Player ratings: First half chances squandered in draw

We take a look at how our players fared in the 0-0 draw with PSV

Juanfran defends an opportunity for PSV

Juanfran defends an opportunity for PSV

Los Rojiblancos were left to think “what if?” against PSV, after first half chances from Koke, Luciano Vietto, and Antoine Griezmann were left as only that, chances.

None capitalized, and in the second, when PSV went down to 10 men, things were no different. The hosts sat back after Gaston Pereiro was sent off, and held out for a draw at the Philip Stadion on Wednesday.

See how we rated the players below:

Jan Oblak – 6 

Due to excellent defending from Diego Godin, Stefan Savic, and the whole midfield in general, the man between the pipes only had to save one shot. The Slovenian didn’t have much of an impact with little shots to work with, but the save was crucial nonetheless.

Filipe Luis – 5

The Brazilian was often an outlet on his flank, especially when the Dutch side sat back with 10 men. However, the full-back lacked the flare and creation that makes him a threat through his passing services. Despite some decent looks, he was kept at bay.

Diego Godin – 7

The veteran centre-back was his usual self at the back, commanding his line, and even scored a goal in the 62nd minute only to see it waved off. He knew Pereiro already had a yellow card to his name, and embellished his fellow compatriots punch to get an advantage. For that, we’ll give him some applause.

Stefan Savic – 6 

Although the defender picked up a yellow in the first half, which was wrongfully given, he bounced back. The 25 year-old anticipated potential threats and never looked nervous.

Juanfran – 7 (Man of the Match)

Be it through constant crosses, always tracking back, great give-and-go’s, and always being an outlet, the Spaniard was the most consistent threat throughout. The only thing stopping him from receiving an eight, is perhaps the lack of teammate targets doing their part.

Koke – 6

In the 18th minute, Koke had the opportunity to chip it past Zoet, he did, but it was an easy jump for the PSV keeper to make. Other than the usual endurance and great defending, the midfielder struggled to make his mark on the front-foot. We expect a lot from Koke here at AtléticoFans, and his poor set-piece kicks didn’t help his team either.

Oliver Torres – 5

The semi-frequent midfielder worked hard and defended well by his standards, but failed to consistently show his flare and creation with the ball.

Gabi – 4 

The Rojiblanco veteran’s extremely poor set-piece services really hurt his side. In midfield he was average on the day, but given his distribution malfunctions, he gets a low rating here.

Saul Niguez – 6

Two shots on Zoet saw the Spaniard as a decent threat. He showed great work rate and always closed down time and space when PSV had the ball.

Antoine Griezmann – 7 

Maybe the Frenchmen deserves a six for not finishing in the 29th minute, but everything else he did was impactful. He defended, worked hard ,and had great movements throughout.

Luciano Vietto – 5 

Average night for the Argentinian forward, not much to say really other than a decent chance in the box in the 15th minute.


Angel Correa – 6

Correa replaced Saul and instantly made an impact with his pace and got two shots on net. His dribbling and touch are very indicative of an Argentine Barrio player – he’s good with little space.

Fernando Torres – 5 

The Spanish international was given two decent opportunities and never really owned them. Nothing special coming off the bench for Vietto. May have more experience than Correa, but his younger teammate was hungrier.

  • Parsa

    So Felipe Luis – 5, Savic – 6, Gabi – 4 and Griezmann – 7 ? I’m sorry man but I think you watched a different game last night. Gabi was our best midfielder and Oliver was much better than Koke and Saul. Koke in particular was terrible. I think the reason you guys always don’t appreciate the efforts of players like Gabi is because you think football is all about flair and scoring goals.

    I don’t like saying this but I think with “this” Griezmann we’ll never outperform an opponent in an important match. His stats are terrible in that regards and he can never make big contributions. I don’t know what’s his problem. Maybe he just can’t handle that pressure. If he continues like this I won’t mind selling him in the summer. We need players like Falcao or Costa who were able to make the difference in important games. Only with those type of players we can win a trophy again.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Totally agree about Gabi & Oli, absolutely deserve much more than 4 and 5 .
    4 for Gabi ! .. come on man !! .. if Gabi gets a 4 then Filipe should get a 1 .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    “picked up a yellow in the first half, which was wrongfully given” you are absolutely right, he did not just get the ball, but I also didn’t see him getting the opponent’s leg, it seemed a clean tackle to me, but I’m curious though, who was the one who tweeted this :

  • One of our social guys – to be fair in the stadium on first viewing it looked like a bad challenge…

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    That’s all right .

    I saw the photo of you with Arthur in the stadium on his instagram account, but I didn’t recognize the other two guys, is any of them one of the guys in this website ?!

  • Potentially – we’ve been recruiting! 🙂

  • nandes

    Of course I’m reading the same stuff as always and people are blaming the forwards again. Let’s remember the facts:

    Mandzukic didn’t score for 5 months before he left.
    Jimenez was never really given a chance.
    Antoine has never done well against big teams.
    Jackson never really adapted to our system.
    Vietto and Correa have struggled to gain any sort of consistency
    Torres’ situation is more excusable because of his career history since his knee injury, but still

    When will these people who constantly blame the forwards finally assume this is a much bigger issue than individual form? Also funny how people found a way to blame Torres for everything again when he’s the only forward who has scored in the last 5 matches.

    Maybe if Borja returns and also fails to score people will finally stop blaming the forwards for everything

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I will agree with you in a way, but Griezmann should have scored that one on one. That is his job. Once PSV went to 10 men. One of our strikers should have scored because we surrounded their goal for almost 20 minutes straight. I will agree with you in the fact that Atleti need to start practicing some offensive plays. This can be on the coaches. It seems like Atletico get 20 yards out and then don’t know what to do.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Ratings to high. Defense is the best in Europe, maybe in the world. But Cholo needs to start practicing some offensive drills. We are lost once we get inside 20 yards of the goal. We are missing Corrasco and Tiago…BADLY!

  • Koke

    This team desperately needs to learn how to attack. We have the best defense in Europe. But we also have one of the smallest goalscoring threats out of all the clubs of our caliber. I want Simeone to stay but if he leaves I wouldn’t really be sad to see him replaced by someone like Pellegrini, Marcelino, Emery, Bielsa, Pochettino… I’m starting to think all Atleti does in practice is learn defensive drills and positioning. Our attack consists of the defensive midfielders passing side to side, eventually getting it to the fullbacks who are apparently the only ones capable of making chances, and then crossing the ball in the box either to nobody or to tiny little Vietto.

  • Kris

    We’ve all been criticizing. And we’ve been criticizing a lot. Some of us have said that these 1-0 wins are pure luck and this luck will run out soon. Many people have been praising being able to win 1-0 at the nick of time as grinding out results. 1-0 against Barca? I’ll take it. 1-0 against Getafe? Piss off man. Tge phrase “defense wins championships” has been the argument of many people and the whole team seems to be fixated on this mentality.
    Let’s not only blame our forwards. The lack of goals goes far beyond the forwards jobs. Someone has never played consistent attacking football. He also hasn’t played counter-attack football efficiently. This season I have rarely seen counter-attack other than from the bullish, one man army of Carrasco. The reason forwards such as Falcao, Diego Costa and even Villa, Mandzu, and Raul Garcia were able to score goals in great amount was because of their pace, physicality, or their individual brilliance. Last year we got many goals from corners, teams figure such things out sooner or later, and when you have no backup plans for attack Atleti of this year happens. No penetration in the final third, and if rarely there is, we’re ineffective in front of goal.
    Griezmann seems to be forgetting to score because of all the defending and NEEDS to be rested. He’s not a fucking tank for fuck’s sake, he’s gonna give in soon and he will get injured. That’s the last thing we want.
    I have always talked about Someone’s reluctance to change. He seems one who is very stubborn but sometimes that’s a good thing–look at our defense. But just because something works doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make it better.
    Like Ahmad said, I think the board needs to sit down with Someone and talk about these things. Complacency is not cool man, when we can do better, why don’t we? If he’s so unwilling to change and adapt to the environment of modern football and the game that’s in game, as much as i respect him, he needs to be reminded that he’s not the only manager in the world who can bring results.

    I know this is harsh but I see it more as constructive criticism than pure bashing. I still love and respect Simeone for adhering to his principles, but in an ever changing environment of modern football, if you don’t change with the game you will not survive.

  • Ringo

    I’d say Oblak 8. Wasn’t extremely necessary for most of the game, but when he was he did his job excellently. Also showing composure on the ball when needed (2-3 times, but still). You could say he played a perfect game, but a 10 feels too weird. Not going to give him lower, though. Having a solid defense and midfield (defensively), doesn’t mean our goalie wasn’t great.

    Juanfran 7. Solid, his crossing wasn’t top notch but I can’t remember him making any mistakes. Always ready to receive a ball, constant outlet.

    Savic 7. Reliable. PSV’s striker wasn’t great but Savic was secure enough.

    Godín 8. Another solid, reliable defender. Especially in the second half PSV had no chances (also counting the time before the red card for [the invisible anyway] Pereiro). What gives him a higher rating than the rest of the defense was his leadership. Looking strong.

    Filipe 7. Solid defending again. Less of an offensive outlet than Juanfran, but steady to pass to in any case. No need for fear when he’s the only defender left in the back.

    Gabi 7. I don’t get the low rating in the article. He was really solid. Gave two great through passes forward in the first half, but was a little quiet in the second, it seemed.

    Koke 7. Offensively he was steady, but didn’t seem to add a high amount of creative touches. Not really any mistakes there, but sometimes felt like he could have added more. He seems to become more of a defensive midfielder every game, though, seemingly switching positions with Gabi in the second half as deepest midfielder. Defensively solid and always ready to receive a pass to calm down the rest of the team. He might be more “invisible” than he was two years ago, but I think this was one of his better games this season. The creative sparks will be more and more the tasks of other midfielders, in this game Saúl and Óliver. Might finally be put on his “future central midfield leader” course by Simeone, which I wished to have seen happening sooner.

    Saúl 5. Not thaaaat bad, but this clearly wasn’t his game. Showed some danger a few times, but his touch was off. I think all his crosses were mishit and his passing wasn’t so good either. The substitution, outside of being an offensive move, made sense. Can’t be solid every game, though, and seems too focused on growing as defensive midfielder to add much to our offensive prowess. I have seen some good skills earlier on in his career, though, so I know he’s capable of more. He’s very young, though, and I’m not really worried about his potential.

    Óliver 6. Wasn’t as magic as he could be. Needs some more rhythm to become a real part of the team. He can be a key player for us, but the team isn’t really the machine going forward (yet… hopefully) as it is when defending. Just some talented indivuals playing together instead of a team as of now. Could lead to the occasional magic, since they have good passing skills, but against solid defending, like PSV’s (and Villarreal’s), you need a little more to grow into something more “invincible.”

    Vietto 5. He ran. A LOT. I didn’t notice, though, but when he got subbed off I saw that he ran 8.2 km, 0.6 or so more than the team average. His first touches were mostly bad and he and the others in the team seemed to lack any understanding. He almost scored early on, but sadly that seemed to be his only piece of (real) danger.

    Griezmann 5. In bad shape, the way I see it. Is capable of so much, but this season seems to mirror the previous one. Started the season pretty well, but he seems to lose the ball more and also seems to be less of an active part of offense than he was earlier. Not sure if he needs rest or, a different role or some sort of activation of his spark. I think at least the latter and like I said in Vietto’s piece, the team in general seems to lack much understanding.

    Correa 6. Showed to be a dangerous player, but he had troubles getting through and deciding what to do. His touches were mere details away from magic, but sadly those details were determining today. Hope he plays from the start alongside Oliver and Griezmann against Real Madrid (like Ahmad said), or join them for at least 30 minutes, because those details might just be in his favor. There were two moments where the three of them were about to be creating something out of nothing with just a few short passes. Adding a striker could be very interesting, but since it’s Real, I wouldn’t be surprised to see all of Saúl, Gabi and Koke behind them. I’d be okay with that, though. Like I said, they could potentially create something out of nothing between the three of them, and the direct passing by Koke and the more aimed passes by Gabi should, in theory, give them the opportunities to try and start up a magic trio.

    Torres N/A. He tried, had two good chances. Still it was too hard to judge him based on his significance yesterday, for me. As main striker he’s suffering too much from the lack of game in the team, leaving his chances to a minimum against solid defensive systems. Might get more chances against a team like Real, though.

    Team as a whole: 6.
    Defensively solid as usual, which pretty much said it all. They had few chances to win the game, but were unlucky to finish it off. An increase in offensive prowess is necessary for further progress as a team, though. Personally, I’d try to give Oli, Correa and Grizi more chances to gel, possible with either Carrasco or Vietto. Or Torres, of course, but that depends on the definite plans with him for next year. Vietto would improve the short passing game, and Carrasco would provide more individual class, being our most dynamic offensively minded player. At the moment I think at least three of Saúl, Gabi, Koke and Augusto will play, though. Would like to see some rotation there, too, though, with just two of those playing, but for now it’s probably safest to play with three in most games, until the offensive players have gained the necessary trust in themselves and from the rest of the team, growing more of an understanding with the team, etc.
    So yeah, the team was solid, but not magical, and I want to see more of that. The players have good vision, but bad understanding. Koke and Oli see things very fast, for instance, but it’s just not enough. Filipe and Juanfran tend to be free of a marker so it’s grown into an automatism to pass to them and see what happens, while before Koke and Arda were our main creative outlets to pass to, going forward. The team’s changed and the tactics have too. The offensive midfielders are playing more from their positions than before. The aforementioned Koke and Arda used to be found very close to eachother on a single wing, almost playing around with passing between them, but now it’s players just passing to the first free player they see. I hope the players feel a little more free to show their skills and some creative positioning in the near future…
    This was all a little negative, but I won’t take our effort and defense for granted. Therefore I think the 6 is well deserved. Perhaps it could even be deserving of a 7, since PSV was playing really well, too, which is definitely deserving of some mentioning. But I was too disappointed about our offensive game to give that.

    For the coming weekend, the derbi, I’d like to opt for a line-up. I’ve already been writing way too long of a post, anyway. I’ve pretty much mentioned my ideas for some partnerships in my player match ratings, but I’d like to visualize it a little more.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – Oblak – – – – – – – – – – – –

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    – – – – – Giménez – – – – – – – – – Godín – – – – –

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – Koke – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    – Juanfran – – Gabi – – – – Saúl – – – – – Filipe –

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    – – – – – – – – – – – Óliver – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    – – – – Correa – – – – – – – – – – Griezmann – – –

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    (aka a 4-3-1-2 [although could be seen as a diamond 4-4-2 or a variation on 4-3-3, I guess] with: Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Godín, Filipe; Gabi, Koke, Saúl; Óliver; Correa y Griezmann)

    Speaks for itself, I think.

    Giménez and Godín.
    Savic instead of Josema is a possibility, but I’m a little more of a fan of Giménez’
    Either way, should make for a solid partnership in the back.

    Juanfran and Filipe.
    Their regular wingback duties, might have to be a little cautious with Real’s wingers, though.

    The deeplying playmaker. A bit of a silent version, though. Bringing the play forward swiftly but wisely. Always open to receive the ball.

    Gabi and Saúl.
    Main task is being better than Real’s midfielders. Winning the ball and handing it over to Koke, Óliver or the wingbacks. Especially Gabi could give some direct passes forward when he sees good space for Correa or Griezmann (or someone else running forward), at times, but his main task will be security, which fortunately is his speciality.

    Main creative outlet. Most free role in the team. Correa and Griezmann will have to do the defending of the Real wingbacks when necessary. He is probably strongest at keeping the ball with his dribbling skills, which could come in useful when there’s a need of holding up the play.

    Correa and Griezmann.
    Switch sides frequently and half-free roles going forward. Will have to combine with Oli a lot, trying to make the opposition’s defenders dizzy with, hopefully, smart positioning and passing.

    Substitutions: Torres in minute 60, will depend on the game for whom. Vietto and Augusto are options when (probably not happening) two goals ahead or more. Vietto for the counters and Augusto for solidity. When it’s a tight game, being one goal ahead and with Real showing strength, bring on Savic and Augusto. When behind or if the game is going to a dull 0-0, send in Vietto for Saúl or Gabi (or Koke, but I don’t think that will prove beneficial).

    I think the players I mentioned could start, with Oli and Correa being the least certain of their positions, but I think they’ll play 4-4-2 with either Saúl or Koke as the winger/offensive midfielder opposite Oli/Correa. There’s also the chance Augusto will start instead of Oli/Correa, but I hope that’s not the case. We’ll both be too prone to lose the ball going forward, especially with the guy lacking rhythm, because of the injury.

    Whatever the formation, though, I hope we’ll win. (Duh.) I know it’s early, but AUPA ATLETI 😀
    have a nice day.

  • Chewie

    Sometimes it’s funny to read the post-game comments in which it always seems like there was only one team on the pitch. The truth is, we were playing fine, not great, not even good, but in La Liga it’s enough to win games. In the CL, however, it’s not.

    PSV put up a solid performance – they clearly lacked class, but compensated for that with organisation, energy, speed and luck. Their supporters were amazing, cheering right until the last second. Basically, they played like Villarreal – a compact, tight football where little chances can be created by our offense that usually scores after the opponents’ mistakes.

    I agree that the potential our team has is incredible, and that our problems are of systemic nature. This season’s struggles reminded me of a saying by Aristotle that excellence is a habit. Same thing with attacking football, I guess, it has to be a habit to really become a weapon.

    How many times in the PSV game did we have total control of the ball and the game? How many positional attacks? Yet, every time someone made a wrong pass or a stupid cross or didn’t make the run.

    However, I think things are improving, although very slowly. Simeone is not an idiot, he knows he must change, it’s only a matter of actually making the changes.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    The phrase ” we were playing fine, not great, not even good, but in La Liga it’s enough to win games ” is actually contradicting the rest of your comment !
    They played like Villarreal you say, and I would say like Sevilla too, and we played against them like we played against those two, but it wasn’t enough to win, all the three games ended 0-0 .

    You are right, it’s not our habit to attack, that’s why we struggle, and right now it must becomes our habit, because most teams are parking the bus against us, especially at home, which forces us to attack, even if Simeone didn’t like it .

    Of course Simeone is not an idiot, but I’m afraid that he is like what Will Smith said in “I, Robot” movie : ” the dumbest smart person I’ve ever met in my life ” !!
    And he is stubborn as a mule, before the game against Villarreal he said something in the press conference I can’t understand why wasn’t there too much talking about it, he said : ” You know me, I don’t vary my ways too much, it’s not that I’m hardheaded, but I have an idea of what I want, and then I can be wrong of course ”
    I’m not sure what we make of that, does it mean that he really will never change, or doesn’t mean that he heard the criticism and he is trying to change but he is so proud to admit it ?!
    I hope it’s the latter, because I’m very sure that his old “ways” won’t work anymore, and if he kept sticking to them then he is a hardheaded idiot .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    “Koke a deep-lying playmaker” those three words are a key, they are the solution of most of our problems and of all Koke’s problems .
    And Simeone knows that, he did say it last summer : “I want Koke to be our Xavi”, but when the season started he asked him to be our Iniesta, and he will never be, he can’t even be our Arda, hell, he can’t even be our Carrasco or our Oliver !!

    ———— DM — Koke ——–
    Correa ——Oliver——–Carrasco
    ———- DM — Koke ——–
    Grizi ——Oliver——–Carrasco
    ———— DM ———–
    ——Oliver——–Koke ——–
    Grizi ——————–Carrasco

    There are many variations, but the most important thing is to not put Koke in the final third of the field .
    And I love Saul, but I really don’t give a shit about where is his place, he could be that DM if he wants, or could be another deep-lying playmaker and rotate with Koke, because I can’t see him as winger or attacking midfielder, not a great one at least .
    I don’t want to see Gabi, Koke, Oliver & Saul together unless we are playing a very big team like Madrid or Barca or Bayern, but not Getafe or Rayo .

  • Chewie

    I guess I wanted to say “it used to be enough to win games in La Liga”.
    As for Simeone, I believe that next season we’ll know if he’s a hard-headed idiot or a rational top-class coach. It’s simple, really, he just has to look at the statistics and the number of trophies he won after 2014.

  • Chewie

    I want Koke to be our Koke, man. Screw Xaviniesta and Ardasco.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yeah, me too, I hate calling players the new that and the new this, I was just quoting Simeone (if the reports were true and he really did say that) .

    But I want Koke to be our center midfielder Koke, not our attacking midfielder Koke .

  • Ringo

    I think Koke actually is capable of being an offensive player or winger, but not with team around him right now. For the team right now Koke needs to be more of a central midfielder, because the opposite winger/attacking midfielder just doesn’t complement Koke as 10’ish player.
    Vietto and Torres aren’t the battlers Costa was and Mandzukic didn’t have his pace. Also, the team was more of a direct approach team. Raul Garcia, Diego, Sosa, Arda, Costa, Falcao, Cebolla were all way more offensively direct players. Saúl, Óliver and even Vietto, Correa and Griezmann don’t offer Koke the types of movements to have him at worldclass offensive midfielder level. Now he pretty much has to be the midfielder running forward himself.

    The team hasn’t gotten worse, though, but things need to change around for Koke to be as dangerous as he was before. You can’t give all those through balls if there’s no one running forward.

    That’s why, in this team, I’d like Koke to be a central midfielder, either part of the pivote or as a Pirlo-like player.
    But oh well, we’ll see how things progress, this isn’t in my hands.

  • Ringo

    And if we are doing that, Xavi was no Xavi without Iniesta (and Messi).
    If Koke needs to fulfill a Xavi role for us, Óliver needs to be our Iniesta and we’d need more dynamic forward formations. Meaning three of Correa, Grizi, Vietto, Carrasco and Torres at all times.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Actually, Koke and Oliver have been compared to Xavi and Iniesta many times, and there were several rumors about Barca’s interest in them to replace Xavi & Iniesta .

    In my opinion, those are the perfect positions for both of them, Koke in Xavi’s position and Oli in Iniesta’s position, but neither of them is playing in those positions too often .

    And having 3 attackers in front of Koke & Oliver means that we must have only one DM, which most people have been repeating too many times, and that’s also the case at Barca, only Busquets, and I would never get worried about weakening our defense, because :
    1-Our back 4 are -defensively- way better than Barca’s .
    2-Their attackers do not defend like ours, Neymar doesn’t defend like Grizi, Messi was responsible for Bale’s goal in the cup final 2014 after he didn’t bother to try recovering the ball he lost and kept watching like us .

    It’s very easy and very obvious, but Simeone is just too cautious .