Atlético Madrid lost ground in their bid for the La Liga title after a 2-1 loss against Barcelona today, but can hold their heads high after an excellent performance and playing over half of the game with less players.
The red and whites stunned the Camp Nou when Koke gave them an early lead, but goals from Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez turned the game around before red cards either side of half-time for Filipe Luís and Diego Godín.
However, Cholo’s men never let their heads get down and fought up until the final whistle, even having chances to equalise in an honourable second half performance.
Read on to see how we rated the players’ performances:
Jan Oblak – 6
Not much he could do for either goal, and in truth, he didn’t have a great deal of saves to make. As usual, flawless in the air and commanded his area well.
Juanfran – 6
Some may point the finger at him for Messi’s goal, but he was left short and couldn’t cover two players at the same time. Got forward well in the second half despite the numerical disadvantage.
Diego Godín – 5
Stupid red card, and didn’t cover himself in glory for Suárez’s goal. Even the best defender in the world can have an off day at times, although he does seem to struggle against his Uruguayan compatriot.
Josema Giménez – 6
Like Godín, the Suárez goal was partly his fault, but he was brave throughout and make a stunning block when Atleti were 1-0 up to deny a certain goal for Dani Alves. Good learning experience for him.
Filipe – 5
Whether or not you think his red card was warranted, it was a dangerous and unnecessary challenge to make right on the stroke of half-time and in that area of the pitch. Shame, as was doing well before then and linking up well with Carrasco.
Gabi – 5
Got the hook at half-time having been booked in the first half. Recent form is a little worrying, he’s been much improved this season but could do with more rest in order to be fresh for the big games. Now might be the time.
Augusto – 6
His best game in an Atleti shirt so far. Kept the ball very well, made some good tackles and interceptions, and very nearly scored with a first half shot that flashed only just wide. Hopefully his injury isn’t too serious.
Koke – 7
One of his best performances this season. Obviously scored the opening goal, but was also much involved and assumed playmaking responsibilities, spreading the play and linking up will with the attacking players.
Saúl Ñíguez – 7
Another excellent showing. Great determination to beat Alba and set up the opening goal, after almost scoring a screamer himself early on. Worked tirelessly and offered himself at every opportunity. His progression this season has been fantastic.
Yannick Carrasco – 8 (Man of the match)
Some have had their doubts over him in recent weeks after a few frustrating performances, but today he was everywhere. A one-man attack at times, he caused countless problems and was courageous throughout. Great talent and attitude.
Antoine Griezmann – 6
Started the game fairly well, but faded as Barça took control. It was a tough ask for him today to play as lone striker, but he really should’ve equalised in the second half after Carrasco put it on a plate for him. What if…
Jesús Gámez – 6
Has one of the biggest characters at the club. Excellent in defence, and always looked to go forward despite being on his wrong side, two men down and not known for his attacking prowess. Will get his chance next week.
Stefan Savic – 6
Impresses every time he plays. Such a natural defender, with many going as far as saying he should take Giménez’s place in the team. The two will get a chance to play together next week with Godín’s suspension.
Thomas Partey – 6
We’ve not seen much of him in his natural defensive midfield role yet, but he showed his qualities there, coming on and doing well to stop Barça in their attempts for a third goal. Hope to see more of him, deserves more minutes.
What were your thoughts on the performance?