Real Madrid booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after defeating Atalanta.
Having won the first leg narrowly, Madrid sealed off a comprehensive 3-1 win in the second leg (home), thus eliminating the Italian dark horses from the Champions League.
Atalanta were able to put Madrid on the back-foot with their high-pressing but it was the home side who drew first blood through Karim Benzema, who netted an easy finish. The French striker carried on his form from the weekend’s Elche game, where he scored a match-saving double.
Sergio Ramos followed it up with a penalty in the second half before Marco Asensio put the game to bed once and for all, minutes after Luis Muriel scored a stunning free-kick for Atalanta.
The win sends Los Blancos through to the last eight on an aggregate score of 4 – 1 and they would be happy to churn out such a result despite an eventful season in the La Liga.
Sportiello’s gaffe – the defining moment of the game.
Madrid hardly had a ball played in their attacking third after Atalanta pressured them a lot in the opening thirty minutes before a defining moment changed the course of the game.
Marco Sportiello, Atalanta’s goalkeeper, committed a serious blunder when trying to play out from the back as the kicked the ball straight into Luka Modric’s feet who in turn provided the cross to Benzema’s opening goal.
The Spanish Capital club struggled to put their foot throughout the first half and after such a gift by Atalanta, they were happy to pounce on it.
Benzema’s goal was the defining momentum of the game as the aggregate scoreline straightaway created a psychological difference for La Dea.
Atalanta, who ended as the quarter-finalists last season, failed with their final deliveries to the attacking third and at the other end, Madrid showed how to make use of a small number of opportunities.
|Real Madrid (5-3-2)||Atalanta (3-4-2-1)|
|Thibaut Courtois||Marco Sportiello|
|Lucas Vázquez||Cristian Romero|
|Sergio Ramos||Rafael Tolói|
|Raphaël Varane||Matteo Pessina|
|Ferland Mendy||Marten de Roon|
|Federico Valverde||Robin Gosens|
|Toni Kroos||Joakim Maehle|
|Luka Modric||Mario Pasalic|
|Karim Benzema||Ruslan Malinovskyi|
|Vinícius Júnior||Luis Muriel|
|Andriy Lunin||Pierluigi Gollini|
|Marco Asensio||Aleksei Miranchuk|
|Éder Militão||Duván Zapata|
|Hugo Duro||Mattia Caldara|
|Zinedine Zidane||Gian Piero Gasperini|