Atletico Madrid bested Manchester United at the Old Trafford in classic Diego Simeone fashion. A low block, incredible work rate, one moment of brilliance, and sensational game management – all the trademarks of a Simeone UCL second leg win.
As a collective, it seems impossible to fault Atleti despite a game filled with refereeing controversy. But how did they fare individually? Join Madrid Universal as we run the rule over the visitors.
Jan Oblak: 8.5
Oblak looked back to his best as he made a couple of sensational saves. His positioning was top-notch as he denied Anthony Elanga from close range in the first half, and then made a Spiderman-esque leap to stop Raphael Varane’s header in the second half.
Stefan Savic: 7
Savic had problems dealing with an in-form Jadon Sancho, who was constantly making dribbling around him. His poor marking nearly created a moment of magic for the former Borussia Dortmund winger in the first half.
Jose Gimenez: 7.5
Gimenez knew what he had to do spearheading the defence, and helped close the game to perfection. Did not put a foot wrong the entire night, and comfortably dealt with Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani.
Reinildo Mandava: 7
Mandava, not a centre-back by trait, was beaten by Anthony Elanga and Bruno Fernandes a couple of times on the night, but did well to keep his composure in the dying minutes of the game.
Marcos Llorente: 7.5
Sensational game from Llorente yesterday who not only helped circulate the ball with each touch, but also riled up players by continuous fouls time-wasting.
Rodrigo de Paul: 8
De Paul came incredibly close to scoring the opening goal on the night, only to be denied by David de Gea. After that, though, it was an all-round midfield masterclass from him as he was faultless in possession and gritty off it.
It would be nearly impossible to pick out any flaws from Koke’s performance yesterday. Through the game, his positioning and presence of mind helped Atleti keep the ball. There was no beating Atleti’s captain yesterday as he lost the ball only seven times and won two fouls.
Renan Lodi: 8
Renan Lodi stole the headlines during the first leg with his sensational cross to Joao Felix that helped Atleti open the scoring. Yesternight, he was one of the protagonists again as he got on the end of a cross himself and eventually came home as the winner.
Antoine Griezmann: 9
It was the Antoine Griezmann show yesterday, who seemed back to his best vs United. The Frenchman assisted the only goal of the game, but, more importantly, put in a mammoth defensive shift.
He put in several brilliant tackles and won the ball during moments United were attacking. He dropped as deep as the right-back to defend at times, but was still available to start every single counterattack by Atleti. Man of the match.
Joao Felix: 7
Felix was not nearly as prominent yesterday as the first leg, but his genius thinking set up Griezmann’s assist. He also created one chance and was fouled three times.
Geoffrey Kondogbia: N/A
Came on too late to make a proper difference.
Came on at the 90th minute and lost the ball with his only touch of the game.
Angel Correa: N/A
Came on at the 93rd minute, and his only contribution was a clearance.
Tottenham Hotspur hold an interest in key Atletico Madrid duo
According to MARCA, Tottenham Hotspur have shown an interest in signing key Atletico Madrid stars Yannick Carrasco and Jan Oblak and could look to make a move for the duo in the summer.
Tottenham and Atletico have fostered a good working relationship in recent times, with the Rojiblancos signing Sergio Reguilon on loan from the Premier League club in the summer.
Following that, the Colchoneros secured the signing of Matt Doherty in January on a free transfer after Tottenham handed him a letter of freedom so that he can join the La Liga club.
Now, it is being claimed that Tottenham could look to capitalise on it and act on their interest in both Carrasco and Oblak.
Carrasco has been a topic of interest at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for some time now. The Lilywhites have even made attempts to sign him in the past but were unable to pull off the transfer.
However, with the 29-year-old reportedly disgruntled at Atletico, a summer exit could be on the cards. Barcelona have secured an option to sign the winger for a fee of €20 million in the summer, but Tottenham could offer more if they are serious about signing him.
Meanwhile, Oblak has also been on the radars of Tottenham for some time. With captain and first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris nearing the end of his career, the north London club have identified the Slovenian ace as a possible replacement for the Frenchman.
Oblak has been a permanent fixture in the lineup at Atletico Madrid for close to a decade now. But he harbours hopes of playing in the Premier League while he also wishes to challenge for trophies – something that has not happened at Atletico this term or the last season.
It could compel him to consider a move away from the Civitas Metropolitano, and Tottenham would be lying in wait if such a scenario materialises.