Mendy’s late goal gives Madrid 1-0 win over 10-man Atalanta

February 25, 2021
Real Madrid’s Ferland Mendy (right) celebrates with Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane at the end of the Champions League, round of 16, first-leg match between Atalanta and Real Madrid, at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo, yesterday.
Real Madrid’s Ferland Mendy (right) celebrates with Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane at the end of the Champions League, round of 16, first-leg match between Atalanta and Real Madrid, at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo, yesterday.

BERGAMO, Italy (AP):

Real Madrid struggled to break down 10-man Atalanta before Ferland Mendy netted an 86th-minute winner to give the Spanish giant a 1-0 win in the first leg of the round of 16 yesterday.

Madrid entered the game as the big favourite despite a slew of injuries, and Atalanta's chances diminished further when midfielder Remo Freuler was sent off in the 17th minute after being adjudged to have denied a goalscoring opportunity. But Madrid - which was missing players including forward Karim Benzema, midfielder Eden Hazard and captain Sergio Ramos - still found it difficult to test Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini until the end of the first half, when he pulled off a great reaction save to keep out Casemiro's header from Toni Kroos' free kick.

Just as it looked as if Atalanta would hold on for a draw, Mendy received the ball outside the area after a corner and curled a shot into the right side of the net from 20 yards.

The second leg will be on March 16 in Madrid.

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