Player ratings: Atleti reach final after away goals win

2-2 aggregate victory enough to send Atlético to Milan

Atleti celebrate their goal

Atleti celebrate their goal

In a game that will be remembered in the short term for its superb goalkeeping on both sides, Germans maintaining overwhelming possession, and a coach that almost went over the top, it will be Spain’s Atlético Madrid that get the lasting memory.

Los Rojiblancos came into Tuesday’s match as the underdogs despite leading 1-0 on aggregate. However, that lead would be cut short when Xabi Alonso talked Franck Ribery out of a free-kick just outside Atleti’s box and blazed a Jose Gimenez deflected shot past Jan Oblak.

Simeone’s men held out in their own zone until a counter-attack opportunity fell on Fernando Torres’s feet and then found its way to Antoine Griezmann who sent it home past Manuel Neuer in the 53rd minute to make it 2-1 on aggregate.

Bayern Munich then regrouped and continued their pursuit of another goal and it came when an Arturo Vidal headed a pass over to Robert Lewandowski who then finished the glorious chance. The Poland international’s goal wasn’t enough as the 2-2 aggregate would stick until the final whistle and Atleti soon found themselves in the heart of Germany knowing they’d booked their ticket to Milan for the final dance.

Read on to see how we rated the players.

Jan Oblak – 9 (Man of the match)

You couldn’t fault the Slovenian stopper for what transpired on Alonso’s free-kick. The ball hit off Jose Gimenez and went in the opposite direction that Oblak was anticipating. Nonetheless, Oblak stopped Thomas Muller’s penalty kick to keep the score tied on aggregate into halftime. Later on Lewandowski, Ribery and another Alaba effort were all stopped by the Slovenian wall.

Juanfran – 7

The Spaniard’s final ball on counters weren’t great by his standards but his build-up play and cheeky touches were felt throughout on the front-foot. His side didn’t do much attacking in this game, however, so when Ribery or Douglas Costa came down his flank, he was always there to battle them away.

Jose Gimenez – 6

When the young Uruguayan drew a stupid penalty for holding Javi Martinez, he was mounting up his rating to be lower than a five. His earlier deflection on Alonso’s free-kick goal wasn’t forgotten and fans were angry. Gimenez then found his composure and on a Bayern counter showed us why he should still be applauded for Atleti’s win.

Diego Godin – 7

Godin wasn’t fit. At times he looked outmuscled by Bayern’s forwards and didn’t read the game to his best abilities on dangerous long balls. His saving grace was his ability to win almost every aerial ball that threatened his line or penalty area.


Filipe Luis – 9

Tuesday’s match was one of the Brazilians best in the UCL this year. He defended well, his runs were great and his possession-play was vital in giving Atleti valuable time away from their own zone. If it wasn’t for Oblak, he would have been the man of the match.

Saul – 6

The overnight European sensation was reserved from really trying to push forward on Tuesday. Saul really wanted to keep Bayern off the scoresheet. He covered Juanfran excellently when the fullback had to mark Costa and Ribery up high.

Gabi – 8

The captain played his heart out and made a number of important blocks when Bayern were bombarding Atleti with dangerous chances in possession and on some counters. He was utterly fearless.

Augusto Fernandez – 7

The Argentine couldn’t replicate his tactical IQ and tackles from the first-leg but he made a number of key interceptions in Germany. Yannick Ferreira- Carrasco replaced him and it was right decision by Simeone.

Koke – 5

Not Koke’s best night in terms of offensive contributions but he sacrificed his ball skills for defending and it worked out in the end. His below-standard set-piece play brought his score down a bit.

Antoine Griezmann – 8

He beat Neuer clean and dazzled us with some dribbling skills in the second-half. Griezmann’s build-up play with Torres for his goal was also superb. The Frenchman’s work rate didn’t go unnoticed in Atleti’s own end, either.

Fernando Torres – 7

Like his forward partner, Torres worked hard all game to keep Bayern from scoring and contributed with a great through-ball to perfectly match Griezmann’s run that resulted in a vital goal.


Yannick Carrasco – 7

The Belgian was needed in the second-half to help Atleti maintain possession as much as possible. His dribbles and touches were excellent throughout as soon as he hit the pitch in the second stretch.

Thomas Partey – No rating

Stefan Savic – No rating

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I usually disagree with many of your ratings Carlo, especially man of the match, but Oblak made it very easy tonight .
    Though I think Koke & Saul should switch their ratings, and I think Gabi deserves a 9 .
    (yeah yeah, I know, I’m biased for Gabi … or am I ?!)

    But who cares, we made it to the final, let’s give a 10 for every single player !

  • Koke’s poor set-piece play got him a 5. Oblak obviously the biggest reason we’re going to Milan.

    Gabi was excellent, a 9 wouldn’t be too far off either. As always, thanks for reading!

  • AaX

    We owe uncountable gratitude to Oblak’s Match Saving/Winning Performance for What We’ve Achieved Today. Oblak, Thank You and Thank You LORD for such Heroic ‘Historical’ Save.


  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    I don’t understand how Koke gets a 5 and Juanfran who was awful got a 7… I think everyone agrees on Oblak but i really don’t agree with that Koke rating

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Oh and Augusto was awful as well doesn’t deserve a 7. Koke p[layed better than him and Juanfran both

  • Alfred Rodriguez

    A little generous to give Augusto a 7 for not really doing much with possession, being subbed after 45 minutes, and giving up the foul that led to the free kick goal. Oblak was by far the man of the match.

  • Koke

    I think Oblak is already one of the best 3 goalies in the world, and I’m glad he’s finally getting the worldwide recognition he deserves.

    And is there any other team as good as producing talent as Atleti? We’ve supplied the world with world class players in almost every position from goalkeeper (De Gea, Courtois, Oblak), strikers (Torres, Aguero, Falcao, Costa, Griezmann, and soon Correa), and are now putting the final touches on the likes of Saul, Thomas, Oliver and Koke as some of the future’s best midfielders and the likes of Lucas and Gimenez as some of the best young defenders.

    Anyway, I am really happy with the win, even though we’ve certainly had more confident defensive performances in the past. Filipe Luis, I can’t stop singing his praises. The best left back in the world. And with his recent performances in the second half of this season, I think we can all agree the “Griezmann doesn’t score in big matches” concept is ancient history. Hell, I’d bet on him scoring in the final.

  • Let’s hope this UCL ends in trophy victory and we can add global appeal and marketing to our name to add incentive to our players to stay!

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I love Jose Gimenez but he was clearly a 5 in the game. He was the weak link the defense. And if Muller would have scored, he would be seen as a 4…so maybe he is really a 4. Everyone has a bad game, this just happened to be his, and Atleti was still able to pull off the miracle.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I’m sorry to say this, but this season Courtois seemed to be an ordinary GK to me, he played 21 games in EPL, conceded 25 goals, made two penalties and was sent off in both of them, and he only kept 5 clean sheets .
    And Chelsea’s poor form isn’t an excuse, in fact, a good GK appears when his team isn’t doing OK, just like De Gea with Man Utd .
    Even last season I think he was responsible for Chelsea’s exit from UCL against PSG, Thiago Silva’s goal was absolutely his fault, a big fault .

    It’s interesting how our sold stars don’t do well after leaving us, Falcao, Courtois (wasn’t actually sold), Maxi, Arda, Miranda was great with Inter at the start of the season then they started to concede in threes and fours in a single game, I said before that even Costa’s last season wasn’t that great, 20 goals in EPL but NONE in UCL, so how about this season ?!
    I would add Forlan to the list but I love and respect him too much to put him there, besides, he was 32 when he left .
    I love and appreciate Forlan more than any of the players above, and more than many of our current stars .

    The only big name I can think of who did well after leaving us is El Rata Aguero, but still, Atleti did better than him after he left, both won 5 trophies, but two of Aguero’s were League Cups, the second cup competition, you can’t compare that to two European titles, or to two UCL finals .

    Some players think they are bigger than Atleti, but they will always regret leaving them .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    It’s amazing how many players discovered their best forms in the perfect time :
    -Torres started to score again, he scored in 5 consecutive league games for the first time in his whole career . He even couldn’t do it with Liverpool .
    -Almost half of Koke’s 15 assists came in the last 5 weeks .
    -Grizi finally started to score in big games, at Mestalla, at Bernabeu, at Allianz Arena and against Barca .
    -Saul couldn’t dribble 4 players and score against Rayo, who conceded 70 goals in La Liga this season, but he did it against Bayern who conceded 15 goals in Bundesliga !
    -That was the first penalty Oblak has saved with us (although not too many were called against us), I won’t count the one he saved against Messi last season, because eventually the ball entered the goal, against PSV he couldn’t save a single one of the 8 shootouts, he didn’t even move in some of them, but he saved the one in the UCL semifinal !
    -Gabi & Filipe are finally Gabi & Filipe of 2014, if not better .
    -I didn’t watch Augusto a lot with Celta, but I don’t think he came close to his performance with us in some of the very big games we played in the last two months .

    This is a very different Atleti than the one we saw until February, I really don’t have an explanation, is it motivation from one the best motivators in the game, Simeone ?! is it a well-planned fitness program from the genius El Profe Ortega ?!
    I don’t know, but I do know that it is not a coincidence, something right has been done .

    Even Simeone himself has improved, let me put it this way :
    In a group stage game against Astana he started with :
    Gabi – Tiago – Koke – Saul
    Grizi – Torres
    While in a quarter final game, against Barca, and at Camp Nou he started with :
    Gabi – Koke – Saul
    Grizi – Carrasco

    That’s why I said yesterday that I will not apologize for my criticism of El Cholo, no one should, because we were not wrong .

  • Dictarium

    Great post!

    Btw, might I ask you about Saúl and how the Spaniard’s season have been?

    Also, do you believe he’s by far the best young player in Spain?

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Disagree on that particular goal being Courtois’ fault and I still like Aguero but i can understand the EL Rata thing.

    You are correct at what some players think and they’re wrong! Also I still believe that Oblak is currently better than both Courtois and De Gea and that he will prove it even more the longer he stays, Oliver is better than Arda even tho he doesn’t get the playing time he deserves, Thomas, Saul and even Augusto are better than Mario Suarez and Assancoa (or however his name is spelled) and I also prefer the way our current strikers behave on the pitch, much more than Diego Costa whom i don’t want to see back at this club

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I think I talked about Saul several times here, and my opinion about him is not very popular, for me, he is “Jack of all trades, master of none” .

    He is obviously not defensively as good as Gabi or Tiago or Augusto or even Koke, although DM is his original position . He suffered a lot as a center back against a small team like Eibar .
    He is obviously not an AM, he is not as creative as Koke or Oliver .
    He is not a winger, and playing him on that position in some games drove me crazy, because I watched Salah and Mahrez many times this season .

    I think what made Saul’s season a very good one is the 9 goals he scored, because his passing is poor, his tackling and ball recovery are not that great .
    Let’s compare him to Gabi & Koke :
    Passes in La Liga : Gabi is 5th, Koke is 10th, Saul is 87th
    Successful passes in La Liga : Gabi is 9th, Koke is 11th, Saul is not on the list (which has 80 players)
    Passes in UCL : Gabi is 6th, Koke is 14th, Saul is 58th
    And ball recovery is the same .

    So are his 9 goals enough to keep his spot in the starting XI next season if we signed a right winger and played with two wingers, with Grizi and another striker, and with two midfielders of the 7 we have ?!

    Saul is a big dilemma for me, in some games he scores a brilliant goal, like the one against Bayern, but in other games he is almost invisible, like the other game against Bayern .
    I just talked about that few days ago when we were discussing Oliver,
    I said : why Saul gets to keep his spot even when he underperforms in a couple of games while Oliver is always on the bench even after he does great when he comes on in some games ?!

    I think Saul should be a box-to-box midfielder, but he needs to work A LOT on his passing and his tackles and defensive abilities, if he can improve at those sides, and whit his nice skills, his goal instinct and his HUGE personality, I think he can be a world-class box-to-box midfielder .
    But I’m very sure he can never be a winger or an attacking midfielder or a deep-lying playmaker .

    But here is the other thing, and I still stick to my opinion even after reaching UCL final and being co-leaders in La Liga :
    I don’t want to see Saul with Gabi, Koke and Augusto/Tiago on the pitch at the same time, unless we are playing against Barca or Bayern, while against some very small teams, I only want to see two of those four .
    I don’t think we will be lucky again to win 1-0 in 9 La Liga games with too many defensive-minded players on the pitch .

    I really believe that if Saul didn’t score those 9 goals everybody would have looked at him differently, so, most of the credit is because of his goals, but Correa scored 8 goals despite playing 2000 minutes less than him, which makes Correa the best young player in Atelti in my opinion .
    So, no, I don’t think Saul is the best young player in Spain, but he is in the top 5 .

    Sorry for this long reply, but let me finish it with this :
    We have been in long negotiation with Saul to renew his contract because he is asking to get paid the same as Grizi & Koke (5 or 6 M) .
    I don’t think he deserves to be equaled to them, because Grizi can score against RM, Barca & Bayern, and Koke can give an assist against each of them, they proved that they can do it, but I’m not sure if Saul can repeat his “golazo” against Bayern again, and I’m very sure he can’t did the great defensive work Gabi does against those teams .

    Saul is good, Saul is promising, but Saul is not a superstar … yet .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    The thing about De Gea is that his team has been suffering for the last 3 seasons, every game he makes 6 or 7 great saves because the opponents manage to reach his goals 6 or 7 times, or more .
    Oblak, on the other hand, could wait for 2 or 3 games to get a shot on his goal !
    I think that’s why De Gea is considered the best GK in the world by many people .

    But when Oblak came under pressure and was tested 9 or 10 times against RM in last season’s 1/4 final first leg, he saved all of them, he also made too many saves in the 2nd leg, and in both legs against Bayern .
    I think he has a chance to show his true level with Slovenia, where he became the 1st choice GK just recently .

    Mario Suarez and Assuncao ?!!
    Man, I said “stars” and “big names” !
    With all due respect though to Mario, a great a person, one of us, but an ordinary player .

    I don’t think I hated a player more than Assuncao since I started watching Atleti, well, there was Perea, but he was actually good someday, he was too good that Barca wanted to sign him and offered us in the deal a young kid called Iniesta !

    That what Jesus Pitarch did to us, we had 6 or 7 players like Assuncao, players who weren’t good enough to play for Rayo (one of them is at Rayo right now), but they played -and for many seasons- at a giant club as Atelti !!
    And that’s why I keep praising Caminero, he built us a great team, great teams actually with all the players who left .
    Pitarch was a mercenary, but Caminero is one of us .

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Hahahaha we agree on Assuncao completely