Joao Felix gets sent off as Atletico Madrid stumble to yet another draw against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.
Atletico Madrid’s struggle for goals continue as they were held to yet another goalless draw, this time by Athletic Bilbao at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.
It was yet another disappointing showing by the reigning Spanish champions who lacked creativity and ideas in the final third as they struggled to breach the lines of the opposition defence and test Unai Simon in goal.
To their defence, Bilbao were heading into this game with the defensive record of one goal conceded in four league matches. The numbers remained intact thanks to some diligent defending from Marcelino’s men, who remained resolute until the very end, although they did struggle to create any opportunities going forward.
In fact, Athletic Bilbao will be disappointed to have failed to secure a win especially after Joao Felix was sent off in the 78th minute, reducing Atletico to 10 men at a time when Diego Simeone had just made his fifth substitution by taking a defender off. But the visitors failed to register a single shot on target, nonetheless.
Here, at the Hard Tackle, we will rank the Atletico Madrid players in their disappointing draw with Athletic Bilbao this weekend.
Jan Oblak: 6/10
With Athletic Bilbao failing to muster a single shot on target, it was a quiet day at the office for Jan Oblak as he had basically nothing to save all game. He had to be vigilant defensively, especially with the opposition’s occasional long balls.
Stefan Savic: 7/10
Stefan Savic did rather on the right hand side of Atletico’s three-man backline. The centre-back passed the ball well, keeping things solid in possession and taking part in the build-up play. He was resilient in defence as well, helping his team defend the clean sheet.
Jose Maria Gimenez: 7/10
Jose Maria Gimenez got badly beaten by Inaki Williams in the second half when collecting a loose ball. It was a look for the defender, who had an otherwise decent game, from a defensive perspective. In fact, it was his leadership that helped Atletico keep things tight at the back.
Mario Hermoso: 7/10
Mario Hermoso wasn’t troubled much defensively, like most of his defensive teammates. It gave him the liberty to become a bit more expressive with his passing game, although it didn’t make much of a difference as far as chance creation is concerned. It was a bit pleasing for him to not get subbed during the hour mark this afternoon.
Geoffrey Kondogbia: 6.5/10
Geoffrey Kondogbia was given the nod ahead of Koke in light of his recent performances. Unfortunately, the Frenchman wasn’t as effective as the two matches, especially in the creative side of things. He did offer the much-needed physicality in the middle of the park, but it wasn’t enough to make a difference.
Kieran Trippier: 7.5/10
Kieran Trippier was a major threat for the Bilbao defence with his forays down the flanks. The Englishman did a fantastic job, especially with his forward passes that stretched the opposition backline. He eventually became one of Atletico’s main outlets in the build-up play, before making way for Matheus Cunha late in the game.
Already seeing how Trippier changes things for Llórente, now able to do that inside right run again
— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) September 18, 2021
Marcos Llorente: 7.5/10
Marcos Llorente started the game very well, probing the opposition with his crosses and linking up brilliantly with Trippier out wide. It caused all sorts of problems for the Bilbao backline. He was quite unlucky with his effort in the second half that hit the base of the post rather than going in.
Rodrigo de Paul: 8/10
Rodrigo de Paul was one of the standout performers for Atletico Madrid in this game, which is a positive sign for Diego Simeone. The marquee signing from Udinese showed a lot of confidence with his attacking play, especially when it came to beating opposition defenders at will.
The Argentine international also created multiple scoring opportunities in the final third, but lack of end produce saw Atletico Madrid fail to work out Unai Simon in the opposition goal.
Renan Lodi: 6/10
Renan Lodi struggled to vindicate Simeone’s decision of starting him ahead of Yannick Carrasco. The Brazilian was an outlet out wide, but a majority of crosses failed to hit the target, with the fullback eventually making way for Carrasco in the second half.
Antoine Griezmann: 5/10
Antoine Griezmann endured a difficult game in what was the first Laliga home game of his second spell at Atletico Madrid. He was jeered and booed by a section of the crowd while the attacker also failed to make his presence felt on the pitch. He looked tame with his efforts on goal and struggled to make a nuisance of himself in the opposition box.
Griezmann is yet to have a shot on target in La Liga this season.
Great sale by Laporta (50M) pic.twitter.com/8nZbuimSzf
— 🪄🇳🇱 (@FDJChief) September 18, 2021
Angel Correa: 6/10
Angel Correa was slightly better than Griezmann in terms of game involvement and work ethic. Unfortunately, he, too, failed to offer the end product Atletico Madrid were looking for. The Argentine ultimately had to make way for Joao Felix around the hour mark.
Yannick Carrasco: 6.5/10
Yannick Carrasco added some energy and spark on the left hand side after replacing Lodi in the 55th minute. Looked dangerous every time he got forward. Could have registered a goal or assist against any other defence.
Hector Herrera: 6/10
Hector Herrera added more stability in the middle of the park as well as more aggression in the second line of press. Not enough to change the course of the game, though.
Luis Suarez: 6/10
Luis Suarez was brought in at the 55th minute in order to add that end product in the final third. Unfortunately, the Uruguayan international lacked service.
Joao Felix: 4/10
Joao Felix replaced Correa to energize the Atletico attack but the move brutally backfired for Simeone, as the youngster’s lack of temperate saw him, albeit harshly, handed two back to back yellow cards.
Joao Felix was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in the space of ten seconds against Athletic Bilbao 😳 pic.twitter.com/2bTG4M5BTH
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 18, 2021
Matheus Cunha: N/A
A late replacement for Trippier. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.