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Atlético Madrid 3-1 RCD Espanyol: Player ratings

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Morata and Correa combined again in a much-needed win.

Atletico Madrid v Espanyol - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Starting XI:

Oblak (6): Espanyol‘s Sergi Darder scored from his side’s only shot on target. Oblak has conceded a few from to outside the area this season, but the blast to the far post was precipitated by a Thomas Partey error.

Trippier (7.5): The Englishman rebounded defensively and produced a positive display with three clearances, three interceptions and three aerials won. did well to stop the opposition, winning all six of his challenges on the ground and three in the air. His crossing wasn’t overly dangerous, but he attempted 10 and that volume crossing is another dimension Atlético Madrid need.

Felipe (6.5): The Felipe-Hermoso pairing completed its fourth consecutive game together and has encountered a few difficulties. The Brazilian’s five clearances tied for the team lead and he improved greatly after a terrible time in Germany.

Hermoso (6.5): Hermoso continues to look a little shaky — particularly with the ball at his feet — but the ex-Espanyol man made clearances when needed.

Saúl (7): Saúl took over at left back for the even-shakier Renán Lodi — and though it isn’t his favorite position, Diego Simeone’s Swiss Army knife still towered above the opposition. Literally — he won 11 headers in a focused defensive performance Atlético needed.

Koke (7): Koke mostly played on the left and played a good all-around game, aiding the usual midfielder, Saúl, in the back. The errant Thomas pass which con Espanyol’s goal was intended for him but it is tough to assign him too much blame. He got a goal himself in stoppage time, his first of the season.

Herrera (7.5): Another well-rounded outing from an Atlético midfielder. Offensively, he showed great aggression with five shots and a key dummy immediately before Koke’s goal. He also offered balance with his reliable passing and work ethic.

Partey (6): Thomas’ fiery start to the season has fizzled in recent games, the light flickering on and off in correlation with the mistakes popping up in his play. His failed pass to Koke and subsequent mistimed tackled led to the visiting team’s goal. The Ghanaian’s ball over the top to Álvaro Morata at the end of the first half did help Atlético bring the game level through Ángel Correa, but he picked up a yellow card late and will miss the trip to Granada following the international break.

Atletico Madrid v Espanyol - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Vitolo (7.5): Vitolo’s specialty — taking up possession and driving right at defenders — offered a breath of fresh air to a congested attack. In the 58th minute, the winger’s perfectly-weighted pass resulted in Morata’s goal, which stood up as the winner.

Correa (8): The connection between Correa and Morata seems to be growing stronger, as the latter assisted the former deep into first half stoppage time on this occasion. The Argentine created four good chances and enters the international break in great form.

Morata (8.5): Six goals in the last six matches for the big man up top. He is in seriously inspired form, as his timing and his runs were on point. His lofted cross in the dying minutes of the first half made the tying goal, and his well-placed finish in the second half fired Atlético into the lead.

Subs:

Lemar (N/A): Made little impact in his 15 minutes after he replaced Vitolo, but did show some drive and intensity.

Diego Costa (5): Costa hustled and picked up an assist in second half stoppage time as his cross(!) found Koke alone in the 18-yard box.

Llorente (N/A): Thrown on for Correa in the 89th minute. He won a couple headers but nothing else.

Poll

Mattress Maker of the Match:

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Vitolo
    (306 votes)
  • 8%
    Correa
    (60 votes)
  • 40%
    Morata
    (305 votes)
  • 10%
    Other
    (75 votes)
746 votes total Vote Now