Atletico Madrid secured UEFA Champions League football for next season with a 2-0 win over Elche in La Liga on Wednesday.
Atletico Madrid moved into the third spot in the La Liga table while booking a UEFA Champions League spot for next season with a 2-0 win over Elche at Estadio Martinez Valero. The hosts, on the other hand, secured another season in the Spanish top flight as they remained six points off the drop zone with two matches left in the league campaign.
Forward Matheus Cunha opened the scoring for Atletico Madrid as he directed a low-driven cross from Renan Lodi into the Elche goal in the 28th minute. Los Rojiblancos came close to doubling their lead in the half but could not capitalise to go into the half-time with a one-goal lead.
Rodrigo De Paul doubled the visitors’ lead in the 62nd minute as Antoine Griezmann unselfishly squared off the ball to the Argentine, who coolly slotted it into the net. The two-goal lead enabled Diego Simeone’s men to take control of the match and stay resolute until the final whistle.
That is exactly what happened as Atletico Madrid earned three points to book a UEFA Champions League spot for the tenth straight season. Here’s how each Atletico Madrid player fared in the encounter.
⚽🔝 Simeone coached his 400th match as a coach in @LaLigaEN this Wednesday.
🔴⚪ Congratulations! 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/wiSvJ9T7Pj
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) May 11, 2022
Jan Oblak: 6/10
Oblak had a rather quiet outing as Elche failed to register a single shot on target. He communicated well with his defence to keep the clean sheet and get all three points for the side.
Stefan Savic: 6/10
Savic held his position well alongside the more enterprising Jose Gimenez, making four clearances, two interceptions and two tackles. He also won two ground duels and an aerial duel.
Jose Maria Gimenez: 7/10
Gimenez had a solid outing and ventured forward at will as Atletico Madrid dominated proceedings. Defensively, he made five clearances, four interceptions and a tackle. Three of his five attempted long balls found a teammate.
Reinildo Mandava: 7/10
Reinildo contributed on both ends of the pitch as he connected well with Yannick Carrasco on the left flank while ensuring Elche did not get a sniff from his side of the defence. He made five clearances, a crucial block and four tackles to cap off a great night.
Sami Vrsaljko: N/A
The right wing-back had to be taken off just seven minutes into the match and was replaced by Renan Lodi.
Rodrigo de Paul: 8/10
The Argentine midfielder popped all over the pitch and scored a crucial second goal to give his side some cushion. He played two key passes, three crosses and found a teammate with one of his two attempted long balls. De Paul was taken off in the 72nd minute for Angel Correa.
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) May 11, 2022
Geoffrey Kondogbia: 7/10
Kondogbia was his usual solid self in the middle of the park and shielded his defence well. He made four interceptions and three tackles to ensure Atletico Madrid went home with all three points in the bag. He won seven ground duels and also attracted fouls.
Koke capped off a brilliant night for the Atletico Madrid midfield. The Spaniard has had a difficult season, but he seems to be shaking off the mixed form as the season approaches its end. He completed 89% of his passes, including two key passes and two long balls. He also took a shot on target.
Yannick Carrasco: 7/10
Carrasco was once again heavily involved in Atletico’s attacks and troubled the Elche defenders with his trickery. He took one shot on goal and sent in five crosses while also doing well to limit the impact of Elche full-back Johan Mojica on the defensive end.
Antoine Griezmann: 7/10
Griezmann was given the license to roam freely by Simeone and he excelled in the role. The Frenchman dropped deep to get involved in the build-up play and had a hand in both of Atletico’s goals. He provided the assist for De Paul’s second-half strike.
Matheus Cunha: 7/10
14 – There were 14 passes in the build up to Atlético de Madrid’s goal against Elche, scored by Matheus Cunha 🇧🇷 – the longest passing sequence leading to a Atlético goal in LaLiga this season. Patience. pic.twitter.com/qpD6kEN72f
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) May 11, 2022
Cunha was fairly active up front and was not shy of taking a shot at goal. In all, he took five shots, one of which resulted in the back of the net, while he also missed a big chance. He completed 86% of his passes, including a key pass. His power and speed up top were a handful for Elche’s defenders to handle.
Renan Lodi: 8/10
Lodi was forced in just seven minutes into the game, taking Vrsaljko’s spot. He was enterprising going forward and solid defensively. Lodi also provided the assist for Cunha’s opener. In all, he blocked two shots, made three interceptions and completed a tackle. Offensively, he played three key passes, including two big chances and completed two of his four attempted dribbles.
Hector Herrera: 6/10
Herrera came on in the 72nd minute for Griezmann to provide some defensive solidity. He looked composed on the ball, completing 91% of his passes.
Angel Correa: 5/10
Correa came on in the 72nd minute and hit the woodwork once with an empty goal in front of him. Overall, he had just six touches of the ball.
Luis Suarez: 6/10
Suarez came on for goal-scorer Cunha in the 80th minute. He created a big opportunity for Correa and also took a shot, which went off target.
Felipe came on for Carrasco in the 80th minute. In his ten-minute stay on the pitch, the defender made a clearance, a tackle and blocked a shot as well. He won three ground duels and also attracted two fouls to run down the clock.