Gab Marcotti says Atalanta will regret not throwing numbers forward after their 0-1 loss to numbers Real Madrid (0:50)

Ferland Mendy scored late when Real Madrid beat 10-man Atalanta 1-0 in Bergamo on Wednesday to take advantage of the Champions League round of 16

Midfielder Remo Freuler was sent off by referee Tobias Stieler with just 17 minutes for a foul on Mendy Madrid struggled to capitalize in the first half as Isco, Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior all shot off their best chance came when Toni Kroos’ free-kick found Casemiro, whose header was well saved by goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini

After the break, Modric had deflected a shot wide and Vinicius shot over the crossbar from close range Madrid continued to struggle to create clear chances before Mendy made the 87 Minute broke through the dead end with a long shot

Mendy’s late goal was a great relief To fly home from Italy in a goalless draw after playing 10 men for more than 70 minutes would have been a major embarrassment after an uninspired performance by the full-back’s impressive goal changed that Form of the tie and made Madrid a firm favorite for the quarter-finals, even if the prospects beyond are dubious

The pre-game chatter was centered on Isco, who was put in for one of the biggest games of the season in Madrid after such a long absence from the team.It was by no means a perfect performance, but it was an encouraging one, and the playmaker was involved in much of what the team did well before being withdrawn

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They may have won, but this was often an extremely frustrating Real Madrid game They did not put nearly enough pressure on Atalanta and were often reduced to shooting optimistically from a distance There are mitigating factors – most notably the major injury crisis – , but it is hard to escape the fact that this is a team that is far above its best and no longer belongs to the European elite

Vinicius remains an extremely frustrating player: so much natural ability and so many admirable qualities but so little end product Here he had a bad night and couldn’t work the goalkeeper when an opportunity presented itself at Real Madrid there is still confidence in high-level Brazilians – you wonder if Zinedine Zidane feels the same way

6 – Zidane caused a surprise in his starting XI, ditching Mariano Diaz to play without a center-forward.Instead, the team took on Isco in a withdrawn, central role and Vinicius and Marco Asensio on both flanks.The result was largely disappointing

When Vinicius was fighting, Zidane acted quickly to win Mariano, but the team stayed flat with nine players still injured, there were no other experienced options to turn to and Zidane had no choice but to than to turn to the children Sergio Arribas and Hugo Duro

DF Lucas Vazquez, 6 – An important challenge in the first half against Luis Muriel in the penalty area

DF Raphael Varane, 6 – Has kept Atalanta’s much-vaunted line of strikers calm even though the hosts were barely threatened with the early red card

DF Nacho, 7 – Has done well lately. Got into the box well in the first half before triggering a wild cross-shot

DF Ferland Mendy, 8 – Had the greatest impact of any player on the night Fouled early on for the red card as he made his way to becoming a trademark, scoring a terrific goal in the final minutes – his first of this one Competition

MF Casemiro, 8 – Will miss the second leg after receiving a soft yellow card which is really bad news given its importance to the team Looked worried he might pick up a second later if he easily got in the box fell Had Madrid’s best chance in the first half with his header

MF Toni Kroos, 8 – His 308 Game in Madrid that equates to legendary Uli Stielike as the German with the most appearances for the club. A precise free kick delivery for Casemiro’s header

MF Luka Modric, 7 – shot over the crossbar in the first half, shortly after the break and then back over the crossbar. A busy, lively performance

MF Isco, 7 – An unexpected start Allegedly a false nine, although that really meant finding familiar, advanced midfield positions. Well done: a chance in the first half was deflected far and also played with a nice pass into Vinicius

FW Vinicius Junior, 5 – In the first half of goalkeeper Gollini, shot caught off target several times and was withdrawn prematurely. Not the ideal player to lead the line as he has not scored a goal in four months

FW Marco Asensio, 5 – A quiet first half and only a very small improvement afterwards Asensio is far too often missed in games for a player with so much talent

FW Mariano Diaz, 6 – Staying on the bench was a humiliation Zidane preferred to play without a striker at all. Came for Vinicius and failed to threaten Atalanta’s goal on the pitch in more than half an hour

FW Sergio Arribas, N / R – came to Asensio 15 minutes from time and showed some nice details

FW Hugo Duro, N / R – made his Champions League debut, replacing Isco Had Blocked a Shot

Real Madrid

World news – FI – Mendy 8/10 saves Madrid from the embarrassing tie against 10-man Atalanta