Some Joao Felix magic fired Atletico Madrid to a 3-0 win over the MLS All-Stars in Orlando.
After Marcos Llorente had put Atleti ahead in the first half, Diego Simeone introduced Felix in the second half and the Madrid side’s new record signing didn’t disappoint, grabbing a goal and an assist.
The All-Stars pushed hard to get back into the game during the second half but their attacking endeavour, coupled with a top-heavy line-up meant they were always liable to counter-attacks. In the end, that, along with a raft of substitutions as players were saved for the weekend’s MLS fixtures, was their undoing.
Read on for full player ratings from the 2019 MLS All-Star game.
Brad Guzan – 6 – Was equal to a couple of testing efforts and looked relatively assured with the ball at his feet, too, before coming off on the half-hour mark.
Graham Zusi – 7 – Solid defensively and carried the ball into midfield well from his right-back berth. Pinned back a little by the Atleti counter-attack threat.
Walker Zimmerman – 8 – A real authoritative performance from one of MLS’ most impressive centre-backs so far this season. Reading of the game was excellent and strong in the tackle.
Matt Hedges – 8 – Struck up a good understanding with Zimmerman, dropping off when the LAFC man engaged the ball and vice versa. Coped brilliantly with balls in behind.
Kemar Lawrence – 6 – Defended well but was wasteful when trying to cross the ball, struggling to beat the first defender. Not ideal when Ibrahimovic was on the pitch.
Diego Chara – 7 – Quite how this was the first time Chara has featured in an All-Star Game is a mystery but he wasn’t fazed by the occasion, breaking up play just as well as he does for Portland Timbers on a weekly basis and providing a strong passing platform.
Carlos Vela – 5 – Some flashy touches but it was obvious he was reserving energy for an important MLS run-in with LAFC. Not the MVP performance we’ve become so familiar with from the Mexican.
Wayne Rooney – 8 – Came closest to scoring for the All-Stars during the first half with a rocket from long range. His passing and energy were almost perfect in a slightly less familiar role in central midfield.
Alejandro Pozuelo – 6 – Dropped deeper than he would for Toronto FC but was well involved in some slick passing from the All-Stars. Struggled to create anything decisive in the final third, however.
Nani – 6 – A quiet night on home turf for Nani, who was restricted to a couple of tricks and flicks before coming off at half-time.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 6 – Was brought off just as he was starting to get into the game on the half-hour mark with a busy MLS schedule in mind. Some good touches and as dominant in the air as ever.
Andre Blake (30 mins, for Guzan) – 7 – Possibly should have done better with the Llorente goal but pulled off a superb save from a Joao Felix effort shortly before being substituted.
Josef Martinez (30 mins, for Ibrahimovic) – 5 – Was barely in the game for his short cameo and appeared to have Atlanta United’s clash against LA Galaxy at the weekend on his mind.
Maxi Moralez (45 mins, for Chara) – 6 – Played much deeper than he would for NYCFC, where he has notched a league-high nine assists. Still moved the ball around well with authority.
Romain Metanire (45 mins, for Zusi) – 5 – Bombed forward into the attack with plenty of energy but left a few spaces behind him for the Atleti counter-attack.
Nicolas Lodeiro (45 mins, for Vela) – 6 – Some lively moments for the Sounders man but wasted a good chance when played in by Mark-Anthony Kaye down the left.
Diego Rossi (45 mins, for Nani) – 6 – Came close to scoring with a volley at the start of the first half and used his pace to good effect down the left-hand side during the 28 minutes he was on the field. Withdrawn to rest him up for LAFC’s game against New England Revolution at the weekend.
Mark-Anthony Kaye (45 mins, for Lawrence) – 7 – Slipped a great pass in behind the Atleti defence to put Loidero in and looked very comfortable in the left-back role he usually only steps into for Canada.
Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (45 minutes, for Hedges) – 8 – Looked absolutely fired up to be facing Diego Costa in what was a battle between two of the shortest tempers in football. Was equal to most of what the Spain international had to throw at him.
Jonathan Dos Santos 45 mins, for Pozuelo) – 8 – Broke up play brilliantly in central midfield and in doing so, set up Pity Martinez for a great chance in late on, which the Argentine blazed over the bar.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (45 mins, for Zimmerman) – 3 – Some uncharacteristically sloppy passing from Schweinsteiger, who was also outpaced and outmuscled by Costa for the third goal.
Pity Martinez (45 mins, for Rooney) – 4 – Fired shot after shot high over the bar and continues to look a lost soul since moving to the USA. There’s a wonderfully gifted footballer in there but Pity is being bogged down by confidence issues.
Nick Rimando (59 mins, for Blake) – 4 – An All-Star swansong for a true stalwart of MLS, but it didn’t go quite as Rimando would have planned. Felix’s shot whipped and dipped devilishly, but a ‘keeper of Rimando’s experience should have done better.
Chris Wondolowski (59 mins, for Josef Martinez) – 5 – An All-Star and MLS veteran, Wondolowski never quite got going during the second half as the hosts toiled to get a goal.
Ezequiel Barco (73 mins, for Rossi) – 8 – Made a few of his trademark driving runs at the Atleti defence, one of which won him the free-kick which he took to test Oblak.
Paxton Pomykal (73 mins, for Moralez) – 5 – Pomykal is an incredibly talented youngster to keep an eye on but he simply wasn’t given enough time to have an influence over the game here.
Antonio Adan – 6 – Had a pretty quiet evening but was able to make a quick save from Lodeiro at the start of the second half.
Carlos Isaac – 7 – Got forward well from right-back and looked like a real talent. Fizzed a shot just wide of the far post from outside the box in the first half.
Felipe – 7 – Marshalled the likes of Ibrahimovic and Vela comfortably in the first half before coming off at the break.
Mario Hermoso – 7 – Worked well in tandem with Felipe at the back during the first half with some strong tackles and intelligent positioning.
Manuel Sanchez – 5 – Quieter than Isaac on the other side but put in a solid performance at left-back.
Rodrigo Riquelme Reche – 8 – Forced a good save from Guzan during the first half and looked full of menace and creativity. A positive night for the 19-year-old who notched an assist with a sublime back-heel for the Llorente goal.
Hector Herrera – 6 – Shifted the ball around well in midfield for Atleti while allowing Llorente to play more positively in a box-to-box role.
Marcos Llorente – 8 – Full of energy and looks like he could go a long way toward filling the void left by Rodri in Simeone’s midfield. His movement and finish for the goal were deadly.
Juan Manuel Sanabria – 5 – A lively 35 minutes for the youngster but fluffed a good chance early on after being teed up by Vitolo.
Angel Correa – 6 – Drifted off the front line at will in search of space and was sharp with his passing, if not a little quiet around the All-Stars’ penalty area.
Vitolo – 8 – Was at the heart of most of Atleti’s positive play during the first half, popping the ball off quickly, finding space and committing defenders.
Toni Moya (35 mins, for Sanabria) – 5 – Was unable to influence the game during his 25-minute cameo.
Diego Costa (56 mins, for Correa) – 7 – The purists aside, many inside the Exploria Stadium may have turned up just to see a battle of Costa vs Gonzalez Pirez. The All-Star came out on top in that individual battle, but Costa did anything but treat this as an exhibition and grabbed his goal at the end once he put himself on the slower Schweinsteiger.
Koke (56 mins, for Herrera) – 7 – Another passing masterclass from Koke who coolly controlled proceedings in midfield during the second half.
Thomas Lemar (56 mins, for Sanchez) – 5 – Not the liveliest of games from Lemar, who is capable of much more magic than he showed here.
Sergio Camello (56 mins, for Riquelme) – 5 – Was only on the pitch for a short time and didn’t really influence the game.
Joao Felix (56 mins, for Isaac) – 9 – Only had a small number of touches after coming on, but that’s all he needed to test Blake, then beat Rimando with a wicked shot. Oh, and he also managed an assist for Diego Costa! The signs are very, very promising for Atleti’s record signing.
Kieran Trippier (56 mins, for Vitolo) – 7 – Showed off his brilliant repertoire of crossing during the second half and looked composed in defence. His delivery could be a real weapon for Simeone.
Saul Niguez (56 mins, for Llorente) – 7 – He can tackle, he can pass and he can run. Saul was excellent alongside Koke during the second half and will be even more important for Simeone following Rodri’s departure.
Stefan Savic (56 mins, for Felipe) – 6 – Was solid enough in defence after replacing Felipe during the second half.
Francisco Montero (58 mins, for Hermoso) – 6 – A strong performance at the heart of the Atleti defence during the second half.
Renan Lodi (59 mins, for Moya) – 7 – Came in for some oddly rough treatment from the All-Stars but coped with it very well.
Jan Oblak (65 mins, for Adan) – 7 – Made a good save on a wet surface from Barco’s free-kick and dealt with everything else with calm authority.
Ivan Saponjic (82 mins, for Camello) – 6 – Brought on late and was unable to get into the game.