Oblak saves a draw at Chelsea but Atletico fall short of UCL round of 16
It seems somewhat fitting that Atletico Madrid's disappointing Champions League campaign came to a close with a draw. This, however, was one full of honour: 1-1 away to Chelsea on Tuesday night.
It is the two stalemates against Qarabag and the one away to Roma that ultimately cost Los Rojiblancos their place in the last 16, and they showed against Chelsea that they are a match for Europe's best.
Saul's opener gave Atleti hope, however with Roma leading against the Azeris in Italy, it was not enough to see them through, and ultimately Stefan Savic's own goal ensured the spoils were shared.
This was more like the Atleti of old. They played with the intensity of a knockout match and despite being out of the Champions League, Los Colchoneros have certainly got their season back on track.
Eden Hazard ran amok, despite Atleti having four central midfielders and three centre-backs on the pitch.
Manager rating out of 10
10 -- Diego Simeone matched Antonio Conte like-for-like with a 3-5-2 from the off, however picked the wrong players for the system. Rectified it at the break by reverting to 4-4-2, but a couple of his substitutions were questionable.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Jan Oblak, 9 -- After a nightmare at the weekend, the Slovenian was back to his imperious best. Without him Atleti would have lost this game heavily, making at least four top-drawer saves. It took an own goal to beat him, so good was his display.
DF Thomas Partey, 6 -- Looked uncomfortable in an unfamiliar wing-back position in the first period. Improved after the break, however cut a shattered figure by full-time.
DF Jose Maria Gimenez, 8 -- Somehow managed to head a goal-bound effort off the line while on the floor and took a knock on the head for his troubles. Relished the physical battle with Alvaro Morata.
DF Lucas Hernandez, 6 -- Never looked comfortable after picking up an early booking for hacking down Hazard.
DF Stefan Savic, 6 -- Hot and cold. At times was dominant aerially, however his passing let him down. Unlucky to deflect Hazard's low cross past Oblak to level things up.
DF Filipe Luis, 7 -- Another who improved greatly when Atleti changed to a more familiar 4-4-2, defending solidly and seeing a long-range effort crash off the post.
MF Koke, 7 -- Is recovering his form, which is great news for the club. Unlucky not to score with a header and grew into the game.
MF Gabi, 6 -- A proud night for the skipper who equalled the club record for European experiences. Provided a calm head in the middle of the park, however looked very tired by the time he was substituted and was chasing N'Golo Kante's shadow for a good quarter of an hour before that.
MF Saul Niguez, 7 -- Right place, right time to score. If only he could have done that in Rome or Qarabag. In the long term, however, it is a strike that could prove a catalyst for him to kick on this season. Grew greatly into the match after netting.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 6 -- Teamwork cannot be faulted. Always wanted the ball and dropped deep to defend and help out. Unfortunately, his attacking play was lacking somewhat.
FW Fernando Torres, 5 -- Used as an ineffectual target man for an hour, ruining a couple of counterattacks with lousy touches. However, gets an extra mark for a brilliant near-post flick onto Saul for the goal. Turned out to be his last touch of the game.
FW Yannick Carrasco, 5 -- Brought on for Torres to help his side hit on the counter, however gave the ball away far too often and wasted a free kick from a promising position late on.
MF Angel Correa, NR -- Not for the first time, looked lively off the bench. Troubled the home side's defence and put in a great cross that was begging to be finished.
FW Luciano Vietto, NR -- Not the man to bring on when you are chasing a goal, is he? No. He has not scored for 12 months. Not his fault he was brought on, but really, what is the point?
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.