Atletico Madrid again contrived to throw away a lead at home as they drew 1-1 with Girona on Saturday at the Wanda Metropolitano.
In a scrappy affair, Los Rojiblancos took the lead in the first half through good link-up play between Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann, with the latter smashing home the former’s knock-down.
With half an hour to go, Diego Simeone bizarrely withdrew his two front men as he looked to see the game out 1-0. It was a plan that backfired spectacularly as a catalogue of errors in defence allowed Girona to bag a deserved equaliser to ensure that Atleti’s poor start to 2018 continues.
Very little. The way Costa and Griezmann combined for the goal was good, and Jan Oblak was his usual excellent self.
Where to start? Another home game that Atleti cannot see out a winning position. If you cannot beat a modest midtable Girona team twice over the course of a season, you do not deserve to be anywhere near the title equation.
Manager rating out of 10
2 — An absolute shocker. Ordered his side to defend at 1-0 before hooking his star duo and was made to look very silly. Keeps persisting with Stefan Savic, and for that he loses a mark, too.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Jan Oblak, 8 — Pulled off a couple of fantastic saves in either half. Helpless for the goal.
DF Sime Vrsaljko, 4 — Poor. Got booked and at one point appeared a walking red card. Part of the collective shambles at the back for the visitors’ goal.
DF Jose Maria Gimenez, 6 — The best of a bad bunch at the back. Looked the senior man, despite being second youngest, and dealt with what he had to well for the main part.
DF Stefan Savic, 3 — Continued from his disaster show against Sevilla in midweek with another poor display. At the scene of the crime for the equaliser.
DF Lucas Hernandez, 5 — So often does a passable impression of a full-back, however looked all at sea on the day. Attacking output was understandably poor, but his defensive basics were lacking.
MF Yannick Carrasco, 4 — A match that sums him up. Beats two men before making the wrong decision. Passes when he should shoot and shoots when he should pass. Missed a one-on-one two minutes before the Girona goal that he could have squared to a teammate for a tap-in.
MF Thomas Partey, 8 — Produced a great ball over the top for Costa to set up Griezmann for the goal. Grew into the game, putting in a lovely couple of crosses that deserved better.
MF Saul Niguez, 7 — Captain for the day and initially thrived in the role. Should have had an assist when Carrasco spooned his one-on-one. Was visibly shattered by 70 minutes and almost cost his side a point when he dallied on the ball in midfield, leading to a dangerous counter.
MF Angel Correa, 4 — See Carrasco’s rating. Missed a one-on-one in the first half and is at best an impact sub. Not cut out to play 90 minutes.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 7 — Won the ball back in the move that resulted in his goal, for which he showed excellent composure and technique. Dropped deeper and deeper as Los Rojiblancos looked to shut up shop and gave the ball away a couple of times before being bafflingly subbed.
FW Diego Costa, 7 — Showed admirable bravery to win the knock-down for Griezmann’s goal before being clattered by the Girona keeper. That apart, he struggled to find his form and touch, however his one meaningful contribution was crucial.
Kevin Gameiro, 4 — Not really sure what Simeone was thinking with this sub, to be honest.
Koke, 3 — With one of his first touches he made an absolutely horrific clearance from inside his own box that went directly to an opposition player, who gleefully set up Portu for his goal. Did not get much better after that.
Vitolo, NR — Brought on to try and salvage something, but still looks some way off an Atletico player.
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.