Antoine Griezmann stole the show as Atlético Madrid got their Champions League campaign off to a flyer at Galatasaray on Tuesday night, although it was a performance to savour from the whole team as they ran out 2-0 winners in Istanbul.
The rojiblancos showed their attacking prowess in a ruthless first half an hour or so, then showed their collective strength to see the game out and go on to control the match in front of a hostile crowd.
Read on to see how we rated the players tonight:
Jan Oblak – 6
Although he didn’t have to make any outstanding saves, he dealt with everything with minimum fuss and was able to hold onto nearly every shot that came at him. Looks like he will be the Champions League ‘keeper rather than Moyá, which is a big vote of confidence.
Juanfran – 7
I feel we say the same thing about Juanfran every week, which is a good thing as his consistency is unparalleled. Excellent in the first half particularly, making a lot of good runs and remaining solid in defence throughout.
Diego Godín – 7
Dominant as always, and played a big part in the second goal by winning the header that allowed Griezmann a tap-in. Looks every bit the captain in Gabi’s absence, and thankfully shook off a knock he picked up in the second half.
José Giménez – 7
Solid once more alongside his compatriot, especially towards the end. Enjoyed a good duel with Burak Yilmaz in the Galatasaray attack, and did well to limit the Turkish hot-shot to very few chances. Scary prospect.
Guilherme Siqueira – 7
May not be everybody’s preferred option as a starter, but a luxury to have at back-up. Have to admire his professionalism, as it looked as if his exit was sealed a few weeks back. Stepped back in and had a very good game in Filipe’s absence.
Tiago – 7
So underrated, but so crucial. His positioning, awareness and decision-making is second to none, but you know that already. Took the senior role in midfield alongside Saúl, both of whom were excellent in two very different halves.
Saúl Ñíguez – 7
Finally we got the chance to watch him in his natural deeper midfield role, and he didn’t disappoint. Looks like the proto-type Simeone midfielder, and will only grow with more matches. Such intelligence for one so young.
Koke – 6
In and out of the game, although it was an improved performance from Saturday. Impressed in the first half and towards the end, and played a part in both goals. Set pieces need to improve, though.
Antoine Griezmann – 8 (Man of the Match)
The difference maker, despite playing a wider role rather than his usual attacking berth. Always on the move and making clever touches. His first goal was a real thing of beauty, although will be disappointed not to have grabbed the hat-trick late on.
Luciano Vietto – 7
Superb on his full debut. Involved from the first minute, he kept the ball well, looked threatening in the final third, and was linking up seamlessly with his new teammates. Can’t wait to see more.
Jackson Martínez – 5
You can see his quality, although it may take a bit of time for him to fully accustom to Atleti’s system. Worked hard and linked up fairly well, but was taken off after failing to play Griezmann in on goal on the hour mark.
Fernando Torres – 5
Didn’t look like the player that caused real problems to last year’s treble winners Barcelona on Saturday. Lost the ball too many times and had a few dodgy touches, but perhaps offered a better outlet than Jackson on the break.
Gabi – 6
Came on and steadied the ship just as Galatasaray were threatening to get back into the game. Perhaps not able to play every game any more, so managing his minutes and using him when needed like tonight is crucial.
Óliver Torres – 6
Only played 10 minutes, but had lots of the ball and did just what Cholo would’ve wanted, keeping possession and relieving some pressure. Great pass to play in Griezmann late on, will be interesting to see if he plays at Eibar on Saturday.