Axel Werner, GK: 7
Very solid league debut for the Argentine. Was under pressure for the final 10-plus minutes but didn’t appear frazzled in the least.
Thomas Partey, RB: 8
His composure has never failed to impress, even as we’ve seen it all year. Even as he stands to finish a second straight season at right back, Thomas’ ball control and ball pressure helps the team wherever he plays.
Stefan Savić, CB: 7.5
A couple positional flubs in the first half, sterling otherwise. His 11 clearances led all players.
Lucas Hernández, CB: 7
Like Savić, Lucas struggled a bit in the first 45, but made up for a particularly egregious giveaway by tackling Munir as he blazed into the box 1v1. The Frenchman eventually moved to left back once Godín entered and finished with six tackles and six interceptions.
Šime Vrsaljko, LB: 6.5
Vrsaljko started at left back but that didn’t last too long — he played on the right for more than an hour Sunday. Alavés winger Alfonso Pedraza rather enjoyed that matchup and he nearly scored a brilliant equalizer. Otherwise, the Croatian won a fair share of aerial battles and helped create a couple chances.
Ángel Correa, RM: 3
Bad day for Correa, and that’s without mentioning the silly red card he picked up in the 94th minute. His decision-making was poor, his first touch abysmal and he was dispossessed more times than I can count. The 23-year-old has so much natural talent, but doesn’t have the tactical discipline and understanding that would put him in LaLiga’s upper echelon.
Gabi, CM: 7.5
Little defensive involvement, but very important as a midfield metronome after Koke’s exit. Though it’s really never been Gabi’s role, the captain’s excellent passing and requisite determination helped Atlético Madrid edge the midfield battle and go on to win the match.
Koke, CM: 7
Typically committed performance from the academy graduate, who completed better than 90 percent of his passes and helped out defensively whenever called upon. Diego Simeone was even able to give him some rest with Arsenal coming to town Thursday.
Vitolo, LM: 8
A whirling dervish of activity, Vitolo proved a handful down the left-hand side. He won the first of two Atlético penalties and should have scored a header if not for a remarkable save off the line by Fernando Pacheco. The 28-year-old didn’t commit a single foul — a problem for him mere weeks ago — and consistently did what he needed to do, not letting a few poor touches or misplaced passes stop him.
Diego Costa, FW: 5
Good news: Costa’s fit again. Bad news: he still isn’t getting reliable service and picked up a yellow card for telling Rubén Sobrino to catch these hands. He will serve a one-match suspension against Espanyol next Sunday.
Fernando Torres, FW: 6
Missed penalty aside, a positive, workmanlike display from El Niño, the kind that’s so important at the business end of a season.
Diego Godín, CB: 6
Entered for Koke in the 62nd minute. A weird one, as surely the preference was to have him rest again, but ultimately it was important to have him on after Atlético took the lead.
Kévin Gameiro, FW: 7
Entered for Costa in the 62nd minute. Buried the 78th minute penalty which stood as the winning goal. Of his seven league goals, five have gone on to become the match-winning strike.
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