Angel Correa and Yannick Carrasco scored while Marcos Llorente impressed yet again as Atletico Madrid beat SD Huesca 2-0 in La Liga on Thursday.
Having lost the top spot in the La Liga table to Real Madrid, following their 3-0 win over Cadiz, Atletico Madrid had their task cut out heading into the game against Huesca at the Wanda Metropolitano. But it was the visitors who started off brightly, with Jan Oblak pulling off a fine save to deny Dimitrios Siovas just two minutes in.
But, Atletico gradually grew into the game with the Cadiz goalkeeper, having had to make a double save to deny Yannick Carrasco and Saul Niguez while Hector Herrera sent an effort just wide. And eventually, they managed to break the deadlock through Angel Correa in the 39th minute, with Marcos Llorente setting him up.
Diego Simeone’s men came out with plenty of purpose after the break as Koke was denied twice in quick succession by Alvaro Fernandez within three minutes of restart while Renan Lodi and Saul also had efforts saved. And the Rojiblancos finally found a way through in the 80th minute with Yannick Carrasco tapping in from close range to put the game beyond Cadiz’s reach.
Dani Escriche had a chance to pull one back for the visitors late on but inexplicably missed from just a few yards out as Atletico Madrid reclaimed top spot and opened up a three-point lead over Real Madrid with the 2-0 win. Here’s how we rated the performances of Simeone’s men in a convincing display at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Jan Oblak: 7/10
A largely comfortable evening in goal for Oblak apart from the early save he made to deny Siovas and another late stop to tip Sandro’s effort away. Showed good command in his box and was fairly accurate with his kicks.
Kieran Trippier: 7.5/10
A constant outlet down the right-hand side, Trippier enjoyed some great moments of link-up play with Llorente, with one such occasion leading to the opening goal. Slightly reserved after the break and kept things tight at the back. Finished the game with two key passes.
Stefan Savic: 6.5/10
Gave away the early free-kick from leading to Siovas’ chance. Recovered well from that point on, though, and ensured that Rafa Mir did not get a sniff of the Atleti goal. Used the ball well and was always at hand to cover for Trippier, enabling him to push forward.
Jose Maria Gimenez: 6/10
Had a few iffy moments once or twice, mostly in the second half when Sandro got the better of him. Otherwise a steady display from the Uruguayan, who managed to make three clearances and had a shot saved at the other end. Picked up a booking in the second half, meaning he now misses the vital game against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend.
Renan Lodi: 8/10
Renan Lodi is not having a great season but the last two games have been very promising.
One of Atletico's best players against Eibar and Huesca.
Hopefully, he can keep it up in the coming games.
Atletico and Seleção need this version of Renan. pic.twitter.com/fkRZdCIJrN
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) April 22, 2021
Continued from where he left off against Eibar last time out as he provided a constant attacking outlet on the left. Involved in a number of positive moves as he completed one key pass along with five dribbles and even had a shot saved by Alvaro Fernandez. Pulled off a brilliant last-ditch tackle to deny Sandro with the score still at 1-0. Withdrawn late on.
Pairing him up with Hector Herrera in the middle allows the Atletico Madrid captain more creative freedom as was seen against Cadiz. Played a fine pass to Trippier in the build-up to the first goal and also pushed forward with purpose, forcing a couple of saves from the opposition goalkeeper. Made two dribbles and two key passes while staying responsible defensively.
Hector Herrera: 7/10
A solid, all-round performance from the Mexican, who can be trusted to protect the backline while he also showed that he has the ability to play precise forward passes for the full-backs to run on to. Made one key pass and posted a pass success-rate of 91% before being withdrawn for the final fifteen minutes.
Saul Niguez: 7/10
Another game wherein the Spaniard sparks of form, continuing from his display against Eibar. Sharp with his passing, Saul kept Atletico ticking, completing 94% of his passes while also playing a couple of key passes. Had a shot saved on either side of half-time while worked hard off the ball as well, making a game-high three tackles and three interceptions each. Another step in the right direction.
Marcos Llorente: 8/10
Only two players have 10+ goals and 10+ assists in La Liga this season:
?? Iago Aspas
?? Marcos Llorente ?
Llorente is flourishing in his new role. ? pic.twitter.com/Hcs16PI0zj
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 22, 2021
The ex-Real Madrid star’s link-up play with Trippier down the right side was a big feature of Atletico’s attacking game on the evening. Set Correa up for the opener after receiving the ball from the Englishman, prior to which he had created a chance for Carrasco. Fashioned opportunities for Koke and Saul in the second half before pouncing on a defensive mix-up to set Carrasco up for the all-important goalscorer. Never stopped running and finished with a game-high five key passes.
Yannick Carrasco: 7.5/10
The Belgian found the back of the net once again on Thursday night, scoring in each of Atletico’s last three games in a row. Was usual lively self in the left-hand side prior to his goal, having had a couple of shots saved, while linking up nicely with those around him in the final third. His confidence will be sky high.
Angel Correa: 8/10
The Player to Watch in our match preview, Correa, coming on the back of a stunning display against Eibar, picked up from where he left off. Sharp movement and link-up play at the top and took his goal very well after executing a slick turn, to get Atletico off the mark.
Created a chance for Koke early in the second period. Completed 28 of his 29 attempted passes, played in three key passes, completed two dribbles while also pressing the opposition intensely. Has stepped up in the absence of Luis Suarez and Joao Felix.
— HFUTBOL WORLD (@HfutbolW) April 22, 2021
Moussa Dembele: N/A
Came on for Herrera in the 76th minute. Looked lively at the top. Good run out as he looks to build back his fitness.
Geoffrey Kondogbia: N/A
Sent on in place of Carrasco in the 84th minute. Helped see out the game.
Lucas Torreira: N/A
Came on to replace Correa in the 84th minute as Atletico looked to shut up shop.
Replaced Lodi with less than five minutes left.
On for Saul in the 87th minute.