Griezmann, Atleti frustrated in goalless draw vs. Espanyol
Atletico Madrid endured a frustrating 0-0 draw with Espanyol at the Vicente Calderon on a miserably, rainy Saturday night. It was a case of "one of those days" for Atletico. They dominated possession, huffed and puffed, but ultimately could not blow the house down and in the end were indebted to keeper Jan Oblak to ensure that they took anything from the game. They remain in fourth, nine points behind table toppers Real Madrid.
Jan Oblak made two brilliant saves and kept a fourth consecutive clean sheet. Apart from that there is very little consolation that Diego Simeone and team will take from a game they should have won.
Once again the lack of potency in front of goal. If Antoine Griezmann or Yannick Carrasco is not at the races, then it seems nobody is. It will haunt them this campaign.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- Diego Simeone set up with the 4-4-2 formation he has brought back of late but Espanyol were always going to sit back and soak up pressure and in the end he ended up changing to a 4-3-3; something he would have been better off using from the start.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Jan Oblak, 8 -- Despite Atleti dominating and enjoying the lion's share of possession, Oblak produced two brilliant saves to keep Atleti at 0-0. The first was crucial on the stroke of half-time, while the second saw him stand big and outwit former Atleti man Leo Baptistao one-on-one.
DF Juanfran, 6 -- Was able to roam free in an attacking sense but Espanyol's compact defence meant his centres were invariably headed away by a blue and white shirt.
DF Jose Maria Gimenez, 6 -- Now the undisputed first choice again and was steady alongside Godin. The biggest compliment you can give him is that in the four games he has played since being restored to the XI, Los Colchoneros have always kept a clean sheet.
DF Diego Godin, 6 -- Looks much more comfortable next to Gimenez than Stefan Savic. Made one great clearance in particular to deny the Catalans what looked a certain goal from a counter. Finished the game as a centre forward but cut a frustrated figure.
DF Filipe Luis, 6 -- Looked a little sluggish compared to his usual high standard. Was caught napping in possession and almost made to pay in the second period. Needs to be wary with Lucas Hernandez breathing down his neck for a starting berth.
MF Koke, 6 -- Booked on the half hour and it seemed to have an impact on his performance. Set-piece delivery was once again woeful and against a compact setup from the visitors he struggled to get his foot on the ball and work his usual magic.
MF Tiago, 6 -- Did not have to do too much in the middle of the park. Covered the back line well but was caught out once on the counter and was left treading water by Baptistao. Subbed on 68 minutes.
MF Gabi, 7 -- Denied by a brilliant save from former Real Madrid keeper Diego Lopez with a volley late on. A willing runner who tried his best to make things happen, although he lacks the killer pass that some of his teammates possess.
MF Yannick Carrasco, 6 -- One of those days for the Belgian. Largely on the periphery and passed when he should have shot and shot when he should have passed. Hooked with just under 20 minutes to go.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 6 -- Looked desperate to score and should have done so when teed up late on. Fired straight at Lopez when a yard either side was probably a goal. Denied by a stunning save after the whistle had already gone, illustrating just how much it was not Atleti's day. Worryingly now seven La Liga games without a goal.
FW Kevin Gameiro, 6 -- Another who endured one of those days. Inches away from a few crosses that left you thinking "if he had just gambled there." Disappointing, considering he is a penalty box striker.
Nicolas Gaitan (for Tiago), 6 -- A mazy run set up Griezmann for a chance he should have buried. Did not offer much apart from that.
Angel Correa (for Carrasco), NR -- Perhaps should have come on ahead of Gaitan.
Saul Niguez (for Gameiro), NR -- Came on with under 10 to go to no avail.
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.