UEFA Champions League 2016/17, Atletico Madrid 2-1 Real Madrid: Player Ratings
An away goal from Isco proved vital for Real Madrid, as they progressed into the Champions League final for back-to-back seasons.
The crowd at Estadio Vicente Calderon for the penultimate time in the stadium’s existence clapped off a victorious home side on Wednesday night. Atletico Madrid won the second-leg battle, but not the war as their 2-1 victory on home soil wasn’t enough to overturn the 3-0 loss to cross-town rivals Real Madrid they had incurred at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Early goals from Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann within the opening 15 minutes ensured that the visitors were well and truly rocked. However, a bit of magic from Karim Benzema unlocked the hosts’ rearguard and led to Isco firing home the all-important away goal.
Atletico’s fans remained in the confines of their sanctuary hours after the game in the pouring rain to share their adoration for their players, who made a real fight of a tie that had appeared to be a completely dead rubber, but ultimately it was Zinedine Zidane’s men who make their way into back-to-back Champions League final.
(All players are rated out of 10)
Jan Oblak - 8
Oblak made a number of excellent stops to ensure that Atletico were given a chance to get back into the tie early in the second leg. Made a fantastic save in the build-up to Isco’s goal, but couldn’t quite keep the rebound out.
Jose Maria Gimenez - 7
Was very physical and tough in the challenge, but was forced off in the second half due to not having the match fitness required to last the full game. Embodied Atletico’s spirit. Solid defensively but offered little further forward
Diego Godin - 6
The veteran was very strong in the air and made some brilliant challenges, but his lapse of concentration in the build-up to Isco’s goal proved very costly. The Uruguay international raced wildly out of position, making Benzema’s life far easier when getting in behind the hosts’ back four.
Stefan Savic - 6
Didn’t look entirely convincing throughout, with the Montenegrin neither refined nor composed in his play as his centre-back counterpart Godin. Largely did his job well, but he wasn’t short of some nervy moments at the back.
Filipe Luis - 7
Neat on the ball and always looked to be positive and forward-thinking to help Atletico transition upfield at pace. Wasn’t troubled defensively by Danilo on the overlap and gave a complete performance at both ends of the field.
Yannick Carrasco - 7
Vital to how Atletico flew out of the traps in the early stages. His close control, pace and dribbling caused Real Madrid plenty of problems inside the opening half an hour, and he arguably should have picked up a penalty from a challenge made by Casemiro.
Gabi - 6
Picking up a yellow card for dissent in the first half prevented the Atleti captain from playing his natural game in the second due to his hesitancy to be sent off. Very solid and organised well, helping to solidify the middle of the park in a great opening 45 minutes for Los Colchoneros.
Saul Niguez - 7
Fired home a brilliant close-range header from a corner to open up the scoring. The Spanish midfielder certainly offered the fight, desire and passion that had escaped him in the first leg. Nabbed another important Champions League goal for Atletico and affected the game in both halves of the field.
Koke - 6
Was key to the hustle and bustle of Atletico in the opening stages, but quickly found himself outclassed quite regularly by Luka Modric in one-on-one situations. Struggled against the high level of quality in midfield on show by Real Madrid.
Fernando Torres - 5.5
Did well to earn his side a penalty, drawing in a clumsy challenge to allow Antoine Griezmann to fire home the game’s second goal. However, the Spanish forward otherwise struggled to get involved. Didn’t have the legs to cause any issues with his movement.
Antoine Griezmann - 8
His penalty wasn’t the cleanest of strikes and could have even been ruled out for the Frenchman touching the ball twice due to a slip. Otherwise, he worked hard to get back and support his back four, as well as providing all of the verticality and drive on the break. Key performance yet again.
Thomas Partey - 6
Tracked back to make a couple of good challenges in and around his own box, after being drafted into the game as a make-shift right back once again. Tried to use his pace to drive down the wing, but didn’t get too many opportunities to do so.
Kevin Gameiro - 3
Missed two chances where it looked easier to hit the back of the net than do anything else. Gameiro’s profligacy has had a huge effect on Atletico across two legs, and in all honesty cost Los Colchoneros dearly.
Angel Correa - 5
Introduced late on to give a different solution up top, but the Argentine substitute didn’t get a great deal of the ball and didn’t make much happen as a result.
Keylor Navas - 8
Made a couple of brilliant saves, not least one to deny a header from Gameiro. The Costa Rican certainly made up for a few games this season where he has been criticised for not making important saves. Should have done better with Griezmann’s penalty, however.
Danilo - 4
Looked shaky defensively and didn’t get to venture much forward to atone for his errors. Made things difficult for his own back four at times with some balls played into dangerous areas by mistake. Dani Carvajal was certainly missed.
Sergio Ramos - 6
A lack of respect towards the referee earned the Real Madrid captain an early yellow card, which led to the Spain international being unable to play his usual robust game. However, neither Torres nor Gameiro was able to get much change out of him.
Raphael Varane - 6
Looked strong and composed in the majority of situations for Los Blancos, as the young Frenchman has the pace to cover in behind and bail his teammates out of difficult situations. However, was at fault for giving away the penalty from which Atletico scored their second.
Marcelo - 7
Calm and composed on the ball as always, with the Brazilian always keen to get in possession and make something happen. Changed gear in the middle third with consummate ease, but couldn’t quite have an effect in the final third on the night.
Luka Modric - 9
Excellent performance from the Croatian midfielder, who controlled the game brilliantly at times. Showcased his technical ability, as well as the ease with which he can dance around opponents to drag Real Madrid upfield.
Toni Kroos - 7
Sat quite deep throughout the game, but the German international was key to Real Madrid retaining a certain portion of control whenever they turned possession over. Was reserved, with his presence and influence in the game appearing quite understated as a result.
Casemiro - 6
Could have easily given away a clumsy penalty early on in the game, but the Brazilian did offer a little bit of physicality in a midfield three that would have otherwise been quite lightweight. Not a vintage performance, but he put in a steady showing to protect his back four.
Isco - 8.5
Made everything look extremely easy, as the ex-Malaga midfielder was never fazed and clung onto possession in almost impossible scenarios. Always aware, with a flick or a trick to escape his man. Fired home the decisive away goal to kill the tie off.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 6
Didn’t offer a great deal throughout the game, with Atletico limiting the Real Madrid star to a few pot shots from varying ranges. Did occasionally drift into dangerous pockets of space, but he seems to have already have done his bit with the imperious first-leg performance.
Karim Benzema - 7.5
His magical footwork helped unlock Atletico’s defence at a vital point of the game for Real Madrid, as the Frenchman escaped three opponents at the byline to set a ball into the box that put the wheels in motion ahead of Isco’s close-range finish.
Marco Asensio - 6
Keen to get on the ball and wasn’t bothered by the occasion at all, but didn’t have much opportunity to really create anything for himself nor his teammates.
Lucas Vazquez - 5
Introduced for Casemiro to balance out the midfield and to give Danilo a little more orthodox protection at right-back for the away side. Didn’t make much of an offensive impact.
Alvaro Morata - 5
Given the last few minutes as a run out to help wind down the clock for Los Blancos, with Isco taking his leave.