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Atlético Madrid 0-1 FC Barcelona: Hosts waste first half chances in damaging defeat

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Rainy player ratings after Messi happened once more.

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Sonia Canada/Getty Images

Jan Oblak, GK: 4

Uncharacteristically unsteady. Oblak spilled a couple shots and managed to recover quickly thanks to his athletic gifts. His distribution has never been a great strength but it was particularly offline in this match. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen easily outshined his Atlético Madrid counterpart — who failed to keep a clean sheet for the seventh consecutive game.

Kieran Trippier, RB: 6.5

The England full back’s four key passes paced all players, Antoine Griezmann didn’t get around him much and he locked up Junior Firpo (though Barcelona’s left back struggled plenty on his own). He created one of his team’s best chances from a corner to Morata — Ter Stegen scooped it off the line.

Felipe Monteiro, CB: 6

The Brazilian put together a strong first half and benefitted from a more-reliable Hermoso. His passing was a bit risky but his underrated quickness kept him out of trouble.

Mario Hermoso, CB: 7.5

The ex-Real Madrid defender picked a good time to have his best game as a Rojiblanco. He saw a seventh-minute shot clatter off the base of the far post and forced Ter Stegen into another save 15 minutes later. He made six clearances and passed with confidence and accuracy (88 percent) — Saúl’s presence at left back may have had a calming effect.

Saúl Ñíguez, LB: 6

I often very much dislike seeing Saúl here, but Diego Simeone made an understandable decision to start him in Lodi’s place. He shadowed and hounded Lionel Messi as much as he could, though it’s undeniable Atlético missed having a young, attack-minded Brazil international bounding up the wing.

Héctor Herrera, CM: 8

HH has entered into Simeone’s plans and he rewarded the coach with arguably his best showing yet. Just a solid all-around performance — three successful tackles, 52 successful passes (out of 54) and some really clever interplay around the 18-yard box.

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Sonia Canada/Getty Images

Thomas Partey, CM: 7

Early returns say the Thomas-Herrera pairing could work. Either player can drop deeper while the other helps the “attack” with purposeful passing or distance shooting. Thomas made several important interceptions as the closest midfielder to the back four.

Ángel Correa, RM: 4.5

Simeone knows Correa isn’t a very good winger. No matter. Though he worked hard in defense, the 24-year-old was not placed in the best position to succeed.

Koke, LM:

On his 300th league appearance, Koke took six touches in his own 18-yard-box and just one in the visitors’ box. A captain must take a leading role against top opposition, and for a couple years now Koke has offered himself as a mere foot soldier in these games rather than taking the reins himself. That has not gotten the job done, nor will it.

João Félix, FW: 5

After a positive start — capped by a neat nutmeg of Gerard Piqué — he faded and exited on 65 minutes. The 20-year-old was lively on occasion, but he hasn’t passed his first tests against the biggest teams.

Álvaro Morata, FW: 5

Atlético have to have Morata’s goals. He hasn’t scored since the international break, and Atlético haven’t won since the international break. Ter Stegen clawed out his best opportunity on 41 minutes, a powerful header from a Trippier corner.


Vitolo, LM: N/A

Committed as many fouls as he completed passes (two).

Thomas Lemar, RM:

Time to start talking about Lemar’s future in red and white. Hint — it’s not rosy. His ill-advised 85th minute long ball across the 18-yard box was intercepted, brought all the way up the pitch, played by Suárez to Messi and deposited into the net.

Renan Lodi, LB: N/A

Simeone needed to roll the dice much earlier if he wanted Lodi to make an impact and go at one of Barcelona’s shaky full backs.