Player ratings: Griezmann the archer strikes down Real

We analyse a memorable performance as Atleti win in the Bernabéu yet again

Atleti ended their run of 320 minutes without a goal

Atleti ended their run of 320 minutes without a goal

Atlético Madrid put on a defensive masterclass at the Bernabéu on Saturday afternoon, winning 1-0 in the Madrid derby thanks to Antoine Griezmann’s second half goal.

The red and whites out-thought and out-muscled their local rivals, and become the first team in Spanish football history to win away at Real Madrid in three consecutive seasons.

We are also now four points ahead of them in second place, and have the head-to-advantage with twelve games remaining of the league season.

Read on to see how we rated the players:

Jan Oblak – 8

Didn’t make a mistake all game. Took every cross, saved every shot and transmitted complete security to his defence. Won personal duel with Ronaldo by a margin, making three crucial blocks to keep him at bay.

Juanfran – 7

Excellent in attack, even better in defence. Dealt with the various players Madrid put out on there left, making a number of vital interventions whilst also getting forward and providing an outlet at every opportunity.

Diego Godín – 8

Was in the wars, but as usual he was a titan at the back, showing calm and decisiveness at all times to help us see out the win. Further cementing his status as a legend and cult figure at the club.

Josema Giménez – 7

Some have had their doubts with him lately given Savic’s impressive form, but he answered his critics with a near faultless display alongside his compatriot. Like Godín, he never shirks a challenge and has excellent decision making for one so young.

Filipe Luís – 8

Didn’t let first half yellow card limit his performance, showing his quality on the ball, in defence and most notably in attack, as he combined with Griezmann to set up the winning goal. One of his best performances since re-joining last summer.

Gabi – 7

Another who has taken some critics lately, but on the afternoon of his 300th appearance, he showed the discipline and character that has made him such a key part of our recent successes. He and Augusto did a great job of shutting down Kroos and Modric.

Augusto – 8 (Man of the match)

Having missed four weeks with a knee injury, he came back and put in a quite incredible performance on the biggest stage. Was one step ahead of Madrid’s midfield, always in the right place and showing class on and off the ball. His ability to play the right pass and keep hold of possession is very impressive, a Gabi and Tiago hybrid.

Koke – 7

Covered every blade of grass, doing his usual job both in attack and defence with a tireless showing. Passed the ball well, and almost scored an Olympic goal early on when his corner struck the upright. Much improved.

Saúl Ñíguez – 8

Hugely mature performance, and an indicator of just how far he has come since being taken off at half-time at the Bernabéu in last year’s Champions League clash. So intelligent, uses his body well and like Augusto, seems to know what will happen before other players. What a player he is turning in to.

Antoine Griezmann – 8

They said he didn’t perform in big games, but unlike his opposite number he made the difference when needed to win the match. Very good in general play as well, holding the ball well, combining well on the counter attack and sharp with his shooting. Delighted for him to have a moment like this after five games without a goal.

Fernando Torres – 7

Showed just why he is Simeone’s first choice for the big matches, using all of his experience and providing the focal point that we lacked at PSV in midweek. Made a lot of intelligent runs, worked the channels, battled well with Ramos and Varane and held the ball up when he had to.


Matías Kranevitter – 6

Not overly involved, but was up to the task of replacing Augusto and slotted in seamlessly alongside Gabi to help us see out the three points.

Ángel Correa – 6

Very bright in his short time on the pitch, making a few nice touches and runs. However, he did lose one ball that lead to a Real Madrid chance, and was booked for an over the top challenge on Danilo. Still learning, but his talent is as clear as day.

Do you agree with our ratings? What did you make of the performance?

  • Urban

    I think Torri deserved rather a 6, but otherwise the ratings are spot on IMHO. Amazing game by Augusto and Saul, I hope they will continue in this manner. This game can give us some important momentum and mental boost for the reminder of the season.

  • aileen

    Very solid match from Augusto, Felipe, Godin and Saul-he so calm, mature and hard working. Brillant Oblak .Griezmann was also good and what is most important -scored a goal.Torres also played a good match , 7 is proper for his hardworking, anticipation, body movement and reading of the game.

  • Mitch

    Apparently Cholo singled out Saul, Torres & Griezmann for their great
    efforts…” The lungs on the field, tremendous. Great heart from Saul
    [Niguez], Fernando, to chase impossible balls. That led us to take a
    chance and resolve the game in the best way, with a beautiful goal that
    brought victory”.

    “We scored the goal, and had chances for more. It’s a game we prepared a
    lot for, worked a lot for. We pressed high, with brilliant effort from
    Griezmann and [Fernando] Torres”

  • Chewie

    O, sweet taste of victory!
    I’m happy we got Filipe back. Aside from occasional composure issues, he’s the most complete defender we could hope for. The same goes for Juanfran, but though he’s fast and furious, he seems to be the calmer one.
    Augusto, I’m starting to become a fan. And what a great name, which translates as “majestic”, “the increaser”, or “venerable”. The majestic increaser.
    Oblak (Slovenian for “cloud”) = cloud security.
    Godin is so immense that you can hide half a stadium in his shadow.
    The young lads Koke, Griezmann and Saul has a great time, outclassing the not-so-shiny-galacticos.
    Correa is a bad boy, had zero respect for Danilo and whoever else. Waiting for Simeone to tame him.
    Godin said in an interview that though Gimenez is only 21 years old, it fells like he’s been playing top-class football for three decades. What more is there to say?

  • aileen

    Thanks for the link !I haven`t read it before writing:)

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Look, I can’t even describe how happy beating Real Madrid makes me, and when it comes to beating them I will admit that it’s all Simeone, because in many derbies before him we had stronger teams than we have now and RM had weaker teams than they have now but we just couldn’t do it .
    It is a very important win table-wise, not that I believe we can win the league, to do that Bacra need to drop 9 points and we have to drop nothing, neither of those cases will happen, but because of the third place, since Villarreal were coming closer to us and they have won the head-to-head against us, but now RM are the ones who have to worry about finishing 4th, which makes this win today even sweeter .
    And it’s a historic win as well, last season it was already the first time to win 2 consecutive league derbies at the Bernabeu, today we made it 3, which is not just the first time for Atleti, but the first time for any team in La Liga to win 3 seasons in a row in the Bernabeu, which means that even Barca couldn’t do it .

    Having said all that, and believe me, I don’t want to sound negative, but we never had a problem against big teams with Simeone, our big problem is against the smaller ones, not just this season, but since last season, after small teams started to look at us as La Liga champions and UCL runners up .
    Last season, after winning 2-1 in the Bernabeu we drew 2-2 with Celta in the Calderon the next game, and after thrashing Madrid 4-0 we traveled to Celta and lost 2-0 .
    There was an article in this website last season under the subject “Big Games Effect” and I disagreed with it back then and I still disagree now, big games effect means that we suffer physically after those games, which is not true, we are El Profe’s Atleti, or that we suffer mentally, which is also not true, because we are Simeone’s Atleti who learned his players “partido a partido” and “our motivation doesn’t come from the name of the opponent or the name of the competition, but from the shirt of Atletico de Madrid”
    The problem is not “big games effect”, the problem is very obvious, it’s the same one that makes our away games much easier than the home ones :
    When small teams play against us, especially at the Calderon, they set at the back and give the ball to us, and we don’t have the slightest idea what do with it .

    This morning a friend on twitter asked me about the line-up I would use today,
    and I said :
    This is one of the few times I will agree with Simeone, filling the midfield with 4 players, Gabi, August, Saul & Koke, with Grizi & Torres up front .
    But I really don’t think this will work in the Calderon against R.Sociedad next Tuesday .
    I really really wish that I won’t have to say after that game : ” told you so ” .

    Madrid es Rojiblanca .

  • AaX

    I KNOW it is always a Super GREAT feeling everytime we pulled out a great result against the rival but things are not over yet for us this week. We still have PSV to contend before calling it a day.

    To be honest, although everytime without failed it is always got me jittery just before this match started I just think that our defensive display will be too solid against real. This is not to mention how low they recently stoop to deter our focus with such outrageous media propaganda over such a suspiciosly fixed fixtures made on us and also barca this season.
    My real issue here is whether we can score goals and my suspicion is confirmed after having watched our 2 previous games.

    Abandon the 3 forward of 4-5-1or 4-3-3 system. Stick back to the 4-4-2 or 4-2-2-2. OUR STYLE OF PLAY SUITS THIS FORMATION PERFECTLY. The way we played against PSV before switching to 3 attacks was more threatening and better. We can’t play the 4-3-3 because of our preliminary level of attacking build up abilities that is caused by our already defensive minded set-up. You need a fairly advance attacking play and emphasis to successfully play the 4-5-1 or 4-3-3. Thats why I think we were having trouble getting the goals.

    The 4-4-2 seems to be much Natural for us and I think we’ll do even much better than before having the players we have. So lets focus first on our next Champions League match opponent at the Calderon this midweek, PSV. They’ll be figuring out what counter attacking moves they would want to pull out against Atleti but I hope we have other plans and different ideas……The Good Ones.

    VAMOS Atleti !!

  • Rowly

    Completely agree, I think you make your point very well here. Simeone needs to learn which games we need to be compact and which ones we need to be expansive in order to maximise the teams potential.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I was glad that Kranevitter and Correa got on the field. This is the best way to teach them how important this game, and this derby is. Many of the wishful Real thinkers are saying that Godin should have gotten a red card, but we could say that Ramos should have see two yellows. But we all know that Real fans are the worst losers. Glad we won because Villareal is a beast this year and we are keeping that 6 point cushion between us. Now, the the “real” question is, will Real fall to 4th by the end of the season.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I hear you. But I think that we will do better. It seemed having Augusto on the field brought our level up. Then he go hurt and we leveled out again. No he is back and we look sharper again. Especially Koke. I think Koke needs a guy who can feed him the ball well. Arda and Tiago did that for him in the past, and I think Augusto does the same. I think after the PSV disappointment, Atletico turned a corner. We will not win La Liga, but I will be very happy with 2nd…and winning the Champions League.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Filipe looked like his old self today (and lately). I think the yellow card was a little harsh. But what I liked best about this game is that it was a clean game. There were fouls but just the normal ones you would see in any game.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    In fact, and I know that will sound strange, but I believe Augusto is a problem, more so after his great performance against Barca and against Madrid, because I can’t see any of the other 3 midfielders getting benched,
    Gabi is our Captain, and despite being underappreciated even by our own fans, this season’s statistics are on his side, people can look it up .
    Saul is doing good, he is everywhere on the pitch and he score goals .
    And Koke, well, is Koke !
    And there is a 5th one who is coming back soon, Tiago !

    We have a problem in the BALANCE of the squad, too many CMs, too many striker, only one winger, only one playmaker and only one left back, a 30-year-old one .
    Add to that Simeone’s dislike or disability of rotation & his “trust” issues .

    Real Madrid had a similar problem with the first Galacticos, but the difference is that they were overcrowded up front, not in the midfield .
    They had Raul, Ronaldo, Figo, Zidane & Beckham, all the 5 played together many times under their many coaches, and although they had different characteristics and they played in different positions, but in general : they all were offensive players, and none of them had defensive abilities (one of the reasons that made Ronaldo leave Inter was that Cuper -current coach of my national team, Egypt- asked him to defend, but he didn’t want to) .
    What was the result ?! .. in 5 seasons, from 2001 to 2006, this “great” team won only one Liga, only one UCL and zero Copa del Rey .
    (Ronaldo came in 2002 and left in 2007, and he didn’t win or even reach a single UCL final with them)

    When Saul missed that great chance in min. 66, the first thing I thought of was : ” Correa or Oliver could have scored it ”
    If Augusto is so good and very important that he can’t be benched, then bench Gabi or Saul, or even better, Gabi and Saul, not Oliver & Correa .

  • AndersAT

    Well we still need to score more goals to keep both Real Madrid and Villlareal behind us. But I agree, Villlareal is a real threat.