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Atlético de Madrid 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen: Player Ratings

The Rojiblancos had an obligation to win to enter matchday 6 with a chance to qualify for the knockouts. They did not.

Atletico Madrid v Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images


Moussa Diaby placed the game’s opening goal perfectly, well out of Oblak’s reach, just eight minutes into the match. Another mistake from an Atlético Madrid forward 20 minutes later allowed Callum Hudson-Odoi to race through and easily slot Bayer Leverkusen’s second goal. Got a measure of revenge on Diaby with a 75th-minute stop to keep the game level and stopped substitute Paulinho five minutes later. 5


Decent enough defensively, but fired in one accurate cross (by my count) in the first half. Nobody asked him to be a Kieran Trippier regen, but right now, this level looks to be more than a shade beyond Molina at this point in his career. Positive: he continues to show good chemistry with Antoine Griezmann. 5.5


Surprise choice to start, considering this game’s importance and considering he had not played since getting sent off against Real Madrid five weeks ago. Went a bit missing on Diaby’s early opener and looked like a bundle of nerves whenever drawn into a 1v1 matchup — a feature of his four-year Atlético tenure. 3.5


Sturdy as you like, a couple clearances made but it was one-way traffic in the second half. 6

Atletico Madrid v Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images


Took a team-high 50 touches in the first 45 minutes and hardly challenged defensively. The 4-4-2 allows Reinildo to get on the ball more, but he isn’t advanced enough offensively to truly punish an opponent at this level. 4.5


Had an almost-immediate chance to equalize as the ball fell to him on 13 minutes, but Lukáš Hrádecký stonewalled him from close range. He then inexplicably lost the ball near his own penalty area on the half-hour mark, which teed up Hudson-Odoi to restore Leverkusen’s lead. 3


The midfield made a bit more sense when Kondogbia played as a single pivot after halftime, but his individual decision-making on the ball was suspect. A 75th-minute giveaway after he went a-wanderin’ around the Leverkusen penalty area turned into a Diaby chance that Oblak kept out. 5.5


Another steady first half from the Belgian, who excelled in helping Atlético keep possession. Moved to center-back after halftime and certainly offered more security than Mario Hermoso — Leverkusen barely had a sniff of Jan Oblak’s goal in the second 45. 7

Atletico Madrid v Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images


Bullet equalizer on 22 minutes ended a Champions League drought that had stretched back to December 2020. Five minutes after halftime, he cut back for Rodrigo de Paul, who lofted in Atlético’s second goal. Full of venom and inspiration throughout, easily his best performance this year — even with the missed 99th-minute penalty. 8.5


Looked to stretch Leverkusen and force their wide midfielders into tough choices by hugging the touchline early on. Had a dangerous in-swinging corner cleared in the game’s opening passages, then made a poor decision to go down in an attempt to win a foul near his own penalty area — coughing up the ball in the process for Diaby to score. Griezmann made amends by playing the final pass for Carrasco less than 15 minutes later. Hrádecký had his number in the second half, making multiple fine saves, including on a half-chilena in the 80th minute. 6


Quiet in the first half, but wasted a good chance from a header, unwisely hitting it into the ground to set up an invisible teammate for a shot. 4


Entered for Hermoso at halftime. His substitution signified Diego Simeone’s decision to change tack and return to a 3-5-2 formation. The Hudson-Odoi outlet was shut down almost instantly, and Saúl had three aerials won and a couple low-grade headers before his rebounded effort from Yannick Carrasco’s penalty miss cannoned off the crossbar. 6

De Paul

Entered for Correa at halftime. Cholo knows. De Paul equalized with a lovely curling shot in the 50th minute, picking a great time to score his first Champions League goal this season. When dialed in, he is a creative force, and he showcased his enormous ability as a passer throughout the second half. 8

Atletico Madrid v Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images


Entered for Morata in the 61st minute. Elastic and a headache for Leverkusen’s defense, but Atlético need him to be a penalty-area killer. He isn’t that. 5

João Félix

Entered for Giménez in the 87th minute. Not on long enough to make an impact, but did whip in a nasty cross moments before the final chaotic seconds. N/A