game with a few fantastic saves.

Vrsaljko (4): After two yellow cards in less then 10 minutes, Šime was off the field. He went in with his studs twice and was shown a yellow on each takle. His sending off was a big blow to Atlético because they missed his pinpoint crosses. Obviously, it was a very poor outing for someone who has had trouble all season staying on the pitch for months at a time.

Giménez (7): Giménez had to move and deal with Arsenal’s quick passing. He did well, making seven clearances. His communication with Thomas helped to keep the backline solid.

Godín (8): Diego Godín was ready to play and showed it in the match. The captain made sure there was no miscommunication in the back when Vrsaljko was sent off and his many key interceptions disrupted Arsenal’s flow. The Uruguayan made nine clearances.

Lucas (6.5): The added pressure in the back did not agree well with Lucas. Hector Bellerín seemed to always have a step on him on the wing. Lucas was not as percise as he usually is with his passes and should have done better on the header Alexandre Lacazette hit to put the Gunners ahead.

Correa (6): Again Correa’s decision-making was up for questioning. He just seemed to be forcing the play too much up out wide. The Argentine didn’t see much of the ball, but when he did, he often tried to dribble around too many players or squeeze in a pass that just wasn’t there.

Thomas (8): When Thomas Partey’s name was called, he delivered. Thomas started at centermid but was later shifted into more of a rightback position to fill the void. He showed his quality in passing, dribbling and defending — he came up with seven interceptions and four tackles. Brilliant.

Saúl (7): Arsenal had 76 percent possession in the match and Atlético did what they do best in dropping back to contain the pressure. Saúl did not have much success up front but he was vital in defense — his versatility, like that of fellow canterano Thomas, proved key in helping to secure the draw.

Koke (6.5): Koke just could not get it going Thursday. No doubt helped by Atleti’s unwilligness to get forward for much of the match, the 26-year-old seemed almost nonexistent at times. Nevertheless, he tracked back dutifully and acted as one more warm body trying to keep out Arsenal.

Gameiro (6): Gameiro too felt the brunt of little attacking play. He had just one shot on target and was ultimately subbed off in the 65th minute for Gabi.

Griezmann (8.5): Griezmann’s class was evident on Thursday night, not least of which because he scored the equalizer. He’s a striker who is not afraid to work hard on defense and his defense was deffinetley needed. He dropped back and knew when to press up for a quick counter. His hard efforts were rewarded in the 82nd minute when he got the ball from Laurent Koscielny and after a save from David Ospina, grabbed the rebound and put the ball into the top of the net. The quick counter goal had shades of a semifinal goal he scored two years ago: in the Champions League against Bayern Munich.

Subs:

Gabi (6): Gabi did well in his role to keep the focus levels high and the tempo strong when Atleti had the ball.

Savić (6): Savić was a smart defensive move for the last 15 minutes. He used his fresh legs to reinvigerate the backline.

Torres (NA): Torres played five minutes after being subbed on in the 85th minute and could not make much of an impact.

Poll

Mattress Maker of the Match:

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Antoine Griezmann
    (69 votes)
  • 58%
    Jan Oblak
    (143 votes)
  • 3%
    Diego Godín
    (9 votes)
  • 9%
    Thomas Partey
    (22 votes)
243 votes total Vote Now