Real Madrid earned themselves a crucial away win in the first leg in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, thanks to Ferland Mendy`s late long range effort which he netted in the 86th minute at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo, Atalanta.
Madrid now have a slim advantage against Atalanta who were a man down since the 18th minute of the game, as Remo Freuler was sent off for a foul on Ferland Mendy and for denying a potential goalscoring opportunity.
Now let’s see the Real Madrid player ratings from that crucial night in Italy.
Thibaut Courtois (6/10): It was relatively a quiet night for Courtois (as he mentioned too through the press). He didn’t even face any shot on goal from the best attacking side in Europe right now.
Nacho Fernandez (8.5/10): As “El Capitano” didn’t recover on time, Nacho was the player who stepped up in defence and the Spaniard won seven duels, made four recoveries, won three tackles, and completed two dribbles successfully. Nacho made an impressive run in the opening half and barged on Atalanta's defensive line, but failed to capitalize on that opportunity.
Raphael Varane (8/10): The Frenchman made 12 recoveries, won five duels, and made four clearances throughout the game. He didn’t seem to get beaten by Atalanta`s confused attack. He is also carrying on an impressive form for the last 5 games.
Lucas Vasquez (7/10): Simply a `Warhorse’, Vasquez was astute defensively, as well as offensively. The Spaniards pressure down the right flank kept the hosts on their places and didn’t give them a chance on their attack.
Ferland Mendy (9/10): The Frenchman was simply the best player on the field that night. He scored an impressive long distance goal to give Real the advantage over Atalanta, and he didn’t have to do too much defensively as Atalanta didn’t press forward. It was his run through the middle that forced a foul by Freuler who was sent off in the 18th minute.
Toni Kroos (8.5/10): The German was at his best and it is another normal day at the office for him. Kroos completed the most number of passes (129) throughout the game and he set the pace of the game through his supply of passes and crosses.
Luka Modric (8.5/10): Another usual day at the office for the midfielder as he continued his impressive form in midfield. He set up Mendy`s goal which ended up being the decider. He, with his teammate Kroos set the tone and pace of the game. He doesn’t seem to be showing signs of stopping even at 33 years!
Casemiro (7/10): Solid defensively but picked up a yellow card and a suspension for the reverse fixture at Madrid. Casemiro made eight recoveries, won seven duels and made three interceptions throughout the night.
Isco (7/10): Madridistas saw some shades of his former self during the night. He was a workhorse and started as false 9 during the match. He tried his best with his neat passing and chance creation but couldn’t do much. Isco made three interceptions, won five duels, made four recoveries and completed four dribbles during his stay on the pitch.
Vinicius Jr (6.5/10) : The Brazilian kept the hosts thinking overtime with his skills and pace, but he was unable to create anything substantial out of it. Vinicius ended up losing the ball on numerous occasions, leading to Real Madrid having to rebuild again.
Marco Asensio (6.5/10): Much more was desired from the Spaniard but he couldn’t live up to that. Still a good outing for him.
Mariano Diaz (6/10): Deployed by Zidane in search of a goal but couldn’t find one. Devoid of any opportunities up front.
Sergio Arribas (6/10): Came on for Marco Asensio in the 76th minute, but he couldn’t make a decent impact on the game.
Hugo Duro (6.5/10): Got the chance to make his UCL debut. Resilient and strong but was denied a few opportunities. Seems like a good addition to the senior squad.