La Liga: Barcelona 1 – 1 Atlético

Rojiblancos take share of the spoils as Cholo's super subs make the difference

Atlético frustrated Barça with a determined performance

Atlético frustrated Barça with a determined performance

Atlético Madrid earned a valuable point against Barcelona on Wednesday night, as Ángel Correa’s second half goal cancelled out Ivan Rakitic’s opener in a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou.

The rojiblancos fell behind just before half-time when the Croatian headed home, but responded well and were good value for the result in an impressive tactical performance.

Simeone started Yannick Carrasco, Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro in attack, but it was his substitutes who will grab the headlines as Correa and Fernando Torres combined for the equaliser.

That came just after Lionel Messi had been forced off with a muscle discomfort, just after Sergio Busquets had also had to make way with what looked to be an injury as well.

It was a fascinating battle between the world’s best attack and, in our opinion, the world’s best defence, with most chances or even half chances snuffed out before they had the chance to materialise.

However, Barça punished Atleti’s one lapse of concentration five minutes before half-time, Ivan Rakitic ghosting in between Gabi and Filipe to glance the ball home from a short corner.

The home side probably deserved it on the balance of play, but the momentum swung in the second half and Simeone took advantage.

Just past the hour mark, Cholo sent on Torres and Correa for Saúl and Gameiro, and in less than a minute Atleti were level. Torres with the assist, Ángel Correa with the beautiful feint and finish.

Barça pushed for a winner, but in the absence of Messi, the visitors stuck to their task and grinded out a point that keeps them in sight of leaders Real Madrid – who were held at home by Villarreal tonight.

The closest both sides would come to taking the victory were through set pieces, Gerard Pique glancing just wide from a Neymar free-kick, before Godín forced Ter Stegen into an action with a powerful header of his own.

A draw was the right result in the end, and although Cholo is still without a win in the Camp Nou, the team can take confidence from the performance ahead of home games against Deportivo and Bayern in the next week.

Player ratings:

Jan Oblak – 8

Can’t be faulted for the goal. Played a huge part in securing the draw with a number of solid saves and catches. Can’t speak highly enough of just how good he is.

Juanfran – 7

Won the battle against Neymar tonight, not only keeping the Brazilian quiet but also frustrating him. Didn’t attack much, but did his job in defence.

Diego Godín – 7

Whilst Juanfran took care of Neymar, he took care of Suárez and to great effect. His Uruguayan compatriot barely had a touch, dominant performance.

Stefan Savic – 8 (Man of the match)

We’ve wanted to highlight Savic’s performances for a while now, and tonight seems like the perfect opportunity. Faultless in defence, with great anticipation and reading of the game. Giménez may be waiting a while to get back in the team.

Filipe Luís – 8

In the form of his career at the moment. Gives so much to the team in all aspects, and even managed to get forward at times in the second half. Was a toss up for MOTM between him and Savic.

Gabi – 7

Some pointed the finger at him for the goal, but otherwise he was solid. Can’t ignore all the work he gets through in midfield, on the mark from start to finish. Tireless.

Koke – 7

The motor in midfield. Always effective against Barça, with his one tough play able to relieve pressure and turn defence into attack. Starting to come into form now after a slow start to the season.

Saúl Ñíguez – 6

Wasn’t really at the races tonight. Remained disciplined but lost a few balls in important areas and was a little sloppy with his passing at times.

Yannick Carrasco – 6

Had a great impact in this fixture last season, but apart from a few moments he wasn’t really in the match tonight. Perhaps would’ve been better coming off the bench and running at tired legs.

Antoine Griezmann – 7

Saw a lot of the ball, as he took on the role of the team’s playmaker behind the front man. Not everything he did came off, but his clever movement and link-up play caused problems.

Kevin Gameiro – 6

Can find himself a little unlucky to come off so early, but the substitutions justified themselves. Showed just how useful his pace and willingness in attack could be, helping us stretch the play in attack.


Ángel Correa – 7

Took his goal brilliantly, leaving Mascherano on the floor before finishing calmly. With two goals and an assist – all from the bench – in three matches, he looks to have stepped up a level this season.

Fernando Torres – 7

Made an impact before we had even noticed him coming on with a clever touch for Correa. Relishes these occasions, and despite not scoring he made a real difference in his half hour on the pitch.

Thomas Partey – 6

Other than one rash challenge on the edge of the box, he did a good job of closing down space in midfield and looking to link the play into attack. Nice to see him play after a few games in the stands.

Do you agree with our ratings? What did you make of the performance?

  • Karlp

    Neat and decent game as a whole. Maybe can keep the high line after Correa’s goal, but always a big gamble to go all out against Barca. Won’t complain much, a draw in Camp Nou with 11v11 is a good result.

    Saul is actually substitutable.

    Really wants to see Correa-Gameiro-Griezmann front 3. With this goal, maybe someday, one day, Correa will get another chance to start and have a full game.

    Still think, we lack a playmaker AM that can build up play or start a counter attack, so Griezmann doesn’t always have to be the striker/playmaker. So, it’s a player who have good ball control, decent dribbler, and can make key passes (someone like Iniesta/Modric). I think Gaitan can do this well if he is placed in a more central role.
    By the way, I think Griezmann has the best defensive play out of all attacker, besides Bale. Even better than some of our midfielder.

  • Karlp

    Very neat and decent game. Maybe can keep the high line after Correa’s goal, but always a big gamble to go all out against Barca. Won’t complain much, a draw in Camp Nou with 11v11 forever a good result.

    Saul is actually substitutable.

    Really want to see Correa-Gameiro-Griezmann front 3. With this goal, maybe someday, one day, Correa will get another chance to start and have a full game.

    Still think we lack a playmaker AM that can build up play and break the line, so Griezmann doesn’t always have to do double job as striker/playmaker. So, it should be a player who have good ball control, decent dribbler, and can make key passes (someone like Iniesta/Modric). I think Gaitan can do this well if he is placed in a more central role.

    By the way, I think Griezmann has the best defensive play out of all attacker, besides Bale. Even better than some of our midfield.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    “substitutable” is a difficult word to spell and to pronounce, but hell yeah, Sual is definitely substitutable, have been saying that for a while, I think Augusto could have done a better defensive job than him tonight, and Gaitan could have had a better attacking role .

    I wasn’t joking when I said that I was upset because it was Saul who scored that golazo against Bayern, because I knew that it would mask most of his poor or not so great performances .

    Saul is a skillful CM with great goal instinct, but he needs to improve defensively, then he will be untouchable, but right now I don’t think he is .

    I won’t be greedy, I don’t want someone like Iniesta or Modric, I want someone like Arda, we haven’t replaced him yet, Oliver couldn’t fill that gap for one reason or another, maybe we should’ve signed Cazorla or Çalhanoğlu this summer before the ban, or maybe Gaitan could be Arda’s replacement, but first he needs to play .

  • Koke

    Oliver Torres ticks off all of the boxes, he really would have been a perfect player to have in our squad (he just has to work on physical strength, consistency, and “ballsiness”) so I’m still irked that we let him go, and will be more irked if we don’t bring him back. That being said, I think Gaitan ticks off all those boxes as well. I think he could function well in any type of attacking midfield role, whether as a left-sided attacking mid in a 4-4-2 or as a central attacking mid (number 10) in a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1. I hope to see more of him in that role, with Koke and Gabi behind him and Gaitan with a more free role.

    I think Correa might actually get more chances now. Simeone has a strange selection policy – he seems to leave players ignored or underused for long stretches until by some luck or opportunism they put in a good performance or two and then they become forever untouchable. Think Saul, Oblak, Griezmann, Savic, Gimenez, etc. Remember or not, but these players all started out their Atleti careers barely being played and after an inspired performance they became mainstays. Even Griezmann(!) before the Athletic hattrick and Oblak(!) before a Moya injury were underused.

    Griezmann is just such an important player for us. Holy shit. Obviously no player is bigger than the club, but this guy is incredible. He seems to have the same drive that Ronaldo does, obsessed with getting better and better, except without the arrogance and selfishness. Remember when he was just a pacy winger at Sociedad that scored a handful of goals each season? Since then he’s excelled as a supporting striker, getting better at headers, finishing, 1v1s… now he’s becoming a better dribbler and playmaker, a la Messi. That pass to Filipe in the Sporting game that led to an offside goal was incredible. Let’s not forget about his defensive workrate. I really really want Griezmann to stay with us for a long time but if he doesn’t he will break the world record transfer fee. However, we really need a striker and a couple attacking mids/wingers to step up to a level near his so that he can get the support he deserves instead of having to do everything himself. I can’t imagine how many goals he’d score at Barca/Madrid/Bayern.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Another year without a win at Camp Nou, I really believed we could do it this time, especially after Busquets & Messi came off, but at least we didn’t lose, which is the first time since 17 de Mayo 2014 when we won La Liga there, I actually wasn’t aware of that, maybe my subconscious didn’t want to remember that negative statistic !

    A good point, and more importantly, a good head-to-head result which could come in handy at the end of the season, a win or at least a 0-0 draw at the Calderon will give us advantage over Barca in case we tied in points .

    So glad I was wrong about Real Madrid, and again -since it looks like that some people still don’t understand my point- it wasn’t about Real Madrid strength, but was more about the weakness of La Liga teams, and about Real Madrid’s luck, but they ran out of luck tonight, and the ref was surprisingly good .
    I didn’t think Villarreal can do it, they lost several important players (including injured Soldado), and many of their new signings are young loanees, and they lost the most important man at the team, Marcelino .
    The exact same thing could be said about Sevilla ! .. and that’s my point .

    I believe RM do great when they have a streak of good results, but after one or two bad ones they start to struggle, I’ve always thought that they are bad under pressure .

    I wish Athletic and Sevilla can also cause some problems for them, and can I say Valencia, or is Peter Lim going to destroy them, maybe even send them to Segunda ?!
    And I forgot Osasuna in my previous comments, maybe because they’ve been gone for a while, but when they were in Primera, the big three used to suffer a lot against them, especially at El Sadar, they beat us there 3-0 the season we won La Liga .

    Good to have teams like those in La Liga, instead of fucking Getafe .

  • samer kozaylee

    I wonder why each time messi plays against us gets injury:p . Well the first half we parked the bus and they barely attack but they manage to score a silly goal . However second half Simeone did a gamble by giving barca space and Angel Scores . To sum up, Corea should be given more playing time, he is such a perfect winger.
    I pray Griezmann our ” passe par tous” stays with us for next season ( i
    Wish all the English clubs that has interest on him wont qualify into the champions league like this he won’t leave) .Aupa Atleti

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I actually feel happy when Oblak has a lot of saves to make, I’m afraid that all those actionless games could make him a little bit rusty .

    Savic has now played 2315 minutes for Atleti (in term of games, that’s more than 25) and he only saw 2 yellow cards, one of them against PSV away last season for a tackle that wasn’t even a foul.
    I love Gimenez’s enthusiasm, work ethics and sacrifice (those famous head tackles), but I like Savic’s calmness and game reading more .
    But still, we must rotate them, Lucas too needs to play, his younger brother is playing full games and being named man of match while he is setting on the bench .
    I don’t think he should wait for the cup games, I wish he plays one or both of our next two games at the Calderon against Depor & Granada .

    Gameiro didn’t score, but he had a good game, I really like him, I still believe in him, and I think it was the right call to start with him and not with Torres just because he has a great record against Barca .

    I will net get tired of this : give Correa more time .
    Being a super sub doesn’t mean at all that he can’t be a great starter, there is absolutely no logic in that .
    32 year old Torres can be a super sub, I can accept that, but I can’t never accept it for a very talented 21 year old .. and I don’t think he would accept it either .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    That goal against Sporting was not offside by the way .

    If we sold Grizi while Gil is still our CEO then we wont break any record, we probably wont sell him for his full buyout clause .
    That son of a bitch (by bitch I mean his father) just love to sell for cheap, even those who don’t belong to Mendes, and I just don’t understand why .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    If we lost our appeal at CAS then I don’t think he will leave us while we are under a transfer ban .
    He is not just a great player, but he is a good man too, some people think that there is no such thing in sport, particularly in football, but we have seen many examples .

  • Karlp

    exactly, exactly, exactly Oliver Torres. The problem is he’s always played as a winger here, while I think he is either a deep lying playmaker (like Kroos) or more in attacking (like Modric). Either way, he should be in the central, he doesn’t have a winger capability. But I tried to move on and just accept he will never have a future here.

    I worried, we are starting to become a 1-man team. Griezmann literally did everything (defense, build-up play, scoring). This will create 2 problem. First, he will burn out, and in the long run might further his intention to move away. Second, we will be too dependent to him, and it will be a big problem if he moves away. This is why we need another playmaker, and the other player have to score more this season to lessen his burden.

  • Karlp

    hahaha don’t worry, I’m also one of Saul’s critic. Can create some amazing moment, but mostly invisible the rest of the time. I won’t have much complain if he’s played as CM/DM, but as a winger he’s not the best. But strangely his scoring rate is pretty good, so he’s still played as winger.

  • Kris

    Yea I just wanted to reply to you earlier that draws can be good results also especially if its against a rival in the La Liga standings.

    And please don’t you remind of Getafe’s existence. It’s good that the whole of La Liga shares a mutual disdain towards the ‘G word’ team.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I actually have the same opinion about my compatriot Elneny, despite that most of Arsenal fans are crazy about him, I believe he doesn’t offer much creativity at the attack, and defensively, he is not that great at blocks and stealing balls .

    This is the first time I say this here, so I hope “Saul enthusiasts” would calm down a little bit .

  • Karlp

    Yes, Gameiro had a good game and he is a great striker. Always thought he has similar trait to Luis Suarez (his way of running and shooting). Of course, compare to Suarez, he’s still a poor man Suarez.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    If this was the last game of the season and a draw would make us 2nd and give the title to Madrid, while a defeat would make us 3rd and give the title to Barca, then I prefer to lose .
    That’s simply what I meant with my comment earlier, and I did say something like that in another comment .

    I know it was a ridiculous thing to say, because this is only week 5, and I did say it will sound stupid, but yet some of you guys took it very seriously.

  • Kris

    Man I hate it whenever Messi gets injured because it means I don’t get to witness him play for a few weeks. And I hate that he comes back just in a few weeks without truly sufficient time to rehabilitate. I wish Messi never gets injured or old so I can watch his magic on the ball every week. He’s truly awe-inspiring. Unbelievable footballer.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Maybe Oli will have a future here after Simeone leaves, didn’t really want to choose between them, but of course I choose El Cholo .

    When Simeone leaves then bringing Oliver (and maybe Borja) back would be one of the very few upsides of the after Cholo era .

  • Kris

    Well of cours in that case, no Atletico would argue with you. Never want Madrid to win anything.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Poor man’s Suarez, that’s hilarious, it really made me laugh, and I think it’s true, except the biting part .

  • starvs

    1-1 is never a bad result at Camp Nou after conceding first. Shame we fell asleep and allowed them to score from a set piece though.

    I was disappointed not to see Gaitan get any run. We really need added creativity typically, and Gaitan and Correa are the answers available, yet they continue to struggle for minutes; frustrating. At least Correa is making his case pretty undeniable. They both need to start getting more minutes that Carrasco.

    Glad Thomas got some minutes, still think he has a bright future.

  • AndersAT

    I think we played a good game all in all. Good second half especially. It is nice to see that our defense was so effective with “only” three CMs in the first half and two in the second half against Barca. This just underlines that we always should have a creative midfielder to give us an outlet from pressure against the big teams. Great result to take from the Camp Nou. We could have been a bit more clinical on the counter though. I felt we could have scored a goal more in the second half.

    Gameiro looks good. Great pace (looks like speedy Gonzalez). If griezman stays during the transferban (I think he will) I am not worried anymore.

    I agree with a lot of you that Correa must have proved he should get some starts in the next couple of matches.

  • Zinni DUDU

    I am a little bit confused that Gameiro gets so much credit and Torres not. Torres provided with his first touch an assist for Correa; that efficiency that what we need in games like that. Indeed Gameiro is a hard working striker with a lot of pace, but to be honest he doesnt look like a striker, who could score more than 20 goals per season; maybe 15. I still think that he is not even the half of diego costa.. Look how costa is playing this season at chelsea and look how gameiro is playing.. There is a big difference. While Costa is game-changer and game-winner, gameiro is happy to score a goal against gijon. I dont think that we are going to win the league with a striker like gameiro in the first spot; he is not able to score a lot of goals like costa did 2013/14.

  • Alfred Rodriguez

    I like the idea of running a 4-3-3 and keeping Gameiro’s speed up top and having Griezmann and Correa at the wings. I think Gameiro’s defensive workrate is high and he isn’t sloppy in his tackles. I was also impressed by Gameiro’s speed in the first half, I knew he was fast but that was another level.

  • SherbetDip

    Absolutely … but the biting violent antics of this ‘real man’ are only talked about affectionately by a fawning media now he’s scoring for Barcelona and, if British hacks are to be believed, as good as Messi.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Torres is Torres, he doesn’t need our credit .
    He is a club legend, the 7th all-time top scorer, he has a great financial, leadership and psychological value, and none of those should be overlooked .
    And that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a sport value as well, he does, he scored goals in double figures last season, he was our 2nd top scorer, not 35-million Jackson or 22-million Vietto, he scored twice the amount of goals they scored together .
    He also made 4 assists, and he won two penalties, in the two biggest games last season, the 2nd leg of the semifinal and the final of UCL .
    He also won what should have been a crucial penalty against Alaves, and should have been awarded another one against Celta .
    But I think we all can agree that he can’t be our first choice striker, including you, you believe Gameiro can only score 15 goals per season, well, Torres only scored 12 last season .

    On the other hand, Gameiro is the one everybody should be talking about, either giving him credit or criticizing him, he is a new signing, an expensive one (by Atleti’s standards) and we could be stuck with him for a while because of the ban, so it’s logical to be more concerned about him .
    We could be right about him, or we could be wrong and you could be right, but in any case, he should be given a full chance from Simeone and a full support from the fans, because either we like it or not, we really don’t have another option .

    And what do you mean by “Gameiro is happy to score a goal against Gijon” ?!
    Do you want him to not celebrate when he score against small teams or what ?!
    The man looked very frustrated in every game he failed to score .
    And I do think we can win the league if Gameiro scored 15 league goals, since we have Grizi, Torres & Correa, just like Villa’s 15 goals helped us to win it in 2014, as we had Costa, Raul, Miranda & Godin .

    Finally, I don’t know what’s the point of bringing up Diego Costa ?!
    He is not our player and I don’t think he will be our player again, so do you just want to reminisce ?!

    I didn’t want to repeat what I said many times about Costa, but now I feel I have to, for me, he is a traitor, just like Arda, simply because he made us lose more than 20 million euros .
    He refused to sign on a clause bigger than 38 million, at the time when Koke -for example- had 60 million euros buyout clause, and we only received something around 25 million from the 38 million we sold him for, then, after he couldn’t handle London’s weather and food and saw Chelsea miss the CL he asked us to buy him back, for 60 or maybe 65 million had Chelsea agreed to sell him, and for a player who missed 12 EPL games in his first season with Chelsea and 10 in his second due to injuries and suspensions !!
    FUCK HIM .
    At least we got 15 million more from selling Arda to Barca .

    He helped his master Jorge Mendes to screw us up, big time, and that makes him a rat, not so different than Aguero and Arda, even if he played stupid and showed a false loyalty to Atleti after he left . Loyalty is by actions, not words .
    I think Costa is the kind of person who could have left us while we are under a transfer ban .

    I was very happy after we failed to bring him back .

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Good game. I agree with some others that when Messi went off, Atletico should have scored a second. A possible loss of 2 points. BUT I will take one point without complaint. Griezmann showed why is is one of the best in the world. He defensive prowess was awesome. Nino rated a little to high. A 6 is where he was. I am liking Savic more and more. If we can keep this party going, we will be in 1st very soon.