Saul, Stefan Savic 4/10 as Atletico slump to blowout defeat at Real Sociedad
Atletico Madrid put in a dismal display and succumbed to their heaviest defeat of the season, crashing to a hap-hazard 3-0 defeat at Real Sociedad on Thursday night.
Things started badly, with La Real looking dangerous from the off and it took just 20 minutes before former Real Madrid man and Atleti kryptonite Willian Jose opened the scoring.
Following on from that, Atleti huffed and puffed but looked visibly shattered as the game wore on, shipping two goals to substitute Juanmi in the final 10 minutes as they all but gave up trying to find a way back into the game. All eggs appear to be firmly in the Europa League basket.
There is nothing positive to take from losing 3-0 away to a side comfortably safe in mid-table with nothing left to play for.
Where to begin? Shipping three goals is a rarity, but it could have been five, so lax was the defending. The squad looks very tired, which is on the manager-
Manager rating out of 10
4 -- Diego Simeone looks to be paying for his lack of rotation this season, with a number of key players, especially in midfield, looking jaded. With Champions League football secured for next season, he should play the kids against Betis this weekend before visiting Arsenal next week in the Europa League.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Jan Oblak, 5 -- Rarely is he beaten three times and even more rarely he could not do anything about any of the strikes that beat him.
DF Juanfran, 4 -- Could not get into the game attacking wise and used possession poorly. Lost Willian Jose in the build-up to the goal, too, although to be fair to him, he was taken off at 1-0.
DF Stefan Savic, 4 -- Is so often at the scene of the crime whenever Atleti have a defensive meltdown. The Montenegrin was not to blame per se for any of the goals, but it is too much of a coincidence that he always seems to be there when it happens.
DF Diego Godin, 6 -- The best of a very bad bunch. Never looks the same next to Savic as he does when Jose Maria Gimenez plays. Might have scored when the game was still 0-0. What could have been...
DF Sime Vrsaljko, 4 -- Asked to play at left-back given the injuries and suspensions the club have there, but never looked comfortable. Was a bit better when moved to the right-hand side in the second half, but not much.
MF Angel Correa, 5 -- Retained after a bright display at the weekend but never got into the game and looked off the boil. Replaced at half-time, which was slightly harsh as there were a number of candidates for the hook.
MF Thomas, 5 -- Did very little, and his only major contribution was to lose the ball in the build-up to the opener. However, like Juanfran, left the pitch at 1-0 with the game still in the balance.
MF Saul Niguez, 4 -- Not at the races in midfield and was then moved to left-back, where he played Juanmi onside by a country mile. Not his fault as he is not a full-back, but he is in a rut and not looking good at the moment.
MF Koke 6 -- One of the few who can hold his head high. Worked his socks off out wide and had more influence when moved central in the second half. Played a beautiful pass to Kevin Gameiro who was flagged offside despite being yards on.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 5 -- The Frenchman's "homecoming" was a miserable one. Dropped too deep in the first half, so desperate was he to get involved and in the second, he was not on his game when further up the pitch.
FW Kevin Gameiro, 5 -- Inexplicably flagged offside one-on-one in the first half, but struggled to get behind La Real's deep defensive line after that.
FW Fernando Torres (for Correa), 5 -- A club of Atleti's size and stature should not be reduced to bringing on Torres when chasing a game. Went close on a couple of occasions, but there is a reason he is leaving at the end of the season.
FW Vitolo (for Juanfran), 5 -- Unlucky not to start and looked to get things going once he came on.
MF Gabi (for Thomas), NR -- Came on at 1-0, it finished 3-0.
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.