Real Madrid beat 10 men Atalanta BC by 1-0 in UEFA Champions League round of 16 away leg at Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo on Wednesday evening.
The only goal came from an unlikely source late in the game by Ferland Mendy, of his wrong foot. Mendy’s long-range effort beat Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini.
In the second leg, Atalanta have to score two goals to go through to the quarter-final. On the other hand, Real Madrid just need to keep a clean sheet to go to the next round.
Atalanta 0-1 Real Madrid team news:
Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini went with the 3-4-1-2 formation which he uses in almost the majority of the games. Colombian International duo Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel led the line for the Italian side.
Zinedine Zidane has had a long list of injury problems in his Real Madrid side. He chose the 4-3-1-2 diamond formation and Isco was the number 10. Vinicius Jr and Marco Asensio led the line for Los Blancos. Famous midfield three Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro started. Nacho Fernandez and Raphael Varane were the defensive pairings.
Atalanta 0-1 Real Madrid Post-Match Analysis:
Real Madrid dominated the possession in the first half against Atalanta who chose to play man to man-marking. Real took advantage of that tactic and dragged defenders out of position a few times which created huge holes in the defence.
From the same circumstance, Ferland Mendy went straight through to the goal and Remo Freuler fouled Mendy and the referee gave a foul and showed a red card to Freuler. It is debatable if that was a red card or not.
Nacho Fernandez created a chance by making a solo run from the defence, with the help of the Atalanta defenders who didn’t make any proper challenge but Nacho could not hit it on target.
The biggest chance came for Zidane’s side from a set-piece. Kroos delivered a great cross and Casemiro guided it towards the goal of his head but Pierluigi Gollini saved it brilliantly. The story of the second half remained the same. Modric tried to toe-pocked through to the goal but it went just wide.
Los Blancos had to wait till the 86 minute to find the back of the net against a 10 men side. Mendy’s curling effort of his right foot went straight to the back of the net.
Ferland Mendy(LB) – (7/10)(Real Madrid): Scored the crucial goal late into the game with a super strike which gave a crucial away goal to the Madrid side.
Luka Modric(CM) – (7.5/10)(Real Madrid): He had an excellent game in the midfield. Covered every grass in the field and did not put a foot wrong throughout the game.
Remo Freuler(CM) – (4/10)(Atalanta): Conceded the red card which put the Italian side Mountain to climb.
Atalanta will play next away to Sampdoria in Serie A on Sunday and Real Madrid will encounter Real Sociedad in their next game in La Liga on 1st March.