Real Madrid advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals by crushing Atalanta 3-1 (1-0) in a replay on Tuesday at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium in Madrid.
Karim Benzema scored the opening goal for Real Madrid in the 34th minute, assisted by Luka Modri, and Sergio Ramos converted a penalty kick in the 60th minute to make it 2-0. Atalanta cut the lead in the 83rd minute, with Luis Muriel scoring from a free-kick. Marco Asensio scored the game-winning goal in the 85th minute.
At the start of the game, the Italians attempted to catch Real off guard by applying intense pressure in the home team’s half. The outcome was the first opening of the game, from which Gosens shot and Courtois saved the visitors’ first try.
After ten minutes, Real relieved Atalanta’s initial pressure and maintained dominance in the center of the ground.
As Mendy passed the ball to Benzema in the 20th minute, the French striker attempted to fire from a difficult angle, but his attempt was stopped by Romero.
In the 27th minute, Atalanta saved another block. Vinicius Junior launched a counterattack, exchanging passes with Karim Benzema, but his shot from the penalty spot was blocked by Djimsiti.
Real made the first attempt inside the box in the 34th minute, and the ball found its way into the net. Benzema scored, and everything was set up for him by Luka Modric. The score is attributed to visiting goalkeeper Marco Sportiello, who misfired on a shot that was sliced 25 meters from the goal and was amazingly settled down by Modri. He reached the penalty area in a few moves and twisted the ground ball towards the center towards the lone Benzema, who correctly sent the ball to the bottom right corner.
The Frenchman thus scored his 70th goal in the Champions League, and Real doubled their lead from the first round.
Gian Piero Gasperini vowed to go for the win, which would earn him a spot in the quarterfinals, from the first minute of the second half, so he left Mario Paali in the locker room and brought in Colombian striker Duvan Zapata.
Real, on the other hand, had the first chance in the second half, with Vinicius Junior in the lead. The Brazilian took the ball about 20 meters from his target and began an eighty-meter dash, during which he made a slalom among four Atalanta players, and when he had to beat Sportiella from five meters, he moved the ball past the goal.
In the 58th minute, the Brazilian atoned for his error. Vinicius Jr., Josip Ilii, has recently joined Atalanta. counterattacked down the left-wing Toloi tripped him at the penalty area’s entrance, and referee Danny Makkelie awarded a penalty kick without delay. The VAR ruled that his decision was right, and Real’s returnee, captain Sergio Ramos, was a precise performer for 2-0.
In the 67th minute, Atalanta had the first fantastic chance of the second half. He got the ball on the outskirts of Zapata’s penalty area and struck it from the turn, but Thibaut Courtois saved it with his foot.
Real was centimeters away from scoring the third goal, and Benzema was centimeters away from scoring the second. The Frenchman hit his head from five meters out, and Sportiello saved his shot, only for Benzema to head the rebound into the net with another header.
Zapata had another opportunity in the 76th minute, but Courtois came out on top once more. Atalanta deserved a goal for their efforts, especially in the second half, and they got it in the 83rd minute.
Luis Muriel set up the ball for a 25-yard free-kick, crossed the living wall, and found the top left corner. Despite his lengthening, even the tall Courtois was unable to avoid the precise and powerful arrow.
The Bergamo team’s excitement and optimism were short-lived. Marco Asensio joined the game in the 82nd minute and scored three minutes later.
Lucas Vazquez, Asensio’s assistant, did half of the job, and Asensio hit a closer corner from the left side next to Sportiello, who should have been better put.