Player ratings: Koke and Torres inspire comeback win

Cholo's men turn on the style and keep title pressure on with win at Espanyol

Torres scored his third goal in three games against the Pericos

Torres scored his third goal in three games against the Pericos

Cantera stars Fernando Torres and Koke stole the show for Atlético on Saturday night, as the red and whites came from behind to beat Espanyol 3-1 in the Cornellà-El Prat stadium.

Antoine Griezmann was also on target, helping secure a morale boosting three points ahead of our gigantic Champions League quarter-final clash against Barcelona next week.

Read on to see how we rated the players tonight:

Jan Oblak – 6

Not much he could do for the goal. Handling was good elsewhere, and he made one important save from Gerard Moreno late on. Without a clean sheet in four, which for his standards is almost unheard of.

Juanfran – 6

Perhaps at fault for Espanyol’s goal as he allowed Diop to get the header away, but was steady for the rest of the game both in defence and going forward on the counter attack.

Diego Godín – 7

Crucial as always when defending leads late on. Won a lot of balls in and around the area, and restrict the hosts to very little in terms of chances from open play. Looks fully fit again as well.

Lucas Hernández – 7

Continues to impress alongside the stewardship of Godín. Dealt well with the pacy Moreno, and was strong in the air and with his decision making. A star in the making, and will surely rise to the occasion again if needed on Wednesday.

Filipe Luís – 6

Picked up a silly booking in the second half which will see him miss next week’s game against Granada, but was otherwise as solid as usual. Not as involved going forward as he often is, but provided the outlet still.

Gabi – 7

Did a great job of shutting down Espanyol’s tenacious duo of Diop and Sánchez, who tried and failed to play us at our own game. Always uses the ball well, the lynch pin of the team from midfield.

Augusto – 7

Although not as decisive in possession of the ball, his tendency to be in the right place at the right time and make important tackles and interceptions is no fluke. Quietly very effective, especially away from home it seems.

Koke – 9 (Man of the match)

Possibly his best performance of the season. Set up Torres and Griezmann’s goals with perfect passes – one long and one short – before scoring the third himself after a move he started. Looks confident again, and is finally back on top form.

Yannick Carrasco – 6

In and out of the game, fading in the second half after a bright start. Always a thorn in defences with his quick feet and dribbling ability, although can still be erratic at times. Should get the nod to start on Wednesday with Torres out.

Antoine Griezmann – 7

Although not overly involved, he showed his killer instinct to find the net at a crucial time in the second half and put Atleti in front. Great run and finish for the goal, dedicated to his baby daughter who was born yesterday.

Fernando Torres – 8

Getting better by the game, and is really looking like the Torres of old with yet another vintage finish. Also hit the crossbar after a great turn, and crossed for Koke to score the third goal. New contract, and perhaps a Spain recall on the horizon?

Subs

Ángel Correa – 6

Caused havoc on the counter, but has to work on his final ball and finishing. Could’ve killed off Espanyol earlier had he made better decisions. Also needs to watch his discipline, another booking today means he has more yellow cards than league starts.

Thomas Partey – 7

Showed more signs of just what a talent he is, both physically and technically in his half an hour on the pitch though. Can really become a special player, but like Correa his decision making at times let him down today.

Saúl Ñíguez – N/A

Do you agree with our ratings? Who was your man of the match, Koke or Torres?


  • Koke

    Real Sociedad just beat Barcelona. Now Barca are only 3 points clear, with head to head advantage over us, of course. It’s times like this when idiotically dropping points like against Sporting Gijon and other such teams really hurts… man if we could have those 3 extra points now….

    If by some miracle we can win La Liga it could be the turnaround of the century. Probably wouldn’t be the most deserved title we’ve ever won, certainly not like 13/14, but it’d sure be something.

    On the other bright side, that game definitely took a whole lot out of Barca. Hopefully/Probably they’ll be demoralized and exhausted by the time they come to the Calderon

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Not that it really matters, but I would put Torres at the player of the game. Only because he seems to be getting better with every game and actually played all 90 minutes and didn’t disappear. When Correa missed the goal, he didn’t get upset, he slapped him 10 with his hands and was encouraging him. If Torres keeps this up, he will be playing for Atleti next year.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    The Sporting loss may come back to haunt us. Even tied at points with Barca, we are still second. But if they drop another game this season, then we can really be upset. Right now all I care about is staying ahead of Real. I want bragging rights.

  • Sanil

    My thoughts exactly. Absolutely gutted over the Sporting loss

  • AndersAT

    Agreed, it stings to think about these matches like sporting and deportivo right now. But then again this is football and the team will have ups and downs and be lucky in some matches and unlucky in others. Real Madrid and Barca will have the same regrets.

    Seeing Barca these last games, I am in no doubt we will score against them in the Calderon on Wednesday. We just have to keep that a-hole Suarez on a leash. I see the game as a 50/50. Really looking forward to it.

    Regarding the league title I think it is quite the long shot that Barca will loose points in 2 of the last 6 games. Furthermore it is quite a long shot that we will win them all, but it is definitely interesting. I think the best chance of winning the title is if Barca proceeds in the champions league though, they are beginning to tire with this tight program.

  • Urban

    we actually had only one problem this season and if we hadn’t it would be another year to remember. this problem was not the game with sporting or depor, but the fact we could not beat barca in any of our games. the reason for that is pretty simple – they are probably the best in the world. if we won at least 50% of games with fcb all would be great now. No matter how we finish now I will personally believe this was a good season and the only thing we lacked was beating fcb.