Real Madrid got the result they needed in the Round of 16 first leg against Atalanta in Bergamo. Ferland Mendy is the hero as he scored late in the 86th minute to get the away goal and the late win.
Real absolutely dominated in shots, chances and possession in a very strong tactical performance from Zinedine Zidane’s side.
Player ratings to follow below:
Thibaut Courtois—8: There’s really not much to be said about Courtois’ as he only faced two shots on target. The Belgian himself said he didn’t expect such a quiet night in net. He’s kept three straight clean sheets in his last three La Liga matches and that translated over tonight.
Lucas Vazquez—8.5: Vazquez has done more than was expected him this season to say the least. He had held it down consistently filling it at right back and thought he had another strong showing against Atalanta.
Raphael Varane—8: The entire backline really deserves a shout as they played so strong and really limited Atalanta offensively. The job was made a bit easier with Atalanta being down to ten men early, but still Varane looked strong.
Nacho—9: Felt Nacho had one of his strongest matches in a while defensively. He tracked back very well and played some lockdown defense. Not easy shining where your captain usually does in European competition, but Nacho was brilliant and my pick for Man of the Match.
Ferland Mendy—8: Heroics aside, thought Mendy had a very solid performance. He’s starting to look more confident and is moving much higher up the pitch and getting involved in the playmaking. He’s starting to settle into the Marcelo role.
Luka Modric—8: A perfect example of a player who has only gotten better with age and had another great performance here.
Casemiro—8: He had a good performance in midfield as well though taking the yellow card to miss the next match was poor decision making. Luckily wasn’t sent off for the dive.
Toni Kroos—8: A key driver behind Real Madrid’s possession dominance alongside Modric. The midfield showed up to play overall.
Marco Asensio—5: Thought he was the worst player on the pitch for Real tonight. Really contributed nothing offensively and at times it seemed he wasn’t even there. Only starting at this point because Real have no other option with so many injuries.
Isco—7: Looked a bit rusty but for his first match back starting, which is to be expected, it went fairly well for him. He had some good looks and was involved well with play.
Vinicius—7: He had a decent match and was contributing with passing. He had one great chance that could’ve and should’ve been a goal but he nearly missed. Overall a lackluster performance from the forwards.
Mariano—5: Came on shortly after halftime but didn’t really do much offensively. Thought he should’ve been subbed on for Asensio rather than Vinicius.
Sergio Arribas/Hugo Duro—N/A: Both subbed on fairly late in the match and were making their Champions League debuts for Real. Can’t really give either a proper rating.