Player Ratings: Atalanta 0-1 Real Madrid
A late wonder strike from Ferland Mendy gives Real Madrid the advantage and draws them closer to a spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Atalanta went down to 10 men after Remo Freuler brought down Ferland Mendy just outside the box with the Frenchman through on goal. Despite the numerical advantage, Real Madrid failed to create many chances or threaten Gollini in goal. Real Madrid had to wait until the 86th minute to take the lead. It was Ferland Mendy who gave Los Blancos the all important goal, curling in an absolute beauty with his weaker foot.
Despite the lack of cutting edge in attack, Zinedine Zidane will undoubtedly be delighted with his team’s performance and the result considering the endless amount of injuries the team is suffering. A win, an away goal and a clean sheet. A great night for the kings of the Champions League. These are our player ratings:
Thibaut Courtois: 7/10
A very quite night for the Belgian. Atalanta did not have a single shot on target.
Lucas Vazquez: 7/10
With Atalanta playing so deep, Vazquez more often than not found himself playing as a right-winger rather than a right-back. The Galician attempted multiple crosses and looked to create chances for his teammates but very little came off for him.
Raphael Varane: 8/10
Varane continued his great vein of form putting to bed the nightmares of that performance against Manchester City last season. The Frenchman has formed a formidable partnership with Nacho in the centre of Real Madrid’s defence and tonight was another example of that.
Fantastic performance from Nacho. The Spaniard put in a number of brilliant tackles throughout the game and even came close to scoring in the first-half after a wonderful run. Elite display.
Ferland Mendy: 9/10
Scored the all crucial away goal to get the win for Real Madrid in brilliant fashion. Nobody can doubt Mendy’s attacking ability after a strike like that. Superb.
Toni Kroos: 8/10
Showed yet again just how important he is to this team. Nearly assisted Casemiro with a brilliant delivery from a free-kick. The German looked to find a goal from range with Atalanta camped in their own half.
Another well rounded performance. Casemiro marshalled the midfield and even came close to scoring. The only negative of the night for Real Madrid is the fact that Casemiro will miss the second leg through suspension after picking up a yellow card.
Luka Modric: 8/10
With Atalanta defending so deeply, Modric attempted to find a goal from outside the box. The Croatian went close on a couple of occasions but couldn’t find the perfect shot.
A surprise starter tonight, Isco took full advantage of the opportunity. The Spaniard looked sharp and motivated from the get go and was one of Madrid’s better performers, especially in the first-half. Isco was involved in the buildup to the move that resulted in Atalanta’s red card and even came close to scoring in the first-half.
The less said about Asensio’s performance, the better. The Spaniard was virtually a spectator throughout and offered little to nothing going forward. Very disappointing.
Vinicius Jr: 6/10
Vinicius was very active throughout the game and got himself into a few excellent positions but couldn’t take full advantage. Was replaced by Mariano on the hour mark.
Mariano: 5/10 – Came on to replace Vinicius and looked to make things happen for Real Madrid but couldn’t make an impact.
Sergio Arribas: 5/10 – Came on to replace Asensio but didn’t see enough of the ball to have any sort of impact on the game.
Hugo Duro: 5/10 – Came on to replace Isco with a little less than 15 minutes to go.