Jake Meador for Just Football:
With Costa, Courtois, and Luis all leaving last summer, many thought Atletico would slip slightly. They’d still be superior to Valencia and Sevilla, but they’d no longer be capable of going toe-to-toe with Real Madrid and Barcelona or of mounting a credible title challenge. That expectation has, it turns out, been completely wrong.
Partly this is because Atletico bought well in the summer with Mario Mandzukic and Antoine Griezmann both looking like fantastic signings, with Mandzukic getting a goal and an assist today and Griezmann getting the goal that sealed the points for Atletico. But part of it is also that when you have a system as perfect as Atletico’s with players so well drilled it becomes easier to replace one player with another.