Atletico Madrid kept their momentum going in La Liga with a second consecutive win, as an Angel Correa goal proved crucial against Elche.
Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid kept their momentum in La Liga intact with a win over Elche at the Wanda Metropolitano. The Spanish champions endured a tough evening as Elche gave them a run for their money, although the Rojiblancos showed enough quality to see off the game in their favour.
Angel Correa, who scored two goals against Celta Vigo during the first matchday, was crucial yet again as he netted the only goal of the game against Elche. However, it was the new signing, Rodrigo De Paul, who provided a beautiful assist to his countryman, which turned out to be the pivotal moment of the contest.
Elche were on hand to give the home side a tough evening and produced few moments which bothered Atletico. However, their air-tight defence and midfield control enabled them to see off the game to collect all three points. While it may have served as a good experience for the next games ahead, Elche would have hoped to score at least once against Atletico.
As for Atletico, they can now march on and look forward to the next game as Diego Simeone will be looking to continue his winning run in the league. The manager made plenty of tactical changes, shifting players in different positions, although it worked well in the end.
As a team, Atletico showed real composure to hold onto the one-goal lead. However, the first two games have got some regular stars out on the block performing at a good level. Players like Angel Correa and Rodrigo De Paul were impressive, but Geoffrey Kondogbia has defensively proven his worth in the last two games.
Here are the player ratings from Atletico Madrid’s narrow win over Elche.
Jan Oblak – 6.5/10
Not exactly a quiet game for Oblak, but the Elche attackers never really tested him seriously. Huge credit should go to Atletico’s defence, which did not let the opposition have a real sniff at the goal. Barring a few routine saves, it was a rather easy day for the Slovenian.
Stefan Savic – 7/10
Savic kept the defence organised and commanded his area well. Alongside his central defensive partners, Savic rarely had a lapse all game, and his excellent job at winning ground duels did plenty of favours in holding the backline tight while, he made two crucial clearances.
Jose Gimenez – 7.5/10
Gimenez put in another solid display at the back, the best among the back three. Winning all his defensive battles, the Uruguayan proved a rock to deny Elche going through him towards goal. He also had a great attempt denied.
Geoffrey Kondogbia – 7.5/10
A surprise inclusion to play in the back three, but following his incredible performance against Celta, Simeone had to start him. Kondogbia once again justified Simeone’s faith in him as he controlled his side of the defence effectively. The Frenchman made several interceptions and tackles while using possession smartly.
Marcos Llorente – 6/10
Llorente started ahead of Kieran Trippier at right-wing-back, a position he frequently played last season. While he was decent there, he failed to provide anything notable in attack, which might turn Simeone’s head towards the England international in the next game.
Koke – 6.5/10
Koke kept his composure and put in another battling performance. He played in the deepest midfield role, making clearances, winning balls and providing switch passes all throughout the match. Also had an attempt on goal, which got saved.
Rodrigo De Paul – 7.5/10
Thoroughly justified his inclusion as Simeone decided to hand De Paul his full debut against Elche. Provided the crucial assist for Correa’s goal, and in general, showed real character needed to play central midfielder for Atletico in the long run.
Thomas Lemar – 6/10
A decent outing or the Frenchman, controlled and measured in his approach, but somewhat underwhelming in defensive work. If Simeone can have all his first-choice midfield options in place, Lemar might find it difficult to start games going forward.
Saul Niguez – 6.5/10
Unlike Llorente, Niguez played his part from left wing-back. While his defensive numbers were average, he did contribute his bit in attack, also taking a few shots.
Angel Correa – 7.5/10
Another clinical display from the Argentine. After scoring two goals in the first game against Celta, Correa got the only goal against Elche. He has now scored all of Atletico’s goals this season, and if he continues his form, he might become a permanent fixture up front for club and country.
Yannick Carrasco – 6.5/10
A surprise inclusion to play upfront rather than his usual position at wing-back. Despite having no clear cut chances in front of goal, he created the perfect base for Correa to shine, winning duels and doing the battling job at the top.
Kieran Trippier – 6/10
Simeone decided to replace De Paul with Trippier to bring defensive solidity to protect their lead. Trippier was excellent after he came on, winning tackles and duels. Elche found it difficult to deal with him, and it might have been Simeone’s best decision of the game tactically.
Luis Suarez – 6/10
Suarez came in place of Lemar and immediately got on his job – winning duels around the centre. He couldn’t get his scoring boots out but did a good job supporting his teammates for the time he was on the pitch.
Renan Lodi – 5.5/10
Lodi was sent in to add defensive cover for the last five minutes as Atletico ran the game down.