Gameiro turns match-winner for Atletico in absence of Griezmann

Dictionary definition of a job done with little sparkle or shine. Atletico Madrid got back to their winning ways after a late collapse at Villarreal a fortnight ago, but this is not one that will live long in the memory for those who decided to give up their Easter Sunday to watch events at the Wanda.

Kevin Gameiro made the most of the absence of Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa from the start to score the only goal from the penalty spot as Atletico's recent turn in luck when it comes to penalty decisions continued. Otherwise, another clean sheet owed as much to Deportivo La Coruna's lack of punch than any great defending from Diego Simeone's men.


No Griezmann, no Costa and no slip-up. Simeone reserved his now extremely short squad ahead of a huge week that sees Atletico take on Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League before a Madrid derby at the Bernabeu.

The gap to Barcelona at the top also closes to nine points for the Atletico fans who dare to dream.


A look at Simeone's bench was enough to realise that Atletico cannot lose any more players to injury or suspension if they are to consolidate second place in La Liga and try to win the Europa League. Whether those left after the January window have enough energy to keep going till May has to be a concern.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- Simeone took a calculated risk with his lineup and got the result. His wild celebrations at Gameiro's converted spot kick showed he knew there would be a backlash had he called it wrong.

Player ratings (1-10, 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Jan Oblak, 8 -- Kept Atletico on level terms early on as those around him needed a jolt to awake them to the danger.

DF Carlos Munoz, 6 -- Simeone doesn't often trust youngsters in defence, but Munoz did nothing to embarrass himself in a solid 65 minutes.

DF Stefan Savic, 5 -- Handed a rare start in recent weeks and on this evidence he shouldn't get another one soon, especially with Jose Maria Gimenez back in top form.

DF Diego Godin, 7 -- Best of the back line and made one brilliant saving block with his head to prevent an almost certain equaliser.

DF Lucas Hernandez, 5 -- Being a French international doesn't sit well with him if this performance is anything to go by. Becoming increasingly clear he is better at centre-back than filing in for Filipe Luis on the left side.

MF Koke, 6 -- Did a job for the team as always but it can't be as much fun to go back to running miles in this Atletico side after smashing Argentina for six on the same ground in midweek.

MF Thomas Partey, 6 -- Switched from central midfield to right-back for the final 25 minutes and brought more stability to the defence.

MF Saul Niguez, 6 -- Won the penalty and provided what little threat there was from midfield.

MF Gabi, 5 -- The type of game the captain used to boss and now largely it passes him by.

FW Kevin Gameiro, 7 -- If only Gameiro could have made match-winning contributions when he didn't have Costa and Griezmann ahead of him in the pecking order. That said, an excellent third option.

FW Angel Correa, 6 -- Always full of energy but struggles when the guile of Griezmann isn't there to pick him out.


FW Diego Costa (for Munoz), 5 -- Missed his one half-chance and looked unfit after midweek knock.

FW Fernando Torres (for Gameiro), 4 -- Little impact made.

DF Antonio Moya (for Thomas ), N/A -- Little more than a time-wasting measure.