Real Madrid secured an invaluable 1-0 away victory at Atalanta in the Champions League last 16 first leg with Ferland Mendy scoring the only goal of the game.
Madrid won their group in the previous phase of the competition, finishing two points clear of both Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk and four points clear of Inter. Madrid’s form has improved after a shaky start to the season. They’ve won four straight in La Liga and now sit on the shoulder of league leaders Atletico Madrid, just three points behin
The game opened furiously in terms of incident. Remo Freuler was sent off for Atalanta early doors in a controversial decision, before Casemiro picked up a booking that will ensure he misses the second leg. Madrid were unable to capitalise on their man advantage for most of the game, however, until Mendy scored his golazo inside the final five.
“It was difficult for us but in the end it’s a good result,” Zinedine Zidane said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “It’s an important result with an away goal, but we know there’s a return leg and we have to win. It wasn’t easy, even ten against eleven. We played against a very physically strong team who were defensively very good, so it’s a good result.”