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Player Ratings: Real Madrid 3-1 Atalanta; 2021 Champions League

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Real Madrid move on to the quarter-finals for the first time in three years.

Real Madrid v Atalanta - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg Two Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

It was do or die at the Alfredo DiStefano for Real Madrid as they hosted Atalanta in the second leg of the round of 16. Holding a slim 1-0 lead on aggregate, the match could have gone either way but Zinedine Zidane’s men capitalized on Atalanta’s mistakes to book a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals.

See player ratings below.

Thibaut Courtois — 7.75: Had very little to do in the first half. Made multiple strong saves in the second to keep Atalanta tame. Will be happy with the defensive performance besides the one goal conceded but there wasn’t much to do about that free-kick. A very low pass succession rate, though (55%).

Raphael Varane — 7: Looked the shakiest player on the pitch tonight and notably didn’t join in the celebrations for Benzema’s goal but rather received instructions from Zidane. Was almost at fault for an early Atalanta goal but was lucky they didn’t convert. Was at fault for Atalanta’s free-kick, though, and didn’t jump high enough in the wall. Finished with a low 77% pass completion rate and two aerial duels won.

Sergio Ramos — 8.5: Inch perfect tonight. Two incredible interceptions in the first half and always read Atalanta’s run which helped keep them tame. Converted from the spot to score the second goal. Finished with one aerial duel won. Subbed after 64 mins.

Nacho — 8: Another strong performance from Nacho, who ever since Ramos’ injury has been a great reinforcement. All over the pitch tonight with some brilliant runs and great speed. Solid throughout the 90 mins. Finished with one dribble and four tackles.

Lucas Vazquez — 7.75: Versatile player on the pitch tonight. Made himself available both in offence and defence. Linked well with the midfield trio and pushed Madrid forward in the second half. Finished with three dribbles, two aerial duels won, two tackles and two key passes but a low 76% pass completion.

Fede Valverde — 7: In for the suspended Casemiro and had a decent performance. Vital in terms of speed but felt he could have done more defensively as Kroos and Modric were often dropping back instead. Finished with 92% pass completion, one dribble, one key pass and one aerial. Subbed after 82 mins.

Luka Modric — 9: Continues to be at the top of his game, hopefully, it lasts forever. Maintained lots of possession throughout the match to keep Madrid on the ball and press their opponents. Won the ball back to tee up Benzema’s opener. Finished with 91% pass completion, one shot, one key pass and three tackles.

Toni Kroos — 8.5: Another cog in the midfield machine — what else is new. Showed his professional experience tonight to help get the job done. Linked well with Modric as usual. Finished with 93% pass completion, one shot, four dribbles and two tackles.

Ferland Mendy — 7.5: Decent performance tonight from Mendy. Acted as a threat down the left-wing and worked well with Benzema and Kroos. Finished with one shot, two key passes and one dribble.

Karim Benzema — 9: Complete performance from Benzema who continues to be on top of his game. Took a bit of time to get into the match but grew into it well. Finished with one goal, four shots, four dribbles, one aerial won, two key passes and one tackle. Now the fifth-highest UCL scorer in the competition’s history.

Vini Jr. — 7.75: Earned the start over Asensio and Rodrygo and was trusted by Zidane to make an impact. Was one of the only players pushing the team forward when Atalanta was mostly in control. Eager to use his speed and threaten their goal but couldn’t find the finishing touch (could have had a wonderful goal if his solo effort panned out, too). Earned the penalty for the second goal, though. Finished with two shots, one key pass, four dribbles and 90% pass completion. Subbed after 69 minutes.

Substitutions:

Eder Militão — 7: Came on for Ramos in the 64th minute to earn some time on the pitch. Had an alright performance but not much else to say. Finished with one tackle.

Rodrygo — 7: Came on for Vini Jr. in the 69th minute. Looked eager to get in on the action and had a few good spells with the ball but couldn’t capitalize on opportunities. Finished with one shot, one dribble and one tackle.

Marco Asensio — 7.75: Instant impact tonight and played with an edge (possibly from being on the bench but who knows). Scored a crucial goal right after the team conceded. Great response as a substitute.