Player ratings: Rojiblancos ease to win on Día del Niño

We take a look at the performance on a comfortable evening against Granada

The team gather to celebrate Correa's goal

The team gather to celebrate Correa's goal

Atlético Madrid kept up the pressure at the top of La Liga on Sunday, moving back up to second with a fairly straight-forward 3-0 win against Granada in the Vicente Calderón.

It was child’s play at times for the home side on El Día del Niño, with the kid himself – Fernando Torres – on target, as well as fellow canterano Koke and Ángel Correa, one of many bright young stars at the club.

Read on to see how we rated the players:

Jan Oblak – 6

Didn’t have a great deal to do, other than a routine save in the closing stages from a Rochina free-kick. Another clean sheet to add to his considerable tally, could break La Liga record for fewest goals conceded if he lets in less than two in remaining games.

Juanfran – 7

With Filipe out through suspension, he was our main threat from out wide and didn’t disappoint. Put in a number of good crosses in the early stage and was always available, whilst also remaining solid in defence.

Diego Godín – 7

It doesn’t matter if it’s the Champions League final or a kick-about in the park, Godín always gives absolutely everything. Made sure of the clean sheet today with another dominant performance, right up until the last minute when he was still making last ditch clearances.

Stefan Savic – 7

Slotted in seamlessly after almost two months out. His level when called upon this season has always been impressive, and with Lucas’ emergence, Simeone has a nice problem with four centre-backs of the highest quality to call upon.

Lucas Hernández – 7

After excelling at centre-back over the last month or so, he moved to the left and was equally impressive today. Had a hand in the first goal with a determined run forward, and didn’t put a foot wrong in defence. Really making a name for himself.

Gabi – 6

Didn’t have to over-exert himself following his heroics on Wednesday, but kept the midfield ticking and made sure that Granada couldn’t get a foothold. Yellow card means he will miss the trip to Athletic in midweek.

Koke – 8 (Man of the match)

Continues to get better with another stand-out performance in midfield today. Scored the first and set up the second for Torres with a lovely through ball, and was involved in most of our attacking play. No surprise the team has played so well since his return to form, and with 13 assists he is now the most prolific goal creator in La Liga.

Saúl Ñíguez – 7

Atleti’s Mr. Versatile showed his quality again today, impressing both on and off the ball and claiming a Raúl García style headed assist to Correa from a long ball forward. Such a complete player, and can still get a lot better.

Yannick Carrasco – 6

Looked dangerous at times, but wasn’t really his day today as he was replaced just before the hour mark. Wasn’t helped by a particularly slippery pitch, but will be fresh now for Athletic on Wednesday where his presence will be key.

Antoine Griezmann – 6

His seven match scoring run in La Liga comes to an end after a quiet performance, but we can just about forgive him such has been his form in recent weeks. Showed the odd touch of class before going off around the hour mark.

Fernando Torres – 7

Really looks like the Torres of old, scoring in his 4th match in a row with another vintage run and lobbed finish. His experience will be huge in the upcoming tie against Bayern, surely just a matter of time now until his contract is renewed.


Augusto Fernández – 6

Came on to sure up the midfield at 1-0 as Granada threatened to counter, and did so despite a late yellow card for a mis-timed challenge. Should come back into the team on Wednesday in place of Gabi.

Ángel Correa – 7

Always makes an impact from the bench, and today was no exception as scored the third goal – his 7th of the season – with a cool finish. Lots of nice turns and touches in his short cameo, a huge prospect in store.

Óliver Torres – N/A

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

  • Chewie

    Bloody hell, Valencia just beat Barcelona, and now anything can happen. Wow, just wow. They have Sporting, Betis, Depor, Granada and Espanyol. I think Sporting will be the toughest one, fighting for their lives and having beaten us recently, they don’t concede much and might play on counter-attacks and grab a point. However, the Catalan derby will also be interesting. Things are finally getting exciting in the league!

  • Kris

    Oh how the tables have turned in La Liga. From Barcelona being 9 points ahead in the La Liga race and everyone (including myself) thinking Barcelona had sealed the title, to April 17th 2016, when Atleti are level on points with Barcelona with Madrid trailing only by one point. This is quite a season and more than glimmer of hopes that we can win the double this season. Of course us winning the Liga will be all up to Barcelona.

  • Sanil

    Bloody hell Valencia!!

  • Tdawa13

    Atletico won
    Barca lost
    Torres scored!

    Perfect weekend!

  • Karlp

    Some players clearly look very tired (Carrasco, Griez) either physically or mentally.
    A bit surprise with the scoreline, especially with how poor the attacking was.
    Very happy that Correa & Oliver get a chance, and very happy with the way they play.
    I have to repeat it every time, please don’t let Oliver go.

  • Ringo

    I think the team is finally gelling up front, knowing what to do.
    Both the passes and the runs are way more effective than they were the first three quarters of the season.
    Especially Koke, Griezmann and Torres, and perhaps we could count Saúl among them, are showing a vastly improved connection with their passing and positioning.

    Great timing if you ask me (if I’m right about this and we’re not just more lucky than before) 🙂

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I think Oliver did enough to get a rating, he made a couple of lovely passes, including one from one or two meters from the center that put Torres in one-on-one with Granada’s GK, he recovered couple of balls and made some tackles, even after the 3-0, and he received a yellow for one of them (is that one of the descriptions of “Simeone player” ?!) .
    He seems very comfortable every time he has the ball, and that makes the team -or at least makes me- very comfortable .

    I think Oli deserves a 6 for his 15 minutes today .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I think the game in Riazor next Wednesday is the toughest .
    A very difficult stadium, Real Madrid had a very horrible streak there between the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s, was it 17 games in a row without a win there, or more ?!

    I don’t think Barca will drop points in Camp Nou against a team in the relegation zone, even if they are in a bad shape, Gijon conceded 54 goals in La Liga so far, I think they will be thrashed, maybe they can snatch a goal or two against that pathetic Barca defense, but they will still lose .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I know you think I’m harsh on Carrasco, but I believe he deserves the least rating today,
    I give him 5 out of 10 .

    It’s the same argument, he needs to be more effective, he is a winger, and his number of goals and assists are clearly subpar for a winger, especially with his number of minutes .
    Some would say : “don’t judge him just by goals and assists” but isn’t that what Torres was judged by despite his hard work and despite the lack of creativity behind him ?!
    OK, Torres is a striker and his first job description is to score, but what about Saul ?! didn’t he become a regular starter because of his goals ?! because he is not a great passer like Koke or Oliver or Tiago, and not a great dribbler like Carrasco or Oliver, and can’t steal as many balls as Gabi or Tiago .
    With Gabi, Koke and Augusto in the midfield we don’t need Saul, and with only Gabi and Koke against small team, but the kid can score a goal any minute, a vital one .

    If Carrasco can’t score many goals or give many assists then why is he getting much more minutes than Oliver, and why did he play twice the number of minutes as Correa ?!
    I know he makes many runs, many dribbles and he does his defensive role very well, but is he very vital that he is the main reason for benching Oliver and Correa every week ?!
    Maybe I’m wrong, but I truly believe that if Correa and Oliver got as many chances as Carrasco, the first would have scored more goals and the second would have made more assists, and with also doing what Carrasco is doing other than scoring and assisting .

  • Kris

    Carrasco deserves less than 5 today, he looked like he didn’t want to play. I don’t think it was fatigue either.
    He’s not our most important player but in a team that plays on counter attacks, but has very few fast attacking players, it makes perfect sense to play Carrasco as a wide player.
    When he’s ineffective and keeps losing the ball (he and other players as well today), then he needs to be taken out of the game. If he underperforms every game, then he needs to be benched. But he doesn’t underperform every game and you can’t judge a player on a defensive team solely on his attacking statistics. He adds another dynamic to our more static play. But then again so do Correa and Oliver.
    But as you’ve stated many times before, Cholo plays the players he most trusts. Obviously, he trusts Carrasco more than he does Oliver and Correa.

    How did Augusto perform for you today? I think his holding play was excellent besides that rather needless foul. This guy has slotted in better to the Simeone team in such a short time better than any player we have bought during Someone’s time.

    You will disagree but Augusto is the best holding player in our team. Yes, he’s better than Koke in regards to holding the ball and distributing it forward. Maybe even better than Oliver as well.

  • Kris

    Agree. He was very good, and I’m glad he got the yellow. Maybe this will make Simeone like him more. Take one for the team.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Well, Augusto is definitely better than Mario Suarez, that I will admit 🙂

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    By the way, since the third place is “our objective”, we have secured it today after our win and Villarreal’s defeat, with still 5 games to go .
    Last season we waited until the very last game, it was also against Granada .
    And when I try to find the differences between last season and this one I can only think of two things :

    1- Valencia & Sevilla collected too many points last season, they ended it with 77 & 76 respectively, too many points for the 4th & the 5th place in a 20-teams league . One or maybe both of those numbers could even be a record in La Liga or in the top 5 leagues .

    2- Filipe Luis .
    Last season we conceded 29 goals in La Liga, by our own standards, this is too much .
    That what cost us many points last season, our defense, and the biggest gap in it -beside a couple of horrible performances from Miranda- was the one Filipe left .
    We didn’t have a big attacking problem last season, Mandzukic wasn’t really that bad, Jackson made us all realize that now !
    Our problem was mainly in the defense, and Filipe fixed it .
    I was against his return, but now I must admit that I was wrong, I am sorry .

    Fourth season in a row in UCL group stage, despite all the criticism -that probably I will keep doing- : Gracias Cholo .

  • nandes

    I agree with most part but I think our attacking play is much better now, especially considering how awful we were during the last 3-4 months of that season. The midfield was horrible, Mandzukic spent 5 months without scoring, Raul Jimenez was a non-factor, etc. We were on level with Madrid and Barça until we hit an awful run of form where we started drawing/losing every other match and that was mostly due to our lack of alternatives in the attack – basically the only way we had to score was through set pieces and when that failed we couldn’t do anything else. If it wasn’t for Torres’ individual goal vs. Villarreal we would be playing Europa League right now.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I love numbers and statistics, and I keep a lot of them on my computer, and one of the statistics I keep is our position on the table week-by-week with the gap between us and the team(s) above us, and I can tell you that we were never on level with Real & Barca at any stage of last season, we have been struggling from the start to the end .

    After week 7 we were 5th, 3 pts behind the 2nd and 5 behind the leader .
    After week 12 we became 3rd, with 2 and 4 pts gaps, then they became 3 & 7 pts after week 15, then 6 & 7 pts after week 23 .
    We lost the 3rd place to Valencia in week 27 and week 28 .
    We never took the lead, not once in 38 weeks .
    And we finished La Liga with 14 pts behind Madrid & 16 behind Barca .
    This season we are in second place from week 12 until now, and we took the lead for 3 weeks (although Barca had one game in hand)

    Yes, we struggled to score at some games at the end of last season, but we struggled the whole season either we scored or not .
    In 3 games we scored 2 goals but we didn’t win, because we also conceded 2 goals, against Malaga, Levante & Celta .
    We concede 3 goals in Mestalla in the first 13 minutes .
    We took the lead against Sociedad away and Valencia at home but we lost the first and drew the second .
    We would have earned 11 points more if we conceded one goal less in the 7 games that we lost by one goal margin or had a non 0-0 draw .
    We did earn many points this season that way, 21 points from seven 1-0 wins, so, again, I think our biggest problems last season was the defense, without denying that we also had an attacking problem .

    By the way : is there an opposite for goalless draw in English ?!
    Because “non 0-0 draw” doesn’t sound very eloquent .

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Good game on Sunday. We looked a little tired but once the 3 subs came on,
    there was a spark. Good to see Oliver Torres on the pitch. You could see
    he was trying to be more aggressive…and ended up with a yellow card
    for it. Correa is the future. There is always that chance that Griezmann
    leaves for PSG or some place other than Chelsea and Correa is the guy
    who can get the ball in the net. Lucas proved today that he should
    remain. With Godin, Gemenez, Savic and Lucas, we will always have a good defense if someone gets injured. Oblak got another clean sheet.

    Did you see that last shot by Granada that “just missed.” Actually it
    was on target and a Granada forward tried to flick it in and actually
    flicked it out. HA, but that mistake by Granada gave us another clean
    I had been outside the entire day, so I watched the game
    late then looked at scores around the league at around 7 PM EST. I
    quickly realized that Barcelona lost! Good gracious!
    Man of the
    match for me is Koke. Scores one and assists in one. Enough said. Saul
    was “tied on points” but Koke’s score beat him out.
    Last comment
    is on Torres. Where did he come from!! So glad he got the 100 monkey off
    his back. It looks like they transported the El Nino from 2005 and 2006
    time zone.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Sporting beat us, so you never know there. But if I were to pick one more upset, it would be Depor. Lets hope we keep winning and Barca loses or ties one more.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Glad you could swallow your pride and admit that bringing Luis back was the best thing for us. Luis did leave a sour taste in my mouth, but Tiago was suppose to leave for Chelsea too and we all forgave him. I was very happy when he returned. But I bet the happiest person of all is Luis himself. He is playing all the time now and Chelsea is a poor team this year. He dodged a bullet.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Carrasco looked tired. I have seen this before with him. He is a player that is a starter but needs to sit out at least one game in four if Atletico is playing 2 games a week.

  • Koke

    I agree with you that Correa and Oliver both deserve more minutes, and I’m willing to bet as well that you’re right in that if they had as many as Carrasco, Correa would have more goals and Oliver would have more assists, respectively.

    I will defend Carrasco though just on the basis that even though his numbers aren’t spectacular, he is still making a lot of contributions to our team when attacking, even if they don’t show up in the stats. And for a team like Atleti that has so much trouble with attacking, we might as well take all the help we can get.

    I agree though it’d be nice if Carrasco could put the ball in the back of the net more often, or if his teammates could do so from his crosses, but I do think he gets close. He creates a lot of chances with his dangerous low crosses and curling shots, especially for example in the games I’ve seen him play against Barcelona and Real Madrid. I think if his teammates were more clinical he would have more assists, and if he was more clinical/lucky he would have more goals.

    I do agree though that I hope Simeone makes him into a goalscoring and assisting machine. He helped turn Raul Garcia into one, and he turned Griezmann from a pacy winger who had goals in him to an out an out monster in front of the net. Hopefully Carrasco can follow a similar path, AND Correa and Oliver get more minutes, but at the expense of the defensive mids, not attackers.

  • Koke

    Wow. If Barcelona drop points in one more game the league is completely ours to lose. I’ve NEVER seen a team in such good form collapse so fast. And with the games left in their schedule and their current form, I’d be really surprised if they didn’t draw at least one more time. Even when we were six points down I was saying that it would take a miracle for us to win La Liga, but I didn’t actually believe a miracle was possible.

    This is why you never let your foot off the gas, not even a centimeter. This is why partido a partido is so important. If we conceded one fewer dumb goal against Sporting we’d be first! But no problem, all we can do now is win all of our games and hope for the best, not that winning all our remaining games will be easy either.

    I’m really pleased with the transformation our team has made in the final third of the season. A few months ago winning by two goals was unheard of, and our favorite scoreline seemed to be 1-0 with a late scrappy goal in the final 15 minutes against average teams. Now we’re routinely winning games by 3-0, now I’m not surprised when we score a goal rather than expectant. We still have plenty of work to do to get to the level that I know we’re capable of, and I hope our recent form encourages Simeone that we could be a brilliant attacking team if he used the right players, formations, and tactics. This season was always going to be a season of transition, and it looks like the transition is finally taking place. The big bonus is that we can still get a HUGE trophy or two out of this “transition” season.

  • Chewie

    Interesting question about the goalless draw’s antonym. In Russian we say “resulting” ot “resultative” draw. I was unable to find anything in English, though. Goalful draw, maybe?)

  • Chewie

    What I like about Augusto is that he really does bring the ball forward. That is, unlike Koke, who is looking for the opening or a hole in defence, or Oliver/Correa who are looking for that creative solution, or Saul/Carrasco who are willing to run with the ball, Augusto receives it and instantly makes a decision to pass it forward, and most of the times he does it well.

    Of course, he’s not brilliant, but he is what Simeone likes even more – reliable.

  • Chewie

    On the other hand, our calendar is much harder – Athletic, Malaga, Celta and two Bayern games in between. Realistically, our chances are thin. But I love that both Barca and Real will be very nervous in the next couple of games, which may cost them points. I asked for entertainment, and here it is!

  • huna

    Score draw

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Sporting did not beat us, we beat ourselves, we all know what happened there .
    Many people are talking about that game and how we could regret it, but trust me, if Atleti ended the season with the same number of points as Barca, the one who will regret Gijon’s game (and Depor’s game) the most is Simeone himself .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I used your argument last season to defend Arda when some people criticized him because of lack of goals ans assists : his contribution .
    But I don’t think this true for Carrasco, I’m sorry, but I don’t think he contributes a lot .

    I said this several months ago, and it still hasn’t changed much :
    Many of of Carrasco’s dribbles & runs ends up a throw in against us, or a goal kick, or he loses the ball because he decided to dribble a third player instead of passing, or he pushes the ball three or four meters in front of him then he fails to catch it, he did that again against Granada .
    Many of his crosses doesn’t even reach a teammate .

    I watch a lot of football, and when I see players like Salah & Mahrez who are almost the same age and under similar circumstances as Carrasco, it becomes clear to me that he is -until now- an ordinary player .

    Many people won’t like that, but that’s my honest opinion, I don’t have anything against the kid, I was against Filipe but that didn’t prevent me from giving him the credit he deserves .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    The Arabic terms literally translate to : “Negative Draw” and “Positive Draw” .
    Of course, mathematically, zero is not a negative number, but they probably mean the playing that lead to 0-0, a negative playing .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yeah, that sounds right .
    And I googled it, and I found one headline at Eurosports :
    “Manchester City earn vital score draw in Paris” .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Well, it’s much much easier to forgive a player who “considered leaving” than one who actually left .

    Besides, and I said this many times : Tiago lost his captain’s armband because of that .
    Filipe also lost a big amount of his salary at Chelsea, and we did make a profit from selling him then buying him back .

    But what will happen with Costa whom we earned only around 20 million from his sale ?! are we going to buy him back with 40 million ?!
    And how much would he earn wit us after making 10 million per season with Chelsea ?!

  • Kris

    Simple. Don’t buy Costa back. Let him go to China or stay in Chelsea where there’s no European football. If we really want a striker, make it be Icardi or Alexis Sanchez. I have heard about Icardi’s ego though, so that could be a problem.

    This is an unpopular opinion, but don’t bring back Borja. Sell the kid because I don’t think he’s gonna be our nine. He’s a goal poacher and he mirrors Mario Mandzukic in so many ways. He is the type of player who waits in the penalty area and scores goals from there. Let me tell you, he is very good at that. Great header of the ball, and a good finisher all around. If we consider Mario’s time at Atleti a failure(I personally don’t!), then there is no use of bringing back Borja because he will offer very little in our counter-attacking game.

    We need a player like Fernando Torres, loves to take on players and beat them, physically gifted and has great positioning (especially when the team is defending with 10 men), and has a great finish(has to be a good header of the ball).

    Of course Costa offers us all these, but will he be the same again ? Will he be able to control his emotions on the field for the team’s sake? Will he be willing to take a pay cut? I think the answers to all these questions are no, so even though he’s the ideal striker, I don’t think I really want him back.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Man, you can’t imagine how happy I will be if Jorge Mendes “forced” Costa to go to China .
    He was the one who started the 2014 “exodus”, and he left on cheap, I mean even if we received all his 38 million clause it would also have been very little, Cavani was sold one year earlier for 65.
    Costa signed a new contract just few months before he left and he could have put the pen on 60 or 70 million clause, and Chelsea or another club would have paid it, or most of it, but he didn’t .
    And he kept lying to us while he has sealed a deal with Chelsea in April .
    But for me, the worst thing about his departure was Mourinho rubbing it on our faces : “it was a great bargain, a world-class striker for only 38 million” .
    And now because he doesn’t like the weather or the food or the sanctions of the FA he is asking us to take him back and make Mendes and Abramovich richer !

    If I was Gil Marin I would tell Simeone to pick any other striker he wants, and I would tell Costa to go fuck himself .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I follow Italian football closely, and I can confirm that Icardi has many disciplinary problems, both football-wise and in private life .

    Even if selling Borja is the right move, I don’t think we will get much money for him right now, another loan spell -to a big club this time- could be the best move .

    This season was a bad one for Costa, and the last one was good, but not great (he didn’t score any goal in UCL), and his career with Spain national team is AWFUL .
    How many years did it take Costa to become a good striker ?!
    He was loaned to Albacete, Celta, Valladolid & Rayo .
    In 2012-13 he played 31 games in La Liga, more than 2000 minutes, and he scored only 10 goals .
    In his 10-years career in Europe he had only 2 good seasons, and only good, not great, Forlan winning not just the Pichichi but also the golden boot with us, that was a great season .
    So, even if Costa came for free, I don’t think he is the ideal striker for us, there is still a big chance that he will underperform .

    The one I think we should go for is Lukaku, I know he will be very expensive, but if we put all our money on him I think we could afford him .
    And we can put all our money on him, in case nobody left I think we won’t need any other signing, not even a left back, Lucas or Manquillo -who played many games this sason with OM on the left- can cover that .

  • Andras Toth

    Hello guys, I post rarely, but I do read basically every post you guys you make for years and want to thank you for it, as there are some really high quality discussions. And Nick and the team thanks for keeping this community together, hats off.. I don’t know if you can help me but do you have any idea where can I buy two tickets for the Champions away game in Munich? I happen to have a business meeting in Munich, the exact same day, I cannot miss it…I was there two years ago when we kicked Barca’s butt in UCL, maybe I can be a lucky charm again.. Anyway if you know where to buy tickets thanks for it, and thumbs up for everybody

  • Ringo

    I agree Carrasco played badly today, but his pressuring and being an offensive threat is most consistent out of the three (Carrasco/Oli/Correa). Óliver can be a bit indecisive and ‘careful’ when pressuring or defending, Correa can be a little too wild sometimes, while Carrasco is pretty safe but confident while recovering the ball and the team seems to find him pretty easily when he joins the attack.

    His statistics aren’t that great as of yet, but him being a constant threat and a constant part of the machine gets the whole team to be more dangerous. Perhaps way less creative than out other two big talents in offensive midfield (to keep things simple), but he always keeps the opposition defense under pressure. With our style of playing, the pressuring of the opposing defense (and midfield) is possibly our main offensive asset, so I can understand why Simeone has Carrasco as his favorite offensive midfielder.

    Correa is already a good attacker, but when he gets better at the midfielder aspects of the game, he could be a bigger contestant for the winger spot. In his case I think that will mostly mean he has to be composed a tad bit more. He works hard, is very creative, extremely technical, a good finisher and he has great (and quick) vision. He pressures hard, if that turns into something consistent and less likely of getting him a card, he could as well be our best player in the offensive parts of our team.

    Óliver is a different story. His defending is improving steadily and his pressuring and positioning are fitting better and better to the Simeone gameplan. However, for his type of player, the whole team needs to be extremely secure (in our case, at least) for him to have space to consistently shine. When in possession there might be no better player in our entire squad, but when out of possession we can’t rely on him ENOUGH (yet). With the team being pretty secure lately and starting to have a sense of invincibility, there might be more room to ‘experiment’ with a more ‘fluid’ type of midfielder between all the concrete. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his minutes increase in the last few games in the season. If our recent form extends to the new season, I don’t see why he wouldn’t get (way) more minutes next season.

    Slowly but steadily those two players could turn into the certainties Cholo longes for and that could (at least) improve our rotation in the team. The team will be less reliant on Carrasco, Saúl and Koke’s (and Thomas’) consistency in offensive midfield, giving the latter two (three) more playing time/chances in defensive midfield and Óliver and Correa more chances to show their worth in offensive midfield/on the wings. This will give our offense more variety and therefore possibilities (and hopefully that means more goals, too).

    To summarize; I think Carrasco actually adds a lot to our team, even if the (goal and assists) statistics don’t show it directly. Óliver and Correa could add a lot, too, perhaps way more than Carrasco, but for their style of play the whole team needs a strong structure and a lot of consistency and that time seems to have finally arrived. I’m a little scared to be this optimistic so I won’t expect it to happen, but there’s a pretty good chance of seeing more of Correa and Óliver in the coming games and season than we’ve gotten used to this season. I’m positive and we’ll see what happens. They all have the skill worthy of being on our team, now just the little details to fit Simeone’s vision. And I think the couple, at least Correa, is close to achieving a higher position in the line-up hierarchy.

    Again, we’ll see. In hindsight I’m actually pretty proud of the team for their accomplishments this season, already. We can’t forgot that they’re just human beings and even if a large amount of games were ugly, they battled and battled extremely consistently and through all the ugliness we ended up in a space of opportunity, seemingly almost out of nowhere. Barcelona lost a lot of points, yes, but our results got us in a position where we could possibly profit from such a bad run. Even with errors like the Sporting game.

    I’m content (and bad at summarizing).

    Have a nice evening, everybody, Aupa Atleti!
    #NuncaDejesDeCreer #ProudOfAtleti #AtletiHashtagSquad

  • Ringo

    Diego Costa was extremely great in the 2012-13 season. He didn’t start the season a starter, played on the wing a lot, was a constant threat, was a great partnet to Falcao and in my opinion our best attacker in the second half of that season. He also scored a lot of goals in the Copa (don’t forget how great that cup run was). In the following season he was extremely great as well, until he started struggling with injuries and Simeone played him too soon at the end of the season. His first season with Chelsea was great too, at least the first half of that season. He hasn’t fit in well with La Roja, although that could change, which I think is possible, but I won’t make any predictions there.

    That being said, I don’t think I want him back. He fits our strategy, but I’d like to where things are going with the attackers we have already. And in reply to Kris, I think Costa still holds us in high regard, even if he left. Leaving doesn’t say everything about a player. It could also be a part of one of those “you don’t realize what you’ve got till it’s gone” type stories. Also, like I’ve probably mentioned way too many times before, some people like to venture out a bit and experience something different while they have the chance, or at least experiment with a different experience. Money isn’t everything and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Costa would be willing to take a paycut. There is always the chance of Cerezo or whatever offering him a ridiculous amount, though, haha.

    Lukaku would be a nice “experiment,” but he might cost 60-70 million at the moment and that’s a little extreme, in my opinion. I’d rather see us take some chances with Torres, Correa, Vietto and Borja. Borja is also questionable about being a great fit for us, but we won the league with a pretty lazy (at least seemingly, though, and not in all games) Villa. And if someone changes a forward’s type of play, it’s Simeone (and/or Burgos), so might as well take our chances, if not loaning him out again.

    I forgot what else I wanted to write, so I wish you all a good night.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yes, maybe even worse than me at summarizing !
    But that’s not a problem, not for me at least, I enjoy your long analysis .

  • Kris

    I love reading your posts. They’re very detailed and thorough.

    I agree with what you said about Carrasco. He is the most consistent attacking threat we have — capable of running with the ball forward by himself and just giving a hard time to the opposition defensd. Griezmann can’t do that, and no other player in our team is as good as him at what he does. Again, this goes down to Someone’s trust and Simeone trusts him. I can’t disagree with him on that although sometimes Carrasco can be very frustrating to watch.

    I don’t think Correa and Oliver are going to be getting more minutes than they’ve already be getting (because, Cholo…), especially the latter. But I hope I am wrong because man its a great joy to watch them play

  • Kris

    Yes, if he comes then I will accept him as an Atleti player but I just don’t want him back.

    The only player I hold a grudge for leaving is Aguero, other than that I have no problem with anybody that leaves, not even Arda.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yes, I don’t think at this very vital stage of the season Correa & Oliver will get more minutes, they could even get less according to the circumstances of the games, if their time of substitution came (from min. 60 to min 75) and we are leading by one goal margin, I think Simeone will bring on Thomas or Kranevitter instead .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Again, my definition of a great season for a striker is to ended it with being the top scorer of the league or at least very close from the top scorer, and to also score a good amount of goals in other competitions .
    Many people consider Mandzukic’s last season disappointing, but he did score the same number of goals as Cosat in 214/15, 20, but instead of scoring all of them in the league he “distributed” them : 12 in La Liga, 5 in UCL (he was only the 2nd Atleti player to score a hat-trick in this competition after Luis) 2 in the Cup and one that won us the super cup .
    Why is Mandzukic’s season was disappointing while Costa’s was great, because Chelsea won the league ?! Costa didn’t win it single-handedly, Cesc, Hazard and others were very good too .

    I don’t think Villa was lazy, I think he was a very hard worker, despite being 32 and coming back from a serious knee injury .
    We all are going crazy with Torres after scoring 8 goals (and one in UCL) .. Villa scored 15 .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yes, I think Everton will ask for at least 60 million (I’m not sure how much his buy-out clause is), but I don’t think they will find any team willing to pay that .
    City & PSG don’t seem interested in him .
    Chelsea won’t buy him back for that much after selling him for 35, besides, they don’t have the money, for known reasons, they can’t spend big on transfers anymore .
    Juve have the money, but they don’t like to spend big, they love bargains .
    Man Utd can pay that much, but first they need to decide who will be their coach next season, Van Gaal, Mourinho or Giggs ?!
    And he is not “cool” enough for Real Madrid .

    So where will he go ?! .. and he made it clear that he will only go to a CL side, so we can persuade him with that and with La Liga, and we can negotiate his price, we can pay 40 or 45 million, and we have the money, if we were knocked out of UCL semifinal we will get 60 million euros, more than the 50 we got after reaching 2014 final, since the prize money was increased by about 47 % starting from this season .

    And let me talk a little about Lukaku :
    This is his 4th season in a row to score goals in double digits in EPL, and he is only 22, meaning that he has been doing it since he was 18 .
    He also scored in double digits in Belgian Pro League in his two full seasons with Anderlecht, he was 16 & 17-year-old .
    Yes, Belgian league is not one of the top, but Costa couldn’t do that in two seasons in Segunda .
    And if people think Costa is big and strong, Lukaku is 191 cm and
    94 kg, he is a beast .

    Even if we can get Costa for 20 million, I will still go for Lukaku, his numbers are better, his behavior is better, his fitness is much better, and he is 5 years younger .
    If we didn’t spend a lot of money on other players (and I think we shouldn’t) I would go high as 50 million for Lukaku, yes, it’s a risk, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take .
    And if anything went wrong, there is always China !

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I wouldn’t take Arda back, but anyway, I don’t think he fits us anymore, and I don’t think we will ever consider bringing him back .

    But both Arda & Aguero brought a big load of money when they left, we replaced Aguero by Falcao, although very few people know the truth about Falcao’s deal and if we really did pay 40 million for him or much less, but if it wasn’t Falcao we could have paid those 40 million from Aguero’s sale for any other big name we wanted .

    Costa, however, left us in crisis, Mandzukic wasn’t our first or second or maybe even not our third choice, but he was the one we could afford, because according to some Spanish papers, the amount we actually did receive for Costa was only 17 million !
    He was responsible for that .

  • Hannu