Player ratings: Early goal enough for all three points

We analyse the performance against Espanyol as rojiblancos go ten unbeaten

Saúl our star man against Los Péricos

Saúl our star man against Los Péricos

Antoine Griezmann’s third minute goal earned a fourth successive win for Atlético Madrid against Espanyol on Saturday, keeping us in touch with leaders Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Cholo’s men once again spurned a number of chances in the final third, but saw out the win and will now be keeping their fingers crossed for good news as Tiago was forced off with a serious looking injury in the first half.

Read on to see how we rated the players:

Jan Oblak – 6

Did he even play? Usually, the Slovene makes himself counted with a crucial save or intervention, but I can’t remember him being called into action today. Probably won’t even need to shower after the game.

Juanfran – 6

Solid as always on his return from a spell on the sidelines. Linked up well with Carrasco and Óliver, and even tried his luck a couple of times in the first half. Typical Juanfran performance.

Diego Godín – 7

Still waits for his first goal of the season, and won’t come any closer than he did in the second half as his flicked header cannoned back off the post. Lead the team to victory after Tiago went off with a flawless defensive showing.

Josema Giménez – 7

Like Godín, he won everything at the back. Didn’t look troubled all game, as the Uruguayan duo failed to allow Espanyol as much as a shot on target. Becoming one of the team’s leaders at just 20 years old.

Filipe Luís – 7

As we’ve been saying in recent games, slowly but surely we’re starting to see the old Filipe. Infallible in defence, and almost like a midfielder at times given how much he sees of the ball. Great performance.

Tiago – N/A

His early exit from the match clearly had an affect on the team, who missed his authority in midfield. Atleti confirmed that he has fractured his right shinbone, nervous wait now to see how long he’ll be out for.

Saúl Ñíguez – 8 (Man of the match)

With Gabi suspended, Tiago forced off early on and Koke not on top form, it was up to Saúl to stand up and put in a mature performance to help see out the win. Looked like a seasoned pro in front of the defence, perhaps his best game for the club.

Óliver Torres – 7

Started well and claims an excellent assist for Griezmann’s goal. Did lose the ball a few times but looks to have improved, and almost found the net in the second half with a powerful effort. Would like to see him stay in the team.

Koke – 6

Despite a good showing in midweek, his passing and set piece delivery was very off again tonight. Frustrating to watch, having seen what he is capable of before. Still, was good defensively and unlucky not to score.

Antoine Griezmann – 7

The matchwinner, and showed his evolution in the centre-forward role as he put in the type of performance Cholo would’ve wanted, battling hard and running the channels. Took his goal very well, although Atleti are dependent on him at the moment.

Luciano Vietto – 6

Currently playing a lot like Griezmann was at this stage last season. Working hard and causing problems with his movement, but can’t find the decisive touches. Still, looking promising and good for him to get some minutes after his surgery.


Yannick Carrasco – 7

Frustrating at times with his decision-making, but his quality is not in doubt. Have to mention his energy levels as well, didn’t stop running from the moment he came on. Great addition to the squad.

Thomas Partey – 7

Excellent debut. Has been very hard done by this season, but took his chance with both hands and will hopefully keep his place against Reus on Tuesday. Assured on the ball, and nearly found the top corner with a late effort. Delighted for him.

Fernando Torres – 6

Would’ve lifted the roof off of the Calderón had his late effort found the top corner, but was just off target. Needs that little bit of luck to relieve some pressure and get that 100th goal out of the way.

Do you agree with our ratings? Who should take on Tiago’s role if he is to be ruled out long term?

  • nitesh

    It was a good performance.But not everygame there will be clean sheets. These 1-0 ‘s can easily be converted into 3 or 4 goals if we can get 1 very good creative midfielder or playmaker in January. Oliver and Koke are just not consistent enough to be the answer to that.They are as good as one. Every big team has got two, Bayern have Costa and Alcantara. Real have Modric and James. Barca have Iniesta and Rakitic.Arsenal have Ozil and Cazorla.United have Mata and Bastian. Man city have 3 . This is 1 area where we are lacking at the moment.

    Greizmann also goes missing in big games, so we cant be too much dependent on him to get goals , someone needs to step up. That playmaker might also be also solution for that.

    Oliver should have been loaned to Bundesliga or Serie A club instead of portugal.Primeira Liga is not that good , even the big teams like Benfica and Porto are ready to sell their whole team if get good money. It has become just like the Eredivisie league.