Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea Champions League player ratings: Luis Suarez can’t counter Giroud’s brilliant hit

    A moment of brilliance for Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud saw the Blues earn a huge 1-0 win away to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 first leg on Tuesday. The match was played in Bucharest, Romania instead of Spain due to travel restrictions, with the Blues getting a crucial away goal to remain undefeated under new manager Thomas Tuchel. 

    But how did each player perform in this one? Here are our player ratings for the match for every starter, substitute and manager.

    All ratings are out of 10, and the higher the number the better. A zero would be a first-minute red card. A 10 would be like a dominant hat trick.

    Atletico Madrid 

    GK – Jan Oblak
    Didn’t have a lot to deal with, truthfully. Was beaten by a moment of magic from Giroud, but other than that, he did what he had to do. 
    Rating: 5

    DEF – Marcos Llorente
    Uncomfortable, out of position and just never really linked up well defensively or in attack. Was a liability on the outside and looked eager to get forward.
    Rating: 4

    DEF – Stefan Savic
    Good early, strong in the air, but on the goal he was in no man’s land. He was too aggressive in his initial approach, and it left Giroud wide open to put home his bicycle kick.
    Rating: 4

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    DEF – Felipe
    Was always up for ta challenge, providing some really well-timed clearances as Chelsea threatened down the wings, but like Savic, his positioning on the goal was poor. 
    Rating: 5

    DEF – Mario Hermoso
    Had some solid moments, and he was just a bit unlucky on the goal. He challenged Mason Mount for the ball, lofted it the wrong way, and Giroud made him may. Just not clean enough.
    Rating: 5

    MID – Koke
    The team’s engine in the middle only had 67 touches on the night and never was able to create anything. Did well defensively in the middle.
    Rating: 5

    MID – Thomas Lemar
    Playing out of position and hardly got wide. His passing was also quite poor. Full of potential he rarely fulfills for Los Colchoneros. Missed the team’s best chance from a difficult angle at the back-post after Suarez squared the ball. 
    Rating: 4

    MID – Saul Niguez
    Tidy passing when he had it, but that wasn’t often. Was a spectator for the most part. Did well to get deep to attempt and start the attack.
    Rating: 5

    MID – Angel Correa
    His passing was off, at times way off, and he didn’t do much at all in the final third. Was able to create one chance but never looked like a potential difference maker.
    Rating: 3

    FWD – Luis Suarez
    Not his best night, but part of that was barely seeing the ball. He created a couple chances, notably one for Lemar, but never came close to scoring himself.
    Rating: 4

    FWD – Joao Felix
    Never a threat. With Atleti not having much of the ball, he rarely had a chance to make an impact. Delivered one dangerous ball in and had a shot that was never getting close.
    Rating: 4

    SUB – Renan Lodi
    Got eight minutes off the bench.
    Rating: N/A

    SUB – Lucas Torreira
    Played eight minutes.
    Rating: N/A

    SUB – Moussa Dembele
    Late sub who got eight touches.
    Rating: N/A

    SUB – Vitolo
    Subbed in at the 84th minute.
    Rating: N/A

    MANAGER – Diego Simeone
    Looked to have done enough to earn a goalless draw, which they would have liked, before Giroud did his thing. They never looked like a threat and had very little possession. The match, to an extent, was played as planned early on, but the chances to get forward and create later just never materialized. In a tough spot now after conceding an away goal, but they aren’t out of this by any means.
    Rating: 4


    GK – Edouard Mendy
    An early wobble in possession very nearly handed Joao Felix an early goal whilst there were several clumsy touches with the ball at his feet in the second half. You always sensed there was a potential error in Mendy.
    Rating: 4

    DEF – Cesar Azpilicueta
    Chelsea’s captain did not hesitate to step into midfield in the second half as Atletico Madrid offered little to test him in defense. His deliveries from wide left a little to be desired but he kept the ball moving smartly in the final third and his mere presence just asked that little bit more of the opponents.
    Rating: 6

    DEF – Andreas Christensen
    Possession for Christensen often served as the trigger for Atleti to begin their infrequent pressing of the Chelsea defense, emphasizing how shaky the Dane could be with the ball at his feet. However ,as the game wore on he looked ever more at ease.
    Rating: 5

    DEF – Antonio Rudiger
    The German had a pretty quiet evening for most of the game but on the rare occasions when Luis Suarez tried to attack him or press him into an error, Rudiger stood impressively firm.
    Rating: 6

    MID – Callum Hudson-Odoi
    One of the few Chelsea players who looked to stretch the pitch in a passive first half, Hudson-Odoi had obviously been stung by Tuchel’s subbing of the substitute in the draw with Southmapton.
    Rating: 7

    MID – Mason Mount
    Always on hand to offer himself as a spare man when Chelsea built attacks. His interplay with Hudson-Odoi down the right looked to be his side’s best avenue to goal and his energy and verve constantly asked questions of Atletico. It was no surprise that his commitment and pressing forced the ball to Giroud for his opener.
    Rating: 8

    MID – Jorginho
    There were some promising nearly passes over the top, but also moments where you questioned his defensive acumen early on, never more so than when Mount was compelled to bring down Felix early in the game and earn himself a yellow card that will keep him out of the second leg. He responded impressively however and by the end of the game no-one came close to matching his 12 ball recoveries.
    Rating: 6

    MID – Mateo Kovacic
    Not the most expansive or dynamic of performance from Kovacic but he rarely gave the ball away in advanced positions and was as important as any player in ensuring that the weight of pressure on the Atletico goal did not ease.
    Rating: 6

    MID – Marcos Alonso
    This perhaps wasn’t a test that suited Alonso’s qualities as a left wing back with his tendency to underlap and drift into the penalty area meaning all he could do was drive at a wall of defenders.
    Rating: 5

    FWD – Timo Werner
    The German was a hive of energy and movement even if he only had so much luck in dragging a very organized Atletico defense out of position. In a game where there was next to no space in behind the backline there was only so much Werner could do.
    Rating: 6

    FWD – Olivier Giroud
    Giroud’s brilliant bicycle kick was just what was required to swing this tie and typifies the Frenchman’s remarkable Indian summer at Chelsea, a period when he more often than not comes up with crucial moments to turn the tide in the Blues’ favor.
    Rating: 7

    SUB – N’Golo Kante 
    Threw himself into his defensive work over the closing stages and did not shy away from a string of duels.
    Rating: 6

    SUB – Hakim Ziyech
    Impressively active without the ball, making two clearances and an interception that helped cool the pressure on the Chelsea goal.
    Rating: 6

    SUB – Reece James
    He recovered possession on three occasions in just ten minutes and added a pair of won duels in an energetic cameo.
    Rating: 5

    SUB – Christian Pulisic
    He was introduced too late to affect the course of the game but offered energy in the closing stages.
    Rating: N/A

    SUB – Kai Havertz
    Like Pulisic he did not have time to make any real impact.
    Rating: N/A

    MANAGER – Thomas Tuchel
    That Chelsea never deviated from their plan was a credit to Tuchel. His side are still struggling to click in the final third under his system — although most would against this Atletico team — but they do not seem to doubt his methods.
    Rating: 7

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