Player ratings: First blood to Atleti in the Calderón

We analyse the performance as Saúl's stunner earns first leg win over Bayern

Was Saúl's goal enough to earn him man of the match?

Was Saúl's goal enough to earn him man of the match?

Saúl Ñíguez’s delightful individual goal gives Atleti a 1-0 lead to take to Munich next week, with the team putting in another huge performance to beat Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.

In front of a buoyant crowd at the Vicente Calderón, the red and whites secured a first leg advantage with a valiant defensive showing, keep out the visitors’ abundance of attacking talent in typical resolute style.

Read on to see how we rated the players:

Jan Oblak – 7

Called into action more often than usual tonight, as Bayern looked to exploit him in the air with a number of crosses and long shots. They obviously hadn’t done their homework though, as he handled everything they threw at him.

Juanfran – 7

Proved that he is one of the best right-backs in Europe, stifling both Douglas Costa and Franck Ribery with a flawless defensive showing. Had limited chances to attack, but still made himself an option when needed.

José María Giménez – 7

Had a couple of nervy moments, but stood up strong and lead the team in Godín’s absence with a mature and dominant showing. Made lots of timely blocks and clearances, notably on Coman as he ran through in the second half.

Stefan Savic – 7

Some eyebrows were raised when he was chosen to partner Giménez instead of Lucas, but he had an excellent game and didn’t put a foot wrong all evening. Always assured and in the right place, would start for most other teams in world football.

Filipe Luís – 8

Outstanding once again. Many are rightly talking about Koke and Torres’ recent form, but he has been just as good. Like Juanfran he neutralised Bayern’s threat out wide, and was one of our best players in possession of the ball. So crucial to how we play.

Gabi – 7

The man for the big occasion. Up against names much more renowned than his, he made sure they couldn’t play through the middle and gave them no time on the ball whatsoever. Incredible that at 32 he’s producing another season at this level.

Augusto Fernández – 8 (Man of the match)

His January signing could well prove to be yet another Simeone masterstroke. Got through an incredible amount of work in front of the defence, and like Gabi was on top of the Bayern midfield from start to finish. Tiago could have trouble getting back into the team at this rate.

Koke – 7

Tireless as always, providing the link between midfield and attack to help relieve the pressure when we most needed it. Lacked his usual quality from set pieces, but we can’t fault him otherwise.

Saúl Ñíguez – 8

Where to start? Not only his goal (which we’ve run out of words to describe), but his all round performance oozed class. The perfect foil for Koke, with the same intense work-rate as well as a real touch of class. Announced himself to all of Europe tonight.

Antoine Griezmann – 7

Had one good chance in the first half when he got round the back, and also set up Torres to hit the post in the second half. Wasn’t too involved on the ball other than that, but ran himself into the ground for the cause and did his defensive duties when needed.

Fernando Torres – 7

Struggled at times when left up front alone, but was always a worry for the Bayern defence with his movement and physical presence. So close to scoring the second, but saw his outside of the boot finish crash off of the inside of the post.


Thomas Partey – N/A

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

  • Randy Ved Jawahir

    The entire team played well. Savic, Gabi and Augusto stood out for me. He covered so much ground and his tackling and style dealt with players like the rough physical Vidal and Thiago. Outstanding performance from him. Savic did really well in the air as well as so good with the ball on the ground as well. Gabi played equally as well as Augusto also. Torres did well up front on him own and had touches of class, so unlucky not to have scored. Anyway we focus on Rayo at the weekend, and I’m so happy about the advantage going to the Allianz. #AupaAtleti #NuncaDejesDeCreer

  • Urban

    What I loved – Saul’s goal, defensive work, Augusto and Oblak. What I hated – lack of subs, even after 90′ minute. All in all typical Atletico display, in the best possible meaning of the term.

  • Koke

    The whole team was fantastic, as is usual in big games for Atleti. I raised my eyebrows when Atleti decided to buy back Felipe Luis a year after he left us for Chelsea, but now I realize it was a brilliant decision. Signing of the season, easily. He’s just so damn important to how we play. I don’t know how we’ll replace him when he gets a little older.

    Torres, so unlucky not to grab that second goal. Savic and Gimenez are world class defenders, I don’t care how underrated they are by the rest of the world. And Saul… nothing really to say there. VDB would be simply idiotic not to bring him to the Euros. But I still don’t know what position the kid ought to be playing!

    Happy but not surprised about the result. A second goal though would have been so, so, so helpful to us. Going to Bayern’s stadium and not conceding a goal seems like mission impossible. If any team can do it, it’s Atleti, but still, it’ll be very hard. At least if we score an away goal, Bayern is in big trouble. I think we can do it. I really hope our players don’t tire out in these next few crucial matches!

  • Urban

    And how isnpired was Auguso’s signing?

  • nandes

    1-0 Bayern, 2-0 Barça & 0-1 Madrid. Three wins against the world’s biggest teams without conceding a single goal. In a season most people thought would be a transitional one due to the failure of our biggest signings and the young age of most players. Gracias Cholo.

  • Nick Lawley

    Id give Oblak a 9, some amazing shots stopped!

  • Koke

    Super inspired. Another one I was unsure about – “Augusto? But we have Gabi, Saul, Thomas, Koke, Kranevitter, and Tiago…” I was proven wrong again. Augusto was an awesome signing. Only thing I don’t know is, will Tiago ever reclaim a spot in our team? Or would Kranevitter perhaps be better off getting loaned out? But kudos to Simeone for recognizing Augusto’s quality and bringing him into our team. Only thing is that I wish we could play with more attack minded players sometimes, but in tight games like these Augusto is perfect.

  • Best game of Augusto Fernandez’s career! Lol

  • AaX

    We have secured not conceding any goal at home, Now we look more instead of scoring GoalS in munich to the same effect. This is the crucial Tactical Advantage!
    It’s how we read bayern players is the key although there would be tactical alterations both with the next game. So far they have played out most of them except Robben and Boateng. But the key is the read and nuetralise muller.

    Aupa ATLETI !!

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I will have to go with Oblak in this game. Too many saves that if the ball got by him, it would have resulted in a completely different game. It is to bad that Torres goal didn’t go in, but we are in good “Atletico” shape for the next game.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Atletico is just lucky and their style is ugly. All they do is park the bus. They are a bunch of thugs…yea, I am getting tired of hearing those excuses from the losing team (fans) as well. They are doing great. Time for the pundits to give them credit.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I agree, why were their no subs…but think about this, we subbed one guy due to injury and still had 4 minutes added to the end of the game. REALLY!! Where is all this extra time coming from. We had 5 extra in the Barca game and in went to 6+. If there was a strategy, Cholo was trying to cut down on the extra time at the end and his players were holding up. I would have brought in Correa for Torres at the 60 minute mark.

  • Urban

    Exactly, correa for torres around 60′ minute could have given us another goal IMHO. I don’t understand cholos hesitation a bit here…