Player ratings: Partey time as Atleti go top of La Liga

We take a look at another difficult but hard-fought win against Levante

Thomas scored the only goal of the game

Thomas scored the only goal of the game

Once again, Atlético Madrid left it late against Levante. Once again, they made hard work of it and struggled in front of goal, but once again, they got the three points.

Substitute Thomas Partey came off the bench to make the difference yet again, and his excellent winning goal was enough for a 1-0 win that takes us above Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Read on to see how we rated the players’ performances:

Jan Oblak – 6

Didn’t have to make any real stand-out saves, but was solid and did everything that he had to. Another clean sheet, business as usual.

Juanfran – 7

Did well both in defence and attack, despite being caught a few times in the first half and leaving space in behind. Crossing was better than Filipe’s, have to admire all the running he does on the right.

Diego Godín – 7

As usual, lead the defence and made sure there was little room for the Levante forwards to operate in. Didn’t make a mistake all game, and came close with a header in the second half.

Stefan Savic – 7

Continues to impress every time he plays. Very assured, good positionally and dominant in the air, despite not being the biggest. Has a lot of similarities to Godín, great to have a really dependable third choice.

Filipe Luís – 7

Despite not having too much luck with his crosses, he played a big part in the win and was a constant outlet on the left. Plays like a midfielder at times such is his skill on the ball, looking much more like the old Filipe now.

Gabi – 7

Marshalled the midfield in expert fashion, winning the battle against his opposite numbers for Levante and spreading the play well. Can be afforded a bit more rest time now with Augusto and Kranevitter coming in, and Thomas’ excellent form.

Saúl – 7

Gets better with each game, and has now started the last 9 games in a row following Tiago’s injury. Would like to see him keep his place, as he has done nothing to warrant being dropped.

Koke – 6

A little unlucky to be subbed off early, as he was the main link man between midfield and attack and was also desperately unlucky not to open the scoring with an excellent volley. Still, perhaps not quite as involved as he would’ve liked.

Antoine Griezmann – 6

Was more involved in the game than he has been in recent weeks playing out wide, although not everything he was doing came off. One particular moment stands out when he mis-placed a pass to Jackson rather than go for goal, but we can afford him and off night.

Ángel Correa – 6

Started well, but his influence dwained as he began losing the ball and making mistakes. Perhaps a little nervous, and rusty as wel having not played much recently. Wanted a penalty for a challenge from José Mari, but it wasn’t given.

Jackson Martínez – 6

Not a bad outing in his first start in almost two months, but still lacking the goal. Had two good chances but was unlucky. Link-up play was good in the second half, hopefully his confidence will return soon.


Luciano Vietto – 6

Caused trouble with his running and clever movement, and almost found the net with a delightful backheel late on. Needs to watch the offside line though, his timing is Cerci-esque at times.

Yannick Carrasco – 6

As usual, his skill and power on the ball made a difference, but at times he is a little over-enthusiastic and ends up making the wrong decisions. Personally feel that Atleti missed him from the start today.

Thomas Partey – 7 (Man of the match)

The match-winner, and made the difference for the second game in a row. His goal was all his own making, and he also looked assured and confident with his other touches. Thanks to him we are top of the league, which for us deserves the man of the match award.

Do you agree with our ratings? Just how impressed have you been with Thomas lately?

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    As I said before : I watched Savic too many times with Fiorentina and I was already a big fan of him before he played any game with us, now I’m even starting to like him more than Gimenez, much more maturity and coolness .

    Game after game I become more convinced that Koke is not an attacking midfielder or a winger, and keeping playing him in those positions hurts both him and the team .

  • Koke

    If I’m being honest I didn’t know Savic before Atleti bought him, but now I’m really happy we did and I think he is as dependable and secure a sub as we could ask for. Honestly I think he might even be a starter for bigger games, because although Gimenez is potentially one of the world’s best defenders in the future Savic is just a bit more experienced. Seeing those two compete with each other will be a treat, I wonder if Simeone will ever rest Godin and let them play together?

    I’m praying for the day Koke gets consistent games in the deep lying center mid role, and after the two winter signings we just made I’m getting really worried that day is far away. He already plays there with the Spain National team, and in the NT the midfield has to be way more possession based, calm, and dominant. So if he can handle it with them I don’t see how he can’t do it for us. I really want to see Koke next to either Saul, Gabi, or one day Kranevitter, with Oliver just ahead of them. Once all three get more mature and experienced, that midfield can be something really special.

  • Koke

    I really think we should start playing a 4-3-3, and I can see we’ve already kind of started. One of either Jackson or Torres, Carrasco on the left (subs Vietto and Correa), and Griezman on the left, as a second striker, or in a free role.


    That leaves 3 midfield positions and 8 players:

    Gabi, Tiago, Koke, Kranevitter, Saul, Oliver, Thomas, Augusto

    If we want to not count Tiago that’s fair, but that’s still 7 players for 3 positions. Don’t they all deserve to get a lot of minutes? Sadly I don’t think that’s possible currently. The problem is, Saul, Oliver, Kranevitter, and Thomas are all potentially world class players in the making and need development. Koke is one of our most important players and I doubt he’ll fail to start many matches. And Gabi and Augusto are likely to remain favorites of Simeone so I’m sure he’ll start at least one of each every game.

    Should anyone be loaned out this window?

  • nitesh

    Yay.Top of the table finally. Was waiting for this moment for so long but still problems exist .Our forwards as usual were running like headless chickens no composure whatsoever including grizi today in the final third. Usually grizi is quiet calm in the final third . Yesterday there was too much hesitation in his game.Off the ball Jackson was quite good yesterday , but with it also better but not yet upto the expected level. Filipe was immense running into the channels every now and then , his workrate is quite unbelievable. So many crosses but yet again no takers for it in the box except our cb’s , Jackson has got to take that responsibility now.

    I dont know much about Augusto as I hardly watch celta’s game ,so not so sure about him whether he will be the answer to our creativity problem, but many people have rated him highly over celta’s form , so fingers crossed. Whether it was a rushed one because of the fear of transfer ban, only time will tell.Oliver will mostly play in Rayo game .Oliver needs to be patient and grab chances like Thomas.Very excited about these two especially. I am very sure this two will be playing more regularly next season but certainly not this season .

    Aupa Atleti.

  • nitesh

    Thomas:I’m still learning,.There are a lot of things which I still have to learn but with hard work, the minutes will come. I’m happy with things how they are.

    Lets hope Oliver thinks the same way.

  • BlasiusMagnus

    i was pretty surprised that cholo finally substituted koke. i love the guy, but i don’t think he should be in the starting line up all the time. especially with that performance, he is the shadow of himself since months. he should get rest, or something.

  • Sebastian Tataru

    Poor jackson at all Torres would be better today

  • Rowly

    At the moment it’s very much “No Thomas, No Partey” to paraphrase some bloke by the name of Pirlo. He seems to drift in & out of games then explode into action every now & then, I like him & he’s yet another with huge potential.

    We need to settle with one formation & set of tactics, we might then see our forwards link up better. For me it’s got to be 4-3-3 and I’ve thought this since the start of the season, it just suits our players better and also gets Koke into CM.

    Jackson took giant strides last night, he needs a run of games & a couple of goals to get his confidence back but I’m 100% certain he’ll come good.

    I still don’t feel that we’re playing anywhere near our best yet we’re top of the table, that’s a real positive but if we’re going to stay top we have to click soon.

  • AaX

    Thanks to Thomas the player that could, we collected our ‘rightful’ 3 pts tonight to Start the year at and from the Summit. Too bad we were more set up Not to lose than To Win which explained our previous struggle for victory which we Ultimately did. (13 corners, more than 10 shots off target)
    I believe the team has been ideally set up at 4-5-1 with either Griezmann, Carrasco or Correa on the wings BUT having a trio of defensive midfielders will work against and does not do Justice to the natural Attacking impulse of the Team.
    And I do very strongly feel that Thomas should be kept in the Team as have been. Seems to play some important key roles as too is he fearless.
    Whatever it is lets just keep on improving game after game, the management and supporters alike as this season seems Promising.

    Forza ATLETI !!

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I have a feeling that Saul and Oliver may be leaving.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    We beat the worst team in the league by just one point. All these ratings are over inflated. Thomas is correct and Oblak should be a 7. If we are #1 in La Liga then this game should have been 3 nothing. But instead, it was almost a tie. Don’t get me wrong, I am REALLY happy we won. But we need to be scoring more. I may be too hard on the team, but right now we are playing the bottom of the barrel teams. Review: we lost to Malaga, some how got it together against Rayo and then then just yesterday, barley beating Levante. I am nervous. Everyone thinks it is the attackers that are struggling and that is true to a point. But Griezmann in playing WAY to much defense. The midfield is going to see two new players and I hope they are what we need to keep our “attackers” playing their positions. I am tired of seeing Griemann getting the ball just before midfield, looking up and seeing 3 defenders and no other Atletico players to pass to. This is the problem and why our chances have been so limited.

  • Koke

    It’d be a shame to see Oliver loaned out but it may be necessary. The boy should be starting at least 70% of games to develop his talent. However, if we let him go we will have absolutely no CAMs, unless you count Koke, Saul, or Thomas, all of whom I believe should be playing slightly deeper in the midfield.

    Saul should stay, he has been incredibly impressive this season and last and has also scored some really big goals for us. He’s gonna be something special. If we loan out a DM it should be Kranevitter, maybe to Celta or Villareal so he gets European experience.