Football Features

“A warrior’s display” – Player ratings as Man City survive Atlético Madrid to make the Champions League semi-finals

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:32, 13 April 2022

In a brutal night, Manchester City drew 0-0 with Atlético Madrid to qualify for the Champions League semi-finals.

Pep Guardiola’s men took a 1-0 lead to the Spanish capital and then defended it solidly.

Here’s how the players rated at the Wanda Metropolitano:

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Atlético Madrid

Jan Oblak – 7 – Had little to do, and when he was tested he stepped up.

Felipe – 4 – Inexplicably avoided a yellow card for smashing through the back of Phil Foden early on, and then for a couple more tasty tackles as well. Still, played well until his nasty follow through after a genuinely spectacular tackle earned him a second yellow. Lost the plot after that and had to be dragged off in disgrace.

Stefan Savic – 8 – A rock at the heart of the Atleti defence. Cut out countless City attacks and even managed to spark a mini-brawl at the end with a needless bit of aggression on an injured Phil Foden and escape a red card for pulling Jack Grealish’s hair and then another one for head-butting Raheem Sterling. In the end he only got booked, but when he went down with cramp later Diego Simeone actually walked onto the pitch to berate him. An eventful evening for the Montenegran, shall we say.

Reinildo – 8 – Intensely solid. Put Riyad Mahrez in his back pocket and never let him out.

Marcos Llorente – 6 – Battled hard.

Koke – 6 – A couple of nice passes to set Atleti counters away but didn’t really find his best rhythm.

Geoffrey Kondogbia – 8 – Amazing again at the heart of midfield. Owned the space so well, disrupting City and recycling possession for Atleti.

Thomas Lemar – 5 – Anonymous when Atleti needed him to stand tall.

Renan Lodi – 6 – Gave Walker a really tough examination but simply ran out of steam.

Antoine Griezmann – 7 – Worked himself to the bone defensively, and so was short of quality in attack.

Joao Felix – 7 – Missed a couple of early passes but in general played well despite Atleti almost playing to his weaknesses than his strengths. His ability on and off the ball is exemplary

Atlético Madrid Substitutes:

Rodrigo De Paul (for Koke 69′) – 6 – Added a bit of drive.

Yannick Carrasco (for Griezmann 69′) – 6 – Ran at City over and over but just couldn’t get anything.

Angel Correa (for Renan Lodi 70′) – 6 – A catalyst, just not enough of one.

Luis Suárez (for Lemar 82′) – 5 – Couldn’t get into the game.

Matheus Cunha (for Joao Felix 82′) – 6 – Instantly caused trouble. Almost scored.

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Manchester City

Ederson – 8 – Finally made a save in the tie, 125 minutes in! Was sharp sweeping behind his defence, however, and made a couple of absolutely massive saves in stoppage time to deny Atleti an equaliser.

Kyle Walker – 7 – Defended his flank well under immense pressure from Atleti. Unfortunately for City he had to go off injured after twisting his ankle making a clearance, and with big matches looming on the horizon City can ill-afford to lose him for long.

John Stones – 7 – A solid display handling the Atleti pressure. His biggest moment was an incredible block from Cunha (that was admittedly his fault as he played everyone onside).

Aymeric Laporte – 7 – Another robust defensive performance but it’s notable that for all his qualities he cannot command a back-line at all. City will be desperate for Ruben Dias to return.

Premier League title race odds

Club Chance 888Sport Sky Bet
Manchester City 80.46% 1/7 1/7
Liverpool 19.54% 9/2 9/2
Probability % provided by StatsPerform
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Joao Cancelo – 7 – Some good cover defending from the left and the stepped up when switched to the right as well.

Rodri – 8 – A pillar for City. The ex-Atleti man was predictably very comfortable amid the chaos at the Wanda and just kept on getting stuck in and driving the ball to his team-mates.

Kevin De Bruyne – 5 – Played reasonably well, orienting the City attack and causing danger with his movement. Somewhat lost in the shuffle in the second-half, however, and was subbed off on the hour with a knock.

Ilkay Gundogan – 5 – Inexplicable miss on the half hour after being teed up by Foden and then repeated the trick late in stoppage time as well. For a guy who excels at getting into goalscoring positions he is such a sloppy finisher.

Riyad Mahrez – 5 – Very quiet but an OUTRAGEOUS outside of the foot pass to rival Modric’s led to City’s best chance of the first-half and so he can’t get a 4/10 even though his performance surely deserved one. Really picked a bad time to lose form!

Bernardo Silva – 5 – Struggled mightily at left-wing and looked better when shifted to central midfield. Still, a quiet night.

Phil Foden – 7 – A bizarre performance where he wasn’t really good in the traditional sense, but still stepped up majorly for Manchester City. Despite getting clattered early, he got bandaged up and went back to war with Atleti. Showed no fear in the face of ceaseless Simeone-style aggression and that allowed him to be City’s standard bearer. A warrior’s display.

“Phil was such a threat in both games,” said John Stones after the game. “[It was] how he drove us up the pitch, how he gained us yards, how he bought fouls and things like that I thought he was outstanding and yeah, feeling it after the game now.”

Manchester City Substitutes:

Raheem Sterling (for De Bruyne 64′) – 4 – Came on and somehow managed to make City even more anaemic.

Nathan Aké (for Walker 73′) – 8 – Magnificent. The best City player on the park. Made more clearances than anyone (5) and he only played 20 minutes. When City needed someone to stand up and repel the Atleti attacks at the end of the game it was Aké who did the business. Given the Walker injury he could be set for an extended run in the side and if tonight is anything to go by, that might work out ok for City.

Fernandinho (for Bernardo 79′) – 4 – Came on to add some leadership and instead just looked like a divorced dad trying to chase his kids around a park on his monthly visitation.



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