Player ratings: Rampant rojiblancos win at Mestalla

We analyse the players' performances as Atleti impress against Los Che

Torres scored on his 300th appearance for the club

Torres scored on his 300th appearance for the club

Atlético Madrid won at Mestalla for just the second time this millenium on Sunday, as goals from Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres and Yannick Carrasco secured a 3-1 win over Valencia.

Gary Neville’s team were well beaten by the red and whites, who restore their four point advantage over Real Madrid and keep the pressure on Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Read on to see how we rated the players:

Jan Oblak – 6

Nothing he could do for the goal. Only real save he had to make was from a Siqueira volley, but kept calm through and took a few dangerous crosses out of the air. Sadly didn’t get the clean sheet.

Juanfran – 7

For somebody who covers so much ground on the wing, it’s crazy that he’s never caught out of position. Saying that, needs to watch the line in attack a bit more, but provided an outlet throughout.

Josema Giménez – 7

Had to be the senior figure in defence today without Godín and Savic, and passed the test despite a shaky start. Grew as the match went on, and made a number of crucial interceptions and clearances.

Lucas Hernández – 7

Did show his lack of experience on a couple of occasions, but that was to be expected in his first La Liga start at centre-back. Excellent in the second half, and distributed the ball very well. Didn’t look at all out of place.

Filipe Luís – 7

Like Juanfran, his ability to be just where you want him both in defence and attack is incredible. Put in some good crosses today that weren’t taken advantage of, and dealt with the energetic Feghouli without problems.

Gabi – 7

After a slight drop in form around new year, he’s been very impressive in recent weeks and did a great job today alongside Kranevitter. Shut down Valencia’s threat through the middle, and spread the play in style.

Matías Kranevitter – 8

Excellent full debut in red and white, despite coming off fairly early on. Great in possession, moving the ball very quickly out wide and between the lines. Looks born to play in this team.

Koke – 7

Some of his passing and crossing was a bit wayward, but he made the difference when need, assisting Griezmann and playing the corner for Torres’ goal. Covered every blade as usual.

Saúl Ñíguez – 6

Not as decisive as in recent weeks, but like Koke he covered a lot of ground and made things uncomfortable for Valencia players in possession. However, did lose the ball a couple of times in dangerous areas, something he needs to cut out.

Antoine Griezmann – 8 (Man of the match)

Well and truly has his groove back now. Scored a superb opener and set up Carrasco’s goal, and played with confidence all game. Passed and moved with real style, making a number of clever passes and lay-offs. What a player.

Luciano Vietto – 7

Getting closer to becoming the striker we were expecting, but is still missing the finishing touch in front of goal. Movement and link-up play was mainly very good, and was only denied by a Diego Alves wonder save. Promising.


Fernando Torres – 7

Brilliant cameo on the night of his 300th match in red and white. Scored the crucial second goal, but also held the ball up well and drew the red card for Aderlan Santos with a clever turn. Looking very sharp at the moment.

Yannick Carrasco – 7

Great to have him back. Despite the injury, it took him no time to get back involved, picking up where he left off with a number of threatening runs a killer goal. Showed just how important he is now.

Óliver Torres – N/A

Do you agree with our ratings? Who was your man of the match?

  • aileen

    Vietto=Carasco ?:D
    Maybe I`ve been watching another match, but it`s rather strange to see things this way.Vietto plays and moreover starts a game because :
    1. is an Argentinian as Diego Simeone
    2. had a good half of the previous season in Villareal
    3. was bought for some serious money and coach is desperate to prove that he doesn`t make such mistakes
    Carrasco is fast, strong, determined in a penalty area, makes intelligent decisions, and scored another beautiful goal.
    And the same note for Vietto and for Torres who (not for the first time) scored a decisive goal, also defending and winning some corners?!
    Griezmann was OK but not for the 8.Nice goal but also many lost opportunities. Sometimes he gets ratings for the present match as well as some previous ones.

  • nandes

    I think Lucas was a bit off in Valencia’s goal where he could have done more to stop Alcacer’s header, but otherwise pretty solid. Glad we didn’t let him go on loan. Also a good match for Krane & Vietto who just really needs a goal to get his confidence back.

  • Karlp

    Oliver plays really good in the 5 minutes he got. He has a really good vision and accurate pass. He should play in the center, either in deep-lying (Kroos type) or more forward (Ozil type).

    As harsh as it sound, between Saul-Koke-Oliver, I think Koke should be the one to be left out

  • Ringo

    Koke is the most solid of the three. He’s part of most of our good quick-passing movements. Saúl can be indecisive and Oli probably has the best pass but his connection with the rest of the team is not that consistent yet.

    That being said, I’d prefer not to have to choose between them at all. With Lucas starting center back I got why Kranevitter started instead of Oli, though.

    Good game, I think I agree with most ratings Billy presented us with.
    On to the next one.

  • KC

    Good performance all around. I still wish someone would see the runs Torres makes. On the right team, he would score 15-20 goals. Atleti just don’t play the ball to space very well and waste 80% of the player he is.

  • Koke

    I do think that Koke is one of the least consistent midfielders we have, and the problem is that I think many fans will see him as untouchable since he is one of our “stars” even though we don’t have a squad with that thinks in terms of “stars” thankfully. Ever since Diego Costa left Koke hasn’t been as effective because he doesn’t have anyone to send through on goal that often or cross to, except maybe Griezmann. Also his set piece delivery isn’t as perfect anymore. What Koke does offer though is maturity and experience, which I honestly think are the only two areas where he is undeniably better than Saul and Oliver at this time.

    Saul and Koke have a better understanding, but so do Oliver and Koke. Saul and Oliver haven’t played together much so they might not complement each other perfectly yet. But I do think Oliver is very underrated by Simeone, because whenever he is on the field he spreads the play very well, dribbles between the lines, and helps with holding onto possession in the final third, all things that we struggle with sometimes. I’m just waiting for him to have a game where he assists 2, 3, or even one goal, it’s bound to happen soon and should have already but his passes weren’t finished off.

  • Koke

    I think Angel Correa and Oliver Torres are the two players who would be best at seeing Torres’ runs and feeding him through on goal, in fact that’s what each one did a couple times against Eibar (Correa in the first game and Oliver in the second). We need a player like one of them in the lineup, Saul and Koke are getting better offensively with every game but they will just never fit the profile of “number 10” or “attacking playmaker”, it’s just not the type of player they are. If we had someone to feed Torres with opportunities to run behind the defense he could do better, but those types of players are left on the bench.

  • Kris

    No man, Koke is being played out of position, that’s why you think he’s struggling. He contributes every other way but the stats because he doesn’t have a player like Costa or headers of the ball(because many teams have figured it out). He just needs to be played deep in the midfield where he’s able to pick up the ball and pass and pass and bring the ball forward. Saul is not better at passing than Koke is and we all know that. Oliver can not defend as well as Koke because he’s not a CM and we all know that. Koke should be played every game and he must be played at CM, it’s just Simeone… Anyways, Saul is doing good, Koke is doing good, but Oliver’s not because he’s not being played. That sucks but that’s just how it is.

  • Koke

    Yeah on second thought I agree with that, Koke would probably do a lot better in his natural position. The question is, will we EVER see him play there? With Gabi, Augusto, Kranevitter, Tiago coming back, and sometimes even Saul and Thomas, we have so many players that Simeone seems to prefer playing in CM or DM. The problem is, all of them are playing pretty well, so who gets dropped? Like you, I really wish Koke would play deeper and Oliver would get more minutes, but we’ll have to see if that will ever happen in the near future. I still maintain hope that it might, one day, because Simeone did say he would play Koke deep before the season started, so at least we know he considered it.

  • Kris

    Well we’ve already seen him dropping deep like today when Krane came off, Koke played in his position and was doing quite well. I would like for him to create space and stretch the field out a bit, like Augusto does, Koke is a very good CM. The transition has taken place in quite a few games. Its happening but very slowly but with 7 central midfielders in the team, its quite hard for Koke to suddenly change to full-time CM.

  • Karlp

    If I can pick I don’t want to lose any of them, but at this point I’m afraid we are losing Oliver without really realizing his potential. Saul, though his ball distribution is still subpar, of course is the best defensively so I can’t criticise much. Look at his tackle against Feghouli. With most players, it would’ve been a penalty.

    Now, I just hope Simeone can find a system to incorporate all of them. Or rotate them more, like Barca do with their midfield.

  • Rowly

    I was at the game and you notice different things than when watching on tv.

    For example, the positions Koke takes up to create space for Juanfran. That shows the depth of their understanding, so much of our attacking play goes through Juanfran and Koke pretty much sacrifices himself to become a pivot for 1-2’s and to create space. I can understand why Simeone likes Koke on the right although we’d get more from Koke in cm.

    Vietto is still adapting his game to suit the way we play, sometimes it seems his instinct tells him to do one thing while his brain is telling him something different. However, he is getting in goal scoring positions and once he scores his confidence should return.

    We need Carrasco to play to support Griezmann & Vietto and more importantly to give us pace on the break. But who gets left out of the midfield???

    Kranevitter was very good. Positionally disciplined and strong with his tackles, but most importantly he got the ball moving quickly rather than dwell on it.

    Gimenez-Lucas has a lot of potential as a partnership, a few shaky moments as you’d expect from 2 so young but overall they grew into the game and were pretty solid.

  • aileen

    What can I say is that I haven`t said a single word about midfield , but I appreciate your view:)-Carrasco is rather an attacker than midfielder for me .About Vietto-high ratings are not about adapting (wandering on the pitch,looking at /not for partners,) but for effective, creative game (scoring or not doesn`t always depend on one person ) .Probably CF is not a position for him and it`s not a problem of confidence. Unconfident person doesn`t shot – he takes some shots but they are inaccurate.Another problem is thinking I have a ball i must take a shot – all we know that ball should be given to a best positioned player, not left for himself because `I`m a striker so I have to score `.So he is not adapting, but he simply doesn`t think too much about a game but about himself;) as well as can`t read a game neither can anticipate situation nor look for some spaces to send a ball to better positioned partners.Maybe with time passing and getting experience it could change but as it is now he shouldn`t start games

  • Rowly

    Sorry, I thought I was posting in general rather than replying specifically to your post ☺️

  • aileen


  • wudoo

    Vietto 7? For what?