Luis Suarez and Koke struggled as Atletico Madrid fell to a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Saturday in La Liga.
Heading into the game on the back of a defeat in El Derbi, Atletico Madrid needed to turn things around swiftly to stay alive in the title race. And, the reigning La Liga champions made a bright start to the contest, although it was Sevilla who broke the deadlock just seven minutes in when Ivan Rakitic struck a thunderous effort from outside the box.
Atletico Madrid grew into the game after the early setback and managed to strike back just after the half-hour mark as Felipe made a well-timed run to head in from Thomas Lemar’s corner to reinstate parity. The second period was a cagey affair with both sides not looking to give away an inch to their opponents, which led to chances coming at a premium.
And just when it looked like the game would end in a stalemate, Lucas Ocampos put his hands up for Sevilla, smashing the ball past Jan Oblak in the 88th minute after a header from a corner hit the bar and fell for him. Joao Felix came close to salvaging a point for Los Rojiblancos late on, but his attempted cross/shot hit the woodwork as Sevilla held on for a huge win in the title race.
The result sees Atletico slip down to fifth place, one point behind Rayo Vallecano in fourth, while Sevilla move up to within five points of league leaders Real Madrid, who will be facing Cadiz later on Sunday. Here are our player ratings for Diego Simeone’s men after a disappointing night in Andalusia.
Atletico Madrid Player Ratings
Jan Oblak: 5/10
The Slovenian shot-stopper could have done little to stop Ivan Rakitic’s early opener. He wasn’t called into action much from that point on but was beaten at his near post for the match-winning goal by Lucas Ocampos.
The Brazilian dragged Atletico Madrid back into the game with a fine header after making a good run to meet Lemar’s corner. Felipe always posed a threat in the opposition box from set-piece situations. At the same time, he was fairly solid and reliable at the back, making two interceptions, three tackles and winning three aerial duels.
Geoffrey Kondogbia: 6/10
Another game at the heart of the defence for the former Inter Milan midfielder, and he gave a fairly good account of himself. Kondogbia defended resolutely, for the most part, finishing with four tackles, two interceptions and clearances each. At the same time, he used the ball well from the back, although he could have been a bit more accurate with his distribution at times.
Mario Hermoso: 5.5/10
The 26-year-old defender is a liability defensively for Atletico Madrid and failed to inspire confidence again on Saturday night as he looked shaky each time Sevilla came at him. While his ability to play accurate passes from the back is handy, he needs to up his game defensively.
Kieran Trippier: 5/10
Back to full fitness, the former Tottenham man was reinstated to the lineup at right wing-back. Trippier wasn’t entirely convincing on the night as he had some issues coping with a lively Alejandro Gomez, whereas he was unable to make much of an impact getting forward either.
Marcos Llorente: 5/10
Moved into midfield after playing at right-back in El Derbi last weekend, the Spaniard offered good energy and intensity in the centre. However, his outing lasted just 40 minutes as an injury forced him off the field.
After a subpar display in the derby last weekend, the Atletico Madrid skipper wasn’t up to the mark on Saturday night either. Koke could have done a bit more to get closer to Rakitic in the lead-up to the first goal for Sevilla, while Thomas Delaney beat him in the buildup for the home team’s winning strike. There were some strong tackles and neat passes, but not good enough from the senior pro.
Thomas Lemar: 6.5/10
The Frenchman brought his usual energy and purpose on the pitch, trying to get on the ball and make things happen. His delivery from set-pieces was sharp, and he got the assist for Felipe’s goal from a corner. Lemar created three key passes on the night but lacked support from those around him.
Yannick Carrasco: 6.5/10
The Belgian international looked lively each time he got on the ball and took on his man, but the end product was not always there. Carrasco did manage to play a couple of key passes on the night but ultimately could not inspire his team to a victory.
Angel Correa: 4/10
A poor first-half display from the Argentine, who struggled to get into the game and stitch play in the final third. While he offers intensity at the top, Correa failed to get on the ball and make things happen, managing just 17 touches, making only seven passes before being whisked off at half-time.
Luis Suarez: 4/10
Back into the starting XI, a lot was expected of Atletico Madrid’s main striker Luis Suarez. However, it was another game where the Uruguayan international looked off-colour and toothless. Had a single shot that was blocked, did very little of note and was taken off early in the second half. He has now played seven consecutive games without scoring in all competitions.
Rodrigo De Paul: 6/10
The Argentine came on for the injured Llorente in the 40th minute. He was bright and purposeful, trying to carry the ball forward and make sharp passes, but there was insufficient support from those around him.
Joao Felix: 6/10
On for Correa at half-time, the Portuguese prodigy livened things up somewhat but could not have a sustained influence on the game. Came close to equalising late on but was denied by the woodwork.
Matheus Cunha: 5.5/10
He replaced Suarez in the 57th minute. Cunha offered a lot with his industry and work rate but lacked the cutting edge to make a difference.