ATA
Atalanta
0
FT
1
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Real Madrid
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Atalanta vs. Real Madrid Champions League score, player ratings: Mendy saves Zidane's side with late goal

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Real Madrid earned a 1-0 win at Atalanta on Wednesday in their Champions League round of 16 first leg with Ferland Mendy scoring on his only shot. The goal came in the final moments and puts Los Blancos in the driver's seat to advance to the quarterfinals when they play the second leg in March.

But how did each player perform in this one? Here are our player ratings for the match for every starter, substitute and manager.

All ratings are out of 10, and the higher the number the better. A zero would be a first-minute red card. A 10 would be like a dominant hat trick.

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Atalanta

GK - Pierluigi Gollini
He wasn't too busy, and he was beaten by a fantastic strike. Did everything else well, but could he have done better on the goal? His line of sight seemed blocked.
Rating: 5

DEF - Berat Djimsiti
Positioning could have been better, but the effort was there. He also did well to clear danger and was strong in the air.
Rating: 6

DEF - Cristian Romero
Positioning was good, recovered the ball well, but at times had trouble with Real's technical ability. Won most of his duels and intercepted the ball five times.
Rating: 7

DEF - Rafael Toloi
A rock at the back, doing a bit of everything. He was strong in his tackles, didn't get beaten in the air and really helped thwart some runs at goal.
Rating: 7

DEF - Robin Gosens
A menace in defense. He was one of the strongest players on the pitch and could not be beaten when challenged one on one. 
Rating: 8

DEF - Joakim Maehle
Hustled, but his passing was very poor. Always seemed to need an extra touch to get comfortable. Did have his team's best chance, but it wasn't even a remotely good one.
Rating: 5

MID - Remo Freuler
Was given a red card after just 17 minutes for a challenge, and it was harsh, to be fair. He didn't deserve to be sent off, and now he has to miss the second leg. Unfortunate for him,
Rating: N/A

MID - Marten de Roon
With Real dominating the ball, he never really got going and had just 46 touches. He also never got forward, failing to complete one pass in the final third.
Rating: 5

MID - Matteo Pessina
Tasked with being the creative play-maker in the middle, he created zero chances. So, you tell me how his day went.
Rating: 4

FWD - Luis Muriel
Going down to 10 men hampered his opportunities, and he lasted just 56 minutes before being subbed off. It was just one of those days.
Rating: 4

FWD - Duvan Zapata
Picked up a knock in the first half and was subbed off after just 30 minutes.
Rating: N/A

SUB - Mario Pasalic
Played 60 minutes and put in a decent shift.
Rating: 6

SUB - Josip Ilicic
Was on for a half an hour and didn't get a single look at goal before being taken off. Not good.
Rating: N/A

SUB - Ruslan Malinovskyi
Late sub
Rating: N/A

SUB - Jose Palomino
Another late sub.
Rating: N/A

MANAGER - Gian Piero Gasperini
Red card just torpedoed the team's attacking plan. A 0-0 draw would have been a fine result all things considered, but now they have their back against the wall. Still, they are more than capable of turning around the slim deficit. It wasn't all that bad, but the referee did them no favors.
Rating:5

Real Madrid

GK - Thibaut Courtois
He made as many saves as you and I did. A spectator for nearly all of the 90 minutes and had just one corner to worry about.
Rating: 5

DEF - Ferland Mendy
The hero with his second goal of the season, taking it well. He got forward a lot and looked lively early, but nobody saw that goal coming. What a hit.
Rating: 8

DEF - Nacho
Had pretty much nothing to deal with, but he did create a really dangerous chance in attack. He only had to watch his fellow center back in this one as it wasn't a tough shift.
Rating: 5

DEF - Raphael Varane
Strong as usual, though he wasn't challenged much. Had 12 recoveries but did struggle a bit in the air with Atalanta's height, though it didn't amount to anything.
Rating: 7

DEF - Lucas Vazquez
Not a natural defender, his pace and effort go a long way. Missed badly on a few challenges but did more good than bad.
Rating: 5

MID - Toni Kroos
Created the best chances, was nearly perfect in his passing and really helped to get the attack going after a slow start.
Rating: 7

MID - Casemiro
Very strong in the middle, commanding the game on both ends. Also had some creative moments, but his passing in the final third was a tad off.
Rating: 6

MID - Luka Modric
The Croatian star got the assist and created four chances. He completed nearly 93 percent of his passes and had a good look himself, missing a chance just wide in the second half.
Rating: 7

FWD - Vinicius Jr.
Left his scoring boots in Madrid. Had two shots and should have done better. Was taken off after 57 minutes.
Rating: 5

FWD - Isco
Played in the false nine role and did OK. He created a dangerous chance, had a couple looks himself and put in a good effort in what wasn't an ideal situation.
Rating: 6

FWD - Marco Asensio
Created next to nothing and wasted a really good free kick in the second half. Played 76 minutes before being taken off.
Rating: 5

SUB - Mariano Diaz
Wonder how he feels about being the only healthy striker yet having Isco start ahead of him. Credit his professionalism and his effort, but he never came close to making an impact after coming on.
Rating: 5

SUB - Hugo Duro
Late substitute.
Rating: N/A

SUB - Sergio Arribas
Another late sub.
Rating: N/A

MANAGER - Zinedine Zidane
It wasn't pretty, but it was enough, despite an odd lineup. The 0-0 draw would have been solid, but the 1-0 win is a very good result and felt a tad fortunate. But, careful, because this one isn't even close to being over. Zidane knows that, but this result sets them up nicely.
Rating: 7

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Asensio takes the free kick, but it is a simple stop by the goalkeeper. Goes pretty much right to him.

Great chance coming here for Real Madrid as Lucas is taken down atop the box by Gosens. Free kick. Toni Kroos time?

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February 24, 2021, 9:28 PM
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February 24, 2021, 9:14 PM
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February 24, 2021, 9:09 PM

That was nearly it! Modric with a good chance inside the box that his a defender and goes just a foot wide! Good pass from Asensio to set him up.

Second half now underway with Real on the front foot here. No more high press thanks to the red card for Atalanta, so Real are now looking to push higher with their possession and find the breakthrough. 

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