Thomas Lemar and two-goal Diego Costa lead way with 8s in our Atletico Madrid player ratings

Andy West 16/08/2018
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Julen Lopetegui’s reign started with a stutter in Tallinn as Real Madrid succumbed to an extra-time 4-2 European Super Cup defeat to city rivals Atletico.

Los Blancos recovered from a first-minute Diego Costa sucker punch through Karim Benzema and a Sergio Ramos penalty – stepping up in place of Cristiano Ronaldo – before Costa stabbed home his second and forced the game to go to the distance.

A stunner from Saul separated the two sides before Koke made the result sure for Atletico. Below are our ratings for Atleti.

ATLETICO MADRID (4-4-2)

Jan Oblak – 6: Made a great reflex save to keep out Asensio’s clever flick, but perhaps should have come off his line for the equaliser.

Juanfran – 6: Struggled against the pace of Marcelo and the trickery of Asensio, and conceded the penalty for handball. Looks like a weak link.

Stefan Savic – 6: Beaten in the air by Benzema for the equaliser. Otherwise solid and strong but will surely lose his place to Jose Gimenez.

Diego Godin – 8: Atletico’s new captain read the game perfectly and made several brilliantly timed interventions, especially a tackle on Bale on the area’s edge.

Lucas Hernandez – 6: Generally steady against Bale but was beaten in the build-up to Madrid’s first goal. Limited contribution going forward but always willing.

Thomas Lemar – 8: Settling very well with his new club, tracking back to do his defensive work and adding a spark with his dribbling skills.

Rodri – 7: Classy competitive debut for the defensive midfielder, who uses his body well to protect the ball and plays with great intelligence.

Saul Niguez – 8: Capped an all-action display in the centre of the pitch with a magnificently volleyed winner. Complete performance from a complete player.

Koke – 6: Initially struggled to keep up with the tempo, but stuck to the task and improved as the game progressed, scoring the fourth.

Antoine Griezmann – 4: Very quiet and taken off for Correa early in the second half. Understandable that he struggled on his first start since the World Cup.

Diego Costa – 8: Scored a stunning goal after 50 seconds, equalised later on and played a part in the third and fourth goals. Immense.

SUBS

Angel Correa – 7: Replaced Griezmann and enlivened his team’s attack with a busy display, notably doing well to set up Costa for the equaliser.

Vitolo – 6: Came on for Rodri and added some attacking thrust with his ball skills, including a neat pass to Koke for the fourth goal.

Thomas Partey – 6: Appeared just before the end of normal time and contributed amply by finding Saul for the go-ahead extra time strike.

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Real Madrid ratings as Varane has horror night but Bale and Benzema give hope

Andy West 16/08/2018
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Julen Lopetegui’s reign started with a stutter in Tallinn as Real Madrid succumbed to an extra-time 4-2 European Super Cup defeat to city rivals Atletico.

Los Blancos recovered from a first-minute Diego Costa sucker punch through Karim Benzema and a Sergio Ramos penalty – stepping up in place of Cristiano Ronaldo – before Costa stabbed home his second and forced the game to go to the distance.

A stunner from Saul separated the two sides before Koke made the result sure for Atletico. Below are our ratings for Real …

Keylor Navas 6. Didn’t have too much to do but could have stood taller and stronger at his near post for Costa’s opening goal.

Dani Carvajal 6. Relatively subdued return to action for the energetic right-back, who had his hands full with Lemar and didn’t get forward much.

Raphael Varane 4. Badly beaten by Costa for the opener and also lost out in the build-up to Saul’s extra time strike. Not his best game.

Sergio Ramos 6. Predictably endured a fierce x-rated running battle with Costa throughout the game. Netted a penalty to send his team ahead.

Marcelo 6. Led his team’s charge down the left, including an ambitious shot over the top. Erred in the build-up to Costa’s equaliser.

Casemiro 6. Started as though he was still on holiday but soon woke up to provide his usual resilience in front of the back four.

Toni Kroos 6. Pretty subdued, looking unsuited to the new system as he is asked to sit deeper next to Casemiro rather than dictating play.

Isco 6. Floated in and out of the game, showing flashes of his undoubted brilliance but not doing enough to penetrate the penalty area.

Gareth Bale 7. Delivered a great right-footed cross for Benzema’s equaliser and another stunning pass to tee up Asensio. Excelled early but tired later on.

Karim Benzema 7. Netted with a good header to boost his confidence, and played a full part with a fluent and flexible performance.

Marco Asensio 6. Nearly scored with a cheeky flicked back-heel and sent a curler just wide. Bright before he was replaced just before the hour.

SUBSTITUTES

Luka Modric 7. Entered the fray early in the second half and showed his class with

Dani Ceballos 6. Introduced into the midfield but couldn’t make much of an impact, continuing to look like a fringe player.

Lucas Vazquez 6. Offered determination down the right flank but little else, with Atletico in charge by the time he appeared.

Borja Mayoral 5. Came on for Kroos in desperation as Real chased the game in extra time but didn’t contribute much.

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Watch: Video assistant referee (VAR) introduced to La Liga

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When the La Liga season opens on Friday, one of the biggest storylines will be the use of video assistant replay (VAR) for the first time.

Carlos Velasco, president of the Referee Technical Committee, believes VAR will only be a positive and help referees avoid game-altering mistakes.

“Every referee’s nightmare when refereeing a World Cup is that a team goes through because of you, or that a team is knocked out because of you,” said Velasco.

See what else Velasco had to say in the video below.

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