Antoine Griezmann has off-day for Atletico Madrid in draw with Sevilla
Atletico Madrid's lack of a genuine No.9 came back to haunt them as they could only muster a 0-0 draw against 10-man Sevilla at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday afternoon.
Sevilla contributed little, especially following Vitolo's dismissal, however Atletico's overreliance on Antoine Griezmann was the reason they only came away with a disappointing point.
Nevertheless, Griezmann was at least in the right positions to miss, which is more than can be said for strike partner Luciano Vietto. With the transfer window closing soon and Atleti facing the possibility of a two-window transfer ban, Diego Simeone has no excuses not to delve into the market and sign a striker who can help share the goalscoring burden.
Failure to do so could prove catastrophic, with Atleti facing a trip to Barcelona next weekend.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Jan Oblak, 6 -- So little was Sevilla's attacking intent that the Slovenian did not have to do anything.
DF Juanfran, 7 -- Had next to nothing to do in defence but was a genuine threat going forwards. Set up Griezmann for a near-post chance the forward really should have done better with. Looked lively all afternoon.
DF Stefan Savic, 6 -- Chosen ahead of Jose Maria Gimenez despite Fernando Llorente's obvious strengths. Did what was required without being over-exerted.
DF Diego Godin, 7 -- Like Savic, dealt well with the little threat the visitors threw at him. Was a thorn in Sevilla's side at the other end of the pitch too, winning a splendid header back across goal that Griezmann somehow contrived to volley over. Finished the game as a centre-forward, which says it all about how likely Los Colchoneros' forwards looked like scoring.
DF Filipe Luis, 6 -- Solid but his usual attacking spark was not quite there and he was unable to help the marauding Yannick Carrasco as he might have liked.
MF Koke, 7 -- Combative in the middle of the park, his set-piece delivery was dangerous and he swung in a great ball that Griezmann nodded against the post when he should have done better.
MF Gabi, 8 -- His side's star man for the second game running. Played a delicious ball over the top early on and grew in influence. Broke up what little attacks Sevilla launched and was almost the hero late on as his thunderous volley was well tipped over by Sergio Rico.
MF Augusto Fernandez, 4 -- Abysmal. Booked on four minutes for a brainless challenge and it did not get much better from there on. Lost possession on countless occasions, made a number of stray passes and has looked a shadow of the player he was at Celta in the first half of this season. Unsurprisingly hooked at the break and really needs to sort his poor form out.
MF Saul Niguez, 6 -- Lively in the first period as he smashed a shot into side netting and also got lucky as he deflected an Ever Banega effort on to the bar. His influence waned after the break and was taken off for Jackson Martinez as Los Rojiblancos sought a goal against 10-men.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 5 -- Nightmare day, managing to miss three gilt-edged chances in front of goal. Headed against the woodwork and at one point turned away from goal when six yards out and well-placed to pull the trigger. Allowed to have these days every now and then, however they come far too often against Atleti's direct rivals.
FW Luciano Vietto, 5 -- Anonymous apart for a jinking run that drew the foul resulting in Vitolo's dismissal for a second yellow.
Yannick Carrasco (for Augusto), 6 -- The Belgian flier is both joyous and frustrating to watch in equal measure. Glides past opponents as if they were not there, but his end product is so often found wanting. Denied by top save from Rico with 20 minutes to go.
Jackson Martinez (for Saul), N/R -- Hardly touched the ball during his 15 minutes.
Angel Correa (for Vietto), N/R -- Was only on the pitch for 10 minutes however contributed a lot more than the man he replaced. Must surely get a run in the team after a couple of dangerous cameos.
Joseph is a sports journalist based in the Spanish capital and covers Atletico Madrid regularly. Follow him on Twitter @Joe_in_espana.