Gimenez, Juanfran net as Atletico advance to Copa del Rey semis
A 2-2 draw away at Eibar enabled Atletico Madrid to book their place in the semifinal of the Copa del Rey with a 5-2 aggregate victory. The game truly sparked into life after the break following a dull first half as it appeared a wonderful Jose Maria Gimenez header seemingly sealing things for Atleti.
The home side would not go down without a fight, however, and scored a quick-fire double to threaten a comeback in the last quarter of an hour. With Eibar sensing blood and pushing forwards, Juanfran's well-taken lob five minutes from time finally ensured Los Rojiblancos of their place in the final four.
Gimenez has been in fine fettle recently and once again was excellent. The side have not scored enough goals from attacking set pieces this season and it was nice for them to finally power home a header directly from a corner.
Not for the first time in the competition, the side switched off with things seemingly sewn up. Ultimately it did not mean too much, but nevertheless it is a worrying trend. Also, Fernando Torres is still getting a game -- somehow.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Picked a team to get the job done, while also giving key men Antoine Griezmann and Diego Godin a rest. Loses a mark for starting Torres and subsequently keeping him on the field for 90 minutes.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Miguel Moya, 6 -- Produced an acrobatic flying stop to keep the scores level in the first half. Helpless with the goals, which were both taken well.
DF Juanfran, 7 -- Was steady without excelling while at right-back, but looked better when moved to right-wing. Showed excellent composure and technique to finish one-on-one late on.
DF Jose Maria Gimenez, 8 -- His brilliant form continues. Fantastic header from all of 15 yards out to open the scoring. Did what he had to in defence, including one excellent last ditch tackle and a number of big headers.
DF Stefan Savic, 7 -- Not quite as assured as his partner, but made a couple of important interceptions as Eibar built up a head of steam towards the end.
DF Lucas Hernandez, 7 -- Impresses every time he plays -- and he is not even a natural full-back. Very good defensively and attacked with gusto, too.
MF Nicolas Gaitan, 6 -- A mixed bag. Would beat a man with a brilliant turn of foot only to pass straight to the opposition. Good delivery for Gimenez's goal, but needs to be more consistent with his distribution.
MF Gabi, 6 -- Needed more help in the middle of the park as he was at times overrun. Looked tired in the second half but still managed to set-up Juanfran for Atletico's second.
MF Saul Niguez, 5 -- Given his chance to impress in the middle of the park but was too often bypassed. Did not do too much wrong, but then again he did not do that much full stop.
MF Angel Correa, 7 -- A livewire who makes life hell for defences but equally frustrates Atleti fans to no end. Tenacious, electric and hard-working but that final ball is still lacking. Summed up as he showed excellent feet and pace to race through one-on-one but fired straight at the goalkeeper.
FW Fernando Torres, 3 -- Sometimes it is like playing with ten men. What is the point in him? Blooding a youth team striker would be more useful than fielding Torres.
FW Kevin Gameiro, 5 -- A willing worker, but for 32 million euros you expect that as standard. Needs to offer much, much more.
Yannick Carrasco, 7 -- Los Colchoneros looked more dangerous with him on the pitch once he entered for Gameiro. Should have had an assist as his slide-rule ball played Correa through on goal.
Koke, 5 -- Struggled to get into the game and did not offer much more than Saul Niguez, the man he replaced.
Sime Vrsaljko, NR -- Brought on at 1-1 as part of a tactical reshuffle.
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.