Player ratings: Ten man Atleti lose to Barcelona

Let's have a look at how Atleti fared in the first leg defeat to Barca

Fernando Torres celebrates scoring for Atlético against Barcelona

Fernando Torres celebrates scoring for Atlético against Barcelona

It was all going to plan when Fernando Torres, who earned his right to play after a brilliant outing last weekend, scored a goal to put his side ahead midway through the first half.

The goal silenced a Camp Nou crowd that was so loud when both starting XIs walked out onto the pitch, you couldn’t even hear the UEFA Champions League anthem.

Atletico Madrid came out pressing high, hoping to pressure Barca’s backline into a mistake, and reverted to bringing everyone behind the ball when Luis Enrique’s men reached their half. It worked, Barca had possession but were limited from their creative genius by being kept out wide.

However, six minutes after Torres received a yellow in the 29th minute, the Spaniard pressed Sergio Busquets and rammed his knee into his compatriots’ leg to earn himself a first-class ticket to the exit.

The red card was shown, Diego Simeone protested, and it felt like deja vu all over again, except this time it wasn’t Filipe Luis trying to break an Argentine’s knee.

After that, los Rojiblancos managed to defend like their lives and season depended on it (it kind of did), and only managed to let one of ‘MSN’s trident onto the scoresheet. Luis Suarez scored two in the second half, and Atleti were left to tell themselves that it could have been worse as the ref blew the final whistle.

Read on for ratings:

Starting XI 

Oblak – 8 

Interestingly enough, Atleti’s Slovenian stopper was put to work when Atletico Madrid was actually still at full strength. He had a brilliant point-black stop on Neymar’s only shot on goal. On free-kicks and set-pieces he was pretty much perfect when going out to grab away the chances.

Juanfran – 8 

Juanfran has to be a top 5 Atleti player all season based on his consistency, his dribbling down his flank, and his defensive work rate. Although today his on-the-ball services weren’t needed much, Torres’s red card killed that aspect; he did his work when his side stayed compact cleared away many loose balls.

Godín – 8 

The Uruguayan was viewed as questionable for actually being fully fit to play despite being given the green light on Sunday. Nonetheless, he got at nearly every ball that came his way via head, body, and leg. Godin anchored his line to near perfection when the going got rough for his shorthanded side midway through the second half.

Lucas – 7 

The 20-year old didn’t disappoint. Like many of his teammates, he did what he could on the backfoot with only nine other teammates by his side. It was a great outing from a young center-back who is showing great promise.

Filipe – 8 

Like Juanfran, the Brazilian was left to sit-back and defend after Torres was sent off and didn’t get to show off his Samba skills in Barca’s lower-third. Either way, he did his job when Barca was pummeling them with crosses from the wide areas.

Gabi – 8 

Generally speaking, Gabi’s whole side defended excellently when you take into consideration just how good Barcelona is, let alone against 10 men. However, Gabi was involved in Torres’ goal as it was he who passed the ball to Koke. Defensively? Of course he was good.

Koke – 9 (Man of the Match)

Great overall performance from the Spaniard, was up and down the pitch before Atleti went down a man, and split the defense when he fed the ball to Torres.

Saúl – 7 

Worked hard all game and had great movement on the counter attack. He was arguably the most offensive-minded player on the break. The 24-year old midfielder didn’t falter either when Barca came knocking in his end. Displays like these prove why he is such a brilliant two-way player.

Carrasco – 7

Excellent runs when the ball was at his feet and caused problems for Barca’s midfield with his pace when his side were still at full strength. He came off in the 53rd minute for Augusto Fernandez when it was clear that Atletico were only going to focus on defending.

Torres – 4 

Against Real Betis he was his classic self, and for the opening 34 minutes he was too, then he stupidly challenged Busquets and prevented his team from having the best possible chance to win. The idiotic challenge was a huge blow to his rating.

Griezmann – 7 

He was right there with his mates, deep in the trenches, when the Catalan giants were dropping bombs from left and right. Prior to the Torres ’embarrassment,’ his link and build-up play was class.


Augusto Fernandez – 7

The midfielder came on in the 53rd to defend his club from even more embarrassment than Torres already caused, and succeeded despite scissor tackling Dani Alves.

Thomas – 6

The youngster came on to offer fresh pace and to equalize after Griezmann was fighting for his life for 76 minutes. He had decent spots of brilliance on the break but no cigar.

Angel Correa – N/A

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Few years ago in Camp Nou, van Persie received his second yellow and was sent off for playing the ball after the ref whistled an offside, could that happen to a Barca player ?!

    Last season, Gabi was sent off in the tunnel after the first half because he said to the ref :
    “That was a penalty and a red card” (referring to Alba’s handball, which wasn’t called then Barca scored from the counter) .
    Can any ref in the world send off Barca’s captain in the fucking tunnel ?!

    And do you remember Motta’s scandalous sent off in Camp Nou ?! .. also against Busquets .

    Maybe Torres’s sent off was correct, maybe he should have been more careful, but there is now way it would have happened with any of the “MSN” or the “BBC”, and maybe that what was Torres thinking of when he committed that foul against Busquets .

    And wasn’t there a possibility to play the whole game 11 vs 11 but without Torres and still lose, and even 2-0 instead of 2-1 ?! .. I think there was .

    The red card maybe was correct, but it’s still harsh, the man scored a very precious away goal, and he took the responsibility of the defeat .
    So, fuck Barca, fuck UEFA and fuck Felix Brych, Torres gets 9 out of 10 from me .

    And once again : give him a new contract .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Taking all circumstances in consideration, I think Lucas played a great game .
    That foul he committed against Neymar at the last few minutes of the game and prevented him from going on one-on-one with Oblak kept us alive in the 2nd leg .
    The idiot Bartra couldn’t or wouldn’t make a foul against Bale in the cup final 2014 and cost his team the title !

    I give Lucas 9 out of 10 .

    Another great product of our academy, with that performance maybe we should consider selling Savic if he turned out to be an injury-prone . I hope not .

  • All storylines and bias aside, the challenge was reckless considering his principle point of contact was his knee. The call was harsh, but it wasn’t unwarranted.

  • Epoy

    calling it now.. we will win at Calderon 2-1…
    we will go through semi finals via penalty

    11-10…. Oblak to score the winning penalty kick…

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Oblak made a good game in general, but some GKs, De Gea and Courtois for example could have saved the second goal, although it was very difficult, but it wasn’t impossible, and they did save similar chances or even more difficult .
    I think 8 is too generous, I give him 6 .

    Is Grizi ever going to score against Barca ?! .. or against any other big team ?!
    In too many games against Spain’s top 6 “original top 6” Real, Barca, Valencia, Sevilla & Villarreal he scored only 2 goals .
    He didn’t score against Juve or Benfica .
    Since Torres came back he scored 3 goals against Barca, 2 against Real Madrid, 1 against Valencia and 1 against Villarreal, and he didn’t play as much minutes as Grizi .
    That’s why I said we could have played the whole game 11 vs 11 but without Torres and still lost, maybe 2-0, even 1-0 is worse than 2-1, because who would have scored ?! Griezmann, Carrasco, Vietto ?! .. I don’t think so .
    I give Grizi a 6 tonight .. but he is still the most important player in our team .

    I actually agreed with Simeone this time when he replaced Carrasco with Augusto, I thought he will control the midfield and give us defensive strength, but he didn’t .
    He gets a 5 .

    I know most of you won’t like this, but I give Gabi a 9, and he is my man of the match .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    All right, I will agree, he takes all the blame for the send off .

    But still, I won’t blame him for the defeat, even if he took the responsibility himself .
    At the Calderon he scored a goal, wasn’t sent off, and we also lost 2-1 .
    There is a big chance it would’ve happened again tonight with 11 vs 11 .
    Most of the blame goes for Simeone who hasn’t learnt yet after 6 games that you can not defend the whole game against Barca, you have to attack, even with 10 men .
    Real Madrid just did it 3 days ago, and it worked !!

    I think Augusto-Carrasco substitution was correct, especially that Carrasco looked exhausted, and despite that Augusto was -for me- surprisingly disappointing, but then Correa should have came on, much much earlier, to put some pressure on Barca’s ordinary defense and to try to steal a second goal .

    If you rated Simeone tonight, I wonder how much will you give him ?!
    I give him 5 .
    And if he started with Augusto instead of Carrasco I would have given him 4 or even 3 .

    While -in my honest, non-biased opinion- I truly believe the same result could have happened without the sent off, and a worst result could have happened if Torres didn’t play and score that away goal, because as I said below : who else could have scored ?!
    Against Enrique’s Barca we scored 6 goals, 1 from Koke, 2 penalties and 3 from Torres .
    And yet he is being treated like shit from the club’s board, the media and a big section of Atleti fans .
    Again : he gets a 9 from me .

  • We aren’t Real Madrid. There’s also a good chance that we would have won 11v11. We sit back and take our chances.

    Also, Simeone knows you need to attack hence, why we pressed high when Barca were still trying to get ball out of their half.

  • Koke

    Well, this is bad, but not terrible. I think Torres’ red card is bad not only because it meant we had to play most of this game a man down – ALSO because we won’t have him for the next leg. Can anyone truly see little Vietto stressing out Pique and Mascherano? I surely can’t; maybe I’m being harsh on him but he hasn’t proven to be a threat this season yet. If Gabi is suspended for the next game, I know that sucks but honestly it might be a disguised blessing, because you KNOW Simeone would have played Koke-Gabi-Augusto-Saul in Torres’ absence. Now he’ll be forced to start Vietto, Correa, Oliver, or Thomas in Torres’ place. I really hope it’s Correa. Then again, knowing Simeone, it could just be Kranevitter.

    The one good thing about this result is that we HAVE to attack now. We literally have no other choice. A clean sheet means absolutely nothing if we don’t score a goal. We literally have no option but to score at the very least once, now it’s time to see how Simeone and Atleti respond. We will see if our goalscoring woes were because of tactics or our players. I think a 1-0 win will be very, very hard to accomplish. I mean we did it against Madrid, but MSN seem to score no matter what the circumstance, even if they’re playing badly, even if it’s out of nothing. Winning 2-1 might be a more realistic outcome. We just have to attack. I can’t say it enough times. Barca’s attack and midfield are world class. Their defense is so average though. Dani Alves and Jordi Alba are short and weak, Masche isn’t even a defender and Pique is tough but he can’t stop us if we commit multiple men forward (which would be a rare sight for Atleti.) Madrid exposed Barca’s defensive incompetence in the clasico, look how even with ten men they sliced through their defense like swiss cheese. All we need is ambition and balls.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    What do you mean with : ” If Gabi is suspended for the next game ” ?!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yeah, we sit back and take our chances, and how did that work out for us in the last 7 games against Barca ?!
    How did that even work out for us against Depor & Gijon ?!

    And who will take our chances if there isn’t any attacker on the pitch to take them ?!
    It happened before, and it happened tonight, from min. 76 until min. 90 we had no striker, no forward, and no winger on the pitch .

    We can be as good as Real Madrid in attack, we have the players for that, but they are not playing, Oliver is not playing, Thomas is not playing, and Correa is playing very little .
    Correa is the 17th most used player in our squad .
    He only played more than Jackson & Siqueira who left in January, Augusto & Kranevitter who came in Januray, Moya, the 2nd GK, Lucas, the 4th CB & Thomas .

  • Kris

    I think you have set the standards for goalkeeping way too high. Although I believe Oblak could’ve done a little better with the second goal, it was very difficult to see through 10 players. De Gea and Courtois could have saved the goal or not, we’ll never know. But we do know that stakes were very high and it had always been constant pressure in the Atleti defense. What I think for a team inviting pressure and defending with 9 men is that the shot shouldn’t have been allowed to be taken. Maybe Oblak could’ve done a little better, but he guarded his goal very well throughout the match, except one situation where he made a save and tapped it only up to another Barca player and Juanfran had to flick it out his feet. I think he was a 7.

  • Kris

    Yes, Correa and Thomas should have entered the match after the 2nd half for Carrasco and Saul. Carrasco obviously wasn’t match-fit, he was more like at his 80%. I don’t think it was fair to start him in this game and I was actually expecting an all center mid midfield quatret.

    And what’s up with everybody blaming Torres for the defeat? Maybe we could’ve won the match with 11 men (I absolutely believe we could have won today or at least score one more goal), but it didn’t happen. Torres taking the blame on his Facebook account makes him look weak and hopeless, although he may have been forced to make it. Also all the fans turning on him are complete assholes. Football is a team game and you expect shit like this to happen, and blaming one player(even if he scored a hat trick of own goals lol) is foolish. I’ll never blame Torres or anyone who slips in front of goal for a loss, although I will acknowledge his fault.

    Like you said if anyone’s to be blamed for the loss it is Simeone for allowing pressure from Barcelona once again…sigh… but I’ll not blame him today either though. The controversial red card changed things but we should have still been able to counter attack which happened very rarely. Had there been Correa and Thomas in the game, players capable of making things happen, we would have had more chances.

    Also I think you’re being unfair to Griezmann whose job turns to be a defender in these games, but this post is already too long.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Well, 7 is still less than 8, which I think he didn’t deserve tonight .
    6 or 7 for a GK against Barca is not bad .
    I don’t think I’m setting the standards too high, I’m judging Oblak by his own standards, remember the 0-0 against RM in UCL last season ?! Real could have scored a goal or two and they wouldn’t have been his responsibility, but they didn’t score, because he made a couple of heroic saves . That game was a 10 .
    And in the second leg he also made many saves, couple of them were magnificent, but at the end he conceded a goal, in that game he gets an 8, or even a 9, but not tonight .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I can’t see any problem with Torres taking the blame (I didn’t see his post on Facebook, but he also apologized on Twitter & Instagram) .
    Why do you call it weakness ?! it’s nobleness and sportsmanship .
    A controversial red card, a harsh one, a player or two from Barca should have been sent off too, and all of that, but at the end of the day, he did make a mistake, and apology is the right thing to do, and only big players and big persons who can do it, and I respect and appreciate his apology . I didn’t wait for it, but it actually made me feel a little better .

    About Grizi, look, we all are making jokes about Ronaldo for failing to score in big games while scoring fours and fives against small teams, and I hate bias, Grizi has the same problem, we have to admit it, and he has to work on it .
    Yes, he defends a lot, but not just against big teams, he also defend a lot against small ones, but he doesn’t struggle to score against them like he does against big teams .

    But as I said, even with that problem he is still our most important player .

  • Hannu

    Strange that Godin got 8 as in finnish TV they clearly showed with replay that he should have kept Mr.Teeth in both of goals.

  • Hannu


  • Chewie

    Hell, even Moya could have saved the second goal. He’s slower than Oblak, maybe he would just stay in place with his arms stretched and just deflect the header.

  • Chewie

    Want to see more of Correa and Thomas in the second leg. These guys are trailblazers. Oliver would be nice to see too. An extremely attacking midfield with the back four still solid. And if it came to the penalties, I would play Moya, maybe he’d do better than Oblak.

  • AaX

    I actually think barcelona (through busquets) needed to have some Atleti players sent off in order to reverse the tide of the game. They were unsuccessful in getting anything significant moves through and in fact they conceded goal and probably would more.
    I am quite sure of this because at level ground in this formation (unlike previous’s lone striker instead of current 2) it has been successful that it’s more threatening offensively and natural to Atleti’s gameplay.
    I am pretty sure the result is the reverse if playing in this formation with the complete 11 men continues.

    In another thought, defensively Simeone should consider playing 5 defs (3 central) and 4 mids the next time we’re left defending with10 men. Bring in Saul to central defense and Griezmann taking his place on the mid flank. That way we can push the right and left backs a bit more outwards to control attacks from the flanks which what exactly unpreventable and allowed to happen in this game. And then the breaks can start off also from the flanks.

    But The question now is who’s best enough to replace Torres in the second striking position ? My thought right now is Partey and not Vietto or Correa.

    AUPA Atleti !!

  • AaX

    Confirmed from this replay at ( at 0:01 min busquets sticks out his left foot across planting his foot a little bit outward than his posture suggests to catch Torres’s incoming foot and deviously drew the 2nd yellow card and his expulsion. What do you expect ?? the refs nowadays are dumb and barcelona surely are ‘small’ men indeed !
    In Contrary Torres is a big man to even admit that somehow it was his ‘mistake’. I think the real mistake he surely made is getting the first one. But this also confirmed that barca deems that Torres is highly dangerous to them AND HAVE TO BE TAKEN OUT BUT INSTEAD Even WORSE will await them in the Return at the Calderon !!!


  • AaX

    This video has just recently been removed (wonder why?) but you can catch it in any prior recorded game in the web and slow mo it.

  • AaX

    Another source :

    At 0:25 foot in, 0:26 foot out catching Torres. It was small and quick (professional cheater) but games at the Highest Level is always played through small and sometimes extremely small margin. That’s why Torres was surprised !

  • AndersAT

    I thought it was a very clumsy move by Torres when I first saw it, but busquets actually lost the ball, and that is why Torres whent all out. It was clumsy but you can discuss if it was actually a foul on Torres. Definitely not a yellow card… Damn I hate Barca and the refs that always help them out (they should be able to handle themselves).

  • KC

    The second yellow on Torres was a very weak call. This is the quarterfinals of a UEFA Champions League, you do not send a player off for a weak foul like that. Torres deserves a 7, 9 if he does not get sent off!. All we need to do is score a 1-0 victory at home and we move on. The away goal was HUGE!!

  • Koke

    Oops, my bad, I thought I read somewhere that he was. Must have been misinformation, sorry.

  • Ringo

    Gabi and Koke were an amazing couple last night. Barcelona’s attackers were a little too hard to handle, but their midfield was pretty much silenced. If Torres was still on the pitch the pressuring could have kept going as it did so high on the pitch, but sadly that wasn’t meant to be. I liked Torres’ energy but I feel like he should have went in with his left leg instead of his right with that second yellow.

    But, too bad, things like these just happen. The first half hour made me feel like we were pretty in control, even with the dangerous opposition needing a lot of focus to stop.

    And the last five minutes I noticed that Thomas was supposed to move to the right but he ignored the call for about three minutes. The strategy was clearly to have a more dangerous Correa up front for the final moments, but that was pretty much killed by the time it took Thomas to finally fulfill his new role. That being said I think Thomas did well, but maybe he wanted to be the hero (as lone forward) too much. I don’t know.

    We still have a chance, but sadly not as big as we hoped after our good start.
    Hope we’ll play as well as we can in the next leg. The strategy today was pretty fitting, but who should replace Torres in a similar gameplan? I think Correa is best at simulating the type of pressuring that’s as effective as Torres’ was until he got sent off. Add his technical capabilities, which are of a higher level than Vietto’s and I think his sense of space is better to, and you have a good contestant to trouble the Catalan defence.

    I just hope we do well and can be proud. The chance to go through is already there, just hope luck and feeling are on our side.

  • Kris

    Should the players begin to take blame for every match they lose? The goalkeeper for letting the balls go in that led to a loss? Should the manager take blame for every time his tactics go wrong? Fuck no, because then we would have a sport full of apologetic bitches. Remember, while it may be a Champions League match, it is in the end just another match.

    Torres did what he had to do with the apology or was forced to do, but the fans turning on him and actually blaming him for a loss (that could’ve occurred even with him in the field) is just fucking ridiculous and shameful. Besides, he scored a crucial goal that has still kept us in the tie. It’s amazing how quickly you can go from hero to zero in the eyes of the people that seem to adore you. I think that’s what really pissed me off is the fans turning on him everywhere for the loss.

    Griezmann doesn’t defend with the same intensity and emphasis against other teams. He has a “free role” when playing against teams not called Barca, whereas in a fixture against Barca, he’s got duty to both go up and down the field whenever needed. Griezmann is not a machine, he’s a human athlete. And he has played a lot of games this term already without much rest, and I feel like he’s beginning to wear out.

    I know he hasn’t really scored against “bigger” teams like you suggest, but no reason bringing it up here where his role for most of the game was to defend. It’s unfair to criticize about his goalscoring (problems) in a game where Griezmann’s job for most of the game was to defend.

  • Kris

    Very nicely stated, man. I agree with you.

  • Kris

    lol I think that’s not an unfair yellow man. But the moment, he gave him the second yellow, he should have remained consistent with fouls against both teams which he clearly wasn’t. When you decide do fuck up a game in the quarter finals of the Champions League by sending out a player, he should have kept giving out cards equally.
    Luis Suarez punch on Filipe Luis and kicking Juanfran, both deserving of a harsher punishment than a simple red card in another field of job, not called football. If I did that in another workplace environment, shit I would probably get arrested for assault.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Fernando Torres is the only one who is suspended, and Oliver Torres is the only one under threat of suspension for semifinal 1st leg shall we pass (he has 2 yellow cards, while suspension in UCL is after the third then any odd-numbered yellow card) .

    Our players with a single yellow card are :
    Oblak, Godin, Savic, Lucas, Filipe, Gabi, Saul, Augusto, Koke & Griezmann .
    That means all the players who were booked against Barca, it was their first booking in the competition .

    We actually were making a “clean” campaign, before Barca’s game we were the 2nd team with less bookings, only 7 yellow cards in 8 games, but of course the media who love to portray us as a violent team completely ignored that, which made even some Atleti fans like the one from last night and yourself get confused and think that some of our players are suspended or under threat of suspension for the semis .

    While against Barca we received 8 yellows and a red, for 16 fouls, Barca committed 19 fouls last night .
    That’s how horrible Brych was .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    And let me repeat what I said last night about Torres’s red card and what I said before about Godin’s red against Barca in La Liga this season, because people keep getting confused (sadly, including some “respected” sports websites) and some of them will get confused with Torres if we passed, and we will pass :

    The red card for the second yellow cancels the two yellows and counts only as one red .
    When Torres play again in the semifinal he will have zero yellow cards, not two, not one .

    If anyone knows that UEFA have a different rule, would you please correct me .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    First, let me say that no one can force Torres to apologize .

    And second, a failed tactic from the coach or an under performance from a player are totally different than a sent off after 35 minutes for 2 yellows that could easily have been avoided, even though the ref was a son of a bitch .
    Apology is the right & the normal thing to do after such incident .

    You have to separate last night from the other nights Torres was unfairly criticized or even attacked .
    Trust me, I also hate those bitches who the only thing they know about Torres are the jokes about him in those football jokes accounts on social media .
    I talked about that in length when he came back to Atleti, and by numbers I proved that even with Chelsea he wasn’t a bad player, on contrary, he was very vital player for them and was a main factor in winning the Champions League and the Europa League, and in that same “bad era” he won EURO 2012 with Spain, in which he was the top scorer despite playing only few minutes .
    But again, separate the opinion of those sons of bitches from last night’s game and his apology .

    Let’s hope that Grizi will score against Barca in the Calderon .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Everybody in the media and social media is taking about Suarez and they forgot about Busquets, after 4 or 5 minutes of the send off he committed a foul against Grizi very similar to that of Torres, our players demanded a yellow but Brych didn’t give a shit .

    In the second half Busquets elbowed Saul in the head in an aerial challenge, Brych gave him a yellow while raising two fingers, meaning : ” I let you go with the first one ” ! WTF .

  • atleti10

    I think Simeone will play Carrasco up front with Griez and start Agusto pushing koke out wide.

    Whilst I’d hate to see Koke moved from the centre I do like how solid the midfield would look defensively and we’d have serious pace up front on the counter.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    YES! “When he plays in the semifinal” Vamos Torres

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I gave Lucas 9 out 10, and today he was in UCL team of the week, chosen by UEFA .
    He was our only player in team of the week .
    While Carlo gave him 7, less than what he gave Godin & Oblak and the same rating he gave Augusto .

    With all due respect, but I usually find the ratings in this website strange, especially those from Carlo .
    I wish you receive my opinion with sportsmanship, because some other authors here didn’t take it very well when I showed some remarks on their articles .