Joao Felix, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez disappointed as Atletico Madrid stumbled to a goalless draw against FC Porto.
Atletico Madrid kick-stared their UEFA Champions League campaign with a rather disappointing 0-0 draw to FC Porto, stumbling on the first hurdle in what is already a difficult group.
It was not a game for the faint-hearted as tackles flew from everywhere as both sides tried to neutralise the other with aggression and physicality. There were 35 fouls made in total with referee Ovidiu Hategan being forced to brandish a whopping nine yellow cards and a red card for Chancel Mbemba late in the game.
The Romanian, who was involved in the Borussia Dortmund vs Manchester City game in UCL quarter-final last season, denying a clear goal for Jude Bellingham and a late penalty for Dortmund, was once again accused of poor referring when he sent Mbemba off even though the defender hadn’t picked up a yellow in the game.
Atletico Madrid, nevertheless, failed to find a breakthrough and it was rather Porto who created more meaningful opportunities. They even scored in the second half through Mehdi Taremi but it was ruled out by VAR. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will rank the Atletico Madrid players in their disappointing draw with Porto this midweek.
Jan Oblak: 6/10
Jan Oblak was beaten by Taremi in the second half. Fortunately for him, the goal was ruled out by VAR. Aside from that, the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper didn’t have to do too much as Porto only mustered one shot on target. They did threaten the goal, though, so he had to be vigilant all evening.
Jose Gimenez: 7.5/10
Jose Maria Gimenez was one of the standout performers in this performance from Atleti. He was a rock at the back for Los Colchoneros, using his strength and aerial prowess to good effect. He wasn’t afraid of moving the ball forward either, notably attracting an early foul from Luis Diaz.
Josema Giménez vs. Porto:
– 2 clearances
– 2 interceptions
– 1 successful tackle
– 9 out of 11 duels won
– 67 touches
The Uruguayan was one of Atlético's best tonight, especially because of some real front foot defending. pic.twitter.com/i6BOT6nskg
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayHeroes) September 15, 2021
It wasn’t a tip-top performance from Felipe who looked rattled at times when FC Porto pushed forward for the opener in the second half. The Brazilian could have certainly used some more composure in his game, but it wasn’t to be seen.
Mario Hermoso: 5/10
Mario Hermoso was underwhelming once again as he struggled to make any attempt at providing support for the wingback. He can be very erratic at times and this was one of those evenings, with the former Real Madrid starlet eventually getting subbed in the second half.
Geoffrey Kondogbia: 7.5/10
Geoffrey Kondogbia certainly had an eventful evening against FC Porto. Operating at the base of Diego Simeone’s 3-1-4-2, the Frenchman was very imposing in midfield and very ambitious with his passing. His presence certainly made it difficult for the opposition to dominate the play in the middle third of the pitch.
Thomas Partey could quite literally only dream about this, UCL man of the match for Kondogbia.
MY DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER 🔥 pic.twitter.com/bm1135z9jR
— Johannes (@JohannesATM) September 15, 2021
Marcos Llorente: 6/10
Marcos Llorente had an underwhelming evening against Porto, failing to vindicate Simeone’s decision of starting him in Kieran Trippier’s position. The Spaniard wasn’t influential at all with his creating game and is more suited to a central position, where he can have more freedom in possession.
The presence of Kondogbia allowed Koke to operate in a more advanced midfield role. Unfortunately for Simeone, the move did not work as the Atletico captain struggled to offer too much creativity in the final third. He is better suited as a holding midfielder where he can orchestrate the game.
Thomas Lemar: 6/10
Thomas Lemar offered the dynamism in the final third but his night was cut short after a presumed injury that forced Simeone to sub him off in the 35th minute of the game.
Yannick Carrasco: 5/10
It was a disappointing evening for Yannick Carrasco, who, after starring in the win over Espanyol, failed to make any impact all game. He looked frustrated and was clearly dealt with well by the opposition defenders.
Luis Suarez: 4/10
Luis Suarez was very dangerous at times with his direct freekick attempts on goal. Unfortunately, that was the extent of his performance against FC Porto as the veteran forward struggled to make any kind of impression in the final third. Not the best of performances from a player who is expected to become Atleti’s top-scorer yet again this season.
Luis Suárez : Game by Numbers (0-0 vs Porto) (H)
90 minutes played
3 shots (1 on target)
0 dribbles (0 attempts)
18 touches (Jan Oblak: 34)
9 accurate passes
1 long ball
4 times possession lost
Champions League Pedigree✒📃 pic.twitter.com/D4xymjVy9g
— El Pistolero (@SuarezExtra) September 15, 2021
Joao Felix: 5/10
Much like Suarez, Joao Felix was underwhelming in the final third for Atletico Madrid. He looked frustrated and struggled to deal with the physically astute Porto centre-backs, thus leading to his substitution around the hour mark.
Rodrigo de Paul: 5.5/10
Rodrigo de Paul replaced Lemar during the first half. He offered good work ethic for Atletico but did not make the desired impact in the creative department.
Renan Lodi: 4/10
Renan Lodi produced a horrid backpass to Oblak that resulted in Taremi’s goal. Fortunately for him, it was ruled out by VAR.
Angel Correa: 6/10
Angel Correa certainly looked more impactful than any of the other subs for Atletico Madrid. The Argentine should have started the game against Porto.
Antoine Griezmann: 5/10
Antoine Griezmann did not offer anything to the table other than a late foul that led to Mbemba’s red card.
Porto defender Mbemba with very harsh red card in added time, for taking out Griezmann 30 yards out.
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) September 15, 2021
Hector Herrera: 5/10
Made an appearance against his former club. Did not make any difference in the middle of the park.