Torres and Vietto misfire as Atletico Madrid held by lowly Elche
Atletico Madrid might have been much changed, but a 1-1 draw away to lowly Elche of the Segunda B in their Copa del Rey third-round first leg tie is an embarrassing result for Los Rojiblancos and their coach, Diego Simeone, whose continued faith in some of the squad is being made a mockery of.
There were enough full senior internationals on the pitch to get the job done, however Atleti's woes in front of goal continue as Fernando Torres and Luciano Vietto endured nights to forget. When Thomas Partey opened the scoring it appeared set for an Atletico landslide but profligate finishing was once again their Achilles heel and once Lolo equalised the home side seemed the more likely to go on and secure the win.
Sergi at left-back put in a promising showing, while it was great to see Augusto Fernandez complete the 90 minutes.
There are many, but that Torres and Vietto continue to be at the club and are considered part of the first team is approaching a joke.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- In theory, Simeone got the mix of experience and youth spot on. He picked a side that should have been capable of beating such opposition, however he cannot physically kick the ball in the goal for either of his misfiring strikers. Needs to show a number of players the door come January and next summer.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Miguel Moya, 6 -- Had little to do, bar one flying save from a header with 15 minutes to do.
DF Sime Vrsaljko, 5 -- Still does not look like the player he was eight months ago. The knee injury appears to have affected his pace while he seems bulkier and more awkward on the ball. Juanfran will not have lost much sleep.
DF Lucas Hernandez, 6 -- Solid for the most part and was perhaps unlucky to be penalised for the penalty, however he gave the referee the chance to make the decision by diving in.
DF Jose Maria Gimenez, 7 -- You can tell he has played quite a bit at full-back recently as he whipped in a delicious cross for Thomas to open the scoring from.
DF, Sergi 8 -- The shining light of the evening. Had impressed in preseason yet Simeone preferred playing Lucas out of position at full-back when Filipe Luis was not available but surely now he must be considered a first-team member. Attacked with the kind of gusto and quality that put a number of senior players to shame.
MF Keidi Bare, 6 -- Neat and tidy on the ball and supported the attack without ever excelling.
MF Thomas Partey, 7 -- Produced a stooping header to open the scoring and it will give his confidence a massive boost. Good on and off the ball and replaced with the weekend's game in mind.
MF Augusto Fernandez, 6 -- A welcome 90 minutes in the Argentine's legs. Will be a big player moving forward this season, with his presence truly missed up until now.
MF Nico Gaitan, 6 -- Looked good, especially in the first half, but you would expect a €25 million signing to look decent against such opposition. Problem is, when the going got tough in the second half he was nowhere to be seen. Should be dominating these kind of games.
FW Luciano Vietto, 2 -- Showed exactly why he has been left out of the last few matchday squads by squandering a number of chances including two one-on-ones that he never looked like scoring. His wait for a goal in 2017 goes on and he will not get many better opportunities to break that duck.
FW Fernando Torres, 4 -- Put a shot just wide in the opening minutes and saw a header clawed away shortly after. Looked much more threatening than his strike partner, but needed to put one of his chances away.
MF Saul Niguez (for Thomas), 5 -- Struggled to get involved.
MF Antonio Moya (for Keidi), 5 -- A nice moment as he became the 19th academy graduate to make his debut under Simeone, but with Elche in the ascendancy did not have a chance to shine.
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.