Despite an early strike from the returning Koke handing Atlético Madrid the league, the Spanish champions couldn’t hold on and miss the opportunity to close the gap on Barcelona and Real Madrid. Here is a look at how each of our players got on this evening.
Miguel Ángel Moyá – 5
Our goalkeeper didn’t have a great deal to do, other than the goal, where he didn’t cover himself in glory. Whether it was his fault or not, more and more seem to be doubting the former Getafe man.
Juanfran – 6
Provided an outlet in attack, and enjoyed a good battle with José Gayá in particular. Linked up with Arda a few times, but didn’t have much to show for his endeavour.
Diego Godín – 5
Should have had an assist, had Tiago not inexplicably missed a golden chance to make it 2-0. Very nearly gifted Negredo an open goal in the second half but got away with it. Not his most assured showing.
José Giménez – 6
Fairly solid, and along with Godín did a good job of keeping Negredo quiet. No signs of rustiness after five games out of the team.
Guilherme Siqueira – 5
Nothing really of note, bar a yellow card that rules him out of the Espanyol game next week. Very little of Atleti’s play this year coming from the left as opposed to last year.
Tiago – 6
Battled well in midfield, but will be having nightmares tonight after somehow hitting the crossbar with the goal-gaping. That miss could prove costly come the end of the season.
Gabi – 6
Playing in a changed role lately it seems, less influential than last year as demonstrated with his substitution. Played his part in the goal with a pin-point free-kick in the build-up.
Koke – 7 (Man of the Match)
Took his goal brilliantly. Without him Atleti look lost at times, although he’s still not quite fully fit following injury. Will be crucial going into the business end of the season.
Arda Turan – 6
Worked hard, but wasn’t at the level we have gotten used to and faded a little in the second half. Would like to see him take a bit more responsibility at times, especially when we need a goal. Played a rare 90 minutes.
Raúl García – 6
After scoring four in four against them last year, Valencia did a good job of keeping him quiet. Battled hard as always, but like many it was without reward. Struggles to play with Mandzukic.
Fernando Torres – 7
Although he had no sightings of goal, Cholo will have been happy with his performance. Had the better of Otamendi and gave us the out ball we needed in attack. Hopefully will open his La Liga account soon.
Mario Mandzukic – 5
Came on with a point to prove, but was helpless as Atleti surrendered their 1-0 lead. Booking means he will also miss next week’s game, which only makes things harder for himself.
Mario Suárez – 4
Cholo played it safe by replacing Koke with him instead of Cani, and it backfired. Was unable to restore calm going into the latter stages, as Valencia took control later on.
Raúl Jiménez – 6
One of his best showings in a red and white shirt, which isn’t saying a great deal. Showed good spirit and nearly created openings with a couple of purposeful runs. Positive attitude is good to see at least.
How would you rate our players? Who was your Man of the Match?