LIVE: Real Madrid vs Atalanta

LIVE: Real Madrid vs Atalanta

46′ We’re back underway in this Champions League clash.

Atalanta

46′ Zapata replaces Pasalic at the break for the visitors.

Maehle has a run at Nacho down the right flank, but the defender brushes the Atalanta man off the ball with ease.

Robin Gosens has come closest for the visitors, but he failed to convert his opening from lose range. Atalanta have been a tad passive and will need to take a lot of risks in the second half to have a hope of achieving a great victory in Spain.

Real Madrid hold a 1-0 lead over Atalanta at the break in the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 clash. Los Blancos are 2-0 ahead on aggregate and are 45 minutes away from booking a spot in the quarter-finals. Karim Benzema was on hand to convert Luka Modric’s cutback after a mistake from Marco Sportiello to put Zinedine Zidane’s men in command. It will take something special from this point for the Italian outfit to mount a comeback.

45′ HALF-TIME: REAL MADRID 1-0 ATALANTA

45′ The referee blows his whistle for half-time just before Muriel latches on to precise offload from Pessina. The forward would have been through with a decent chance at goal there. 

44′ Vazquez drifts in from the right flank and uses quick feet to step out of two challenges. However, Djimsiti comes in with a finel challenge to prevent the Spaniard from breaking into the box.

42′ WIDE! De Roon offloads to his right for Malinovskiy in space and the midfielder cuts inside to shoot on his left foot from 25 yards. He connects with a powerful strike, but it flies well wide of the left post.

40′ Nacho has a surge forward from the back and he breaks into the left inside channel. However, Romero fends off the Madrid man and the ball travels out for a goal-kick.

Real Madrid

39′ Valverde catches Djimsiti with a late boot and goes into the book.

37′ Nacho climbs in the box to attack a cross from Kroos and goes down amid pressure from Djimsiti, but the referee is unmoved.

36′ Benzema (21) has scored at least 15 more goals than any other Real Madrid player in all competitions this season (Casemiro, 6), with his opener his 70th UEFA Champions League goal – the fifth most of any player in the competition.

Real Madrid

34′ Modric intercepts a poor clearance from Sportiello and chases down his block. He then spots Benzema in acres of space in the box, allowing his team-mate to convert the opening.

Real Madrid

34′ GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! BENZEMA CONVERTS AFTER A SPORTIELLO MISTAKE!!! 1-0 MADRID!!! The Atalanta keeper produces a howler at the back and Benzema punishes him with a cool finish. Sportiello drills his clearance straight at Modric, who latches on to his own block. He cuts a pass back for Benzema in support. The Frenchman only needs to beat the keeper and he finds the bottom-left corner with a composed effort.

32′ Benzema has now created 14 chances in the Champions League this season – the most of any player yet to register an assist in the competition so far in 2020-21.

31′ Vazquez collects on the right flank and tries to swerve a delivery to the back post with the outside of his boot. However, Toloi rises to head clear of danger.

29′ Vinicius has a dart at Romero down the left flank, but the Brazilian loses his foot and the ball travels out for a goal-kick.

27′ OVER! Madrid keep the attack alive and Modric goes for the blast from distance, only to send his effort over the bar.

27′ CHANCE! Vinicius should put Madrid ahead. He collects from Kroos on the break and he slides an offload for Benzema in the box. The Frenchman returns it with a sublime reverse. Vinicius has time to pick his spot, but he delays and allows Djimsiti to make a goal-saving block.

24′ Zidane will be satisfied with the performance of his side thus far into the contest. Other than an early opening for Gosens, the Italian outfit have been held in check.

22′ Madrid are starting to work the ball in tight quarters to find space in the final third, but they’re yet to test Sportiello. 

20′ BLOCK! Mendy and Benzema combine in the left inside channel. The Frenchman goes for a blast on his left foot, only to see his effort blocked by Toloi with an outstretched boot.

18′ Vinicius surges down the left flank and clips a dangerous cross into the middle. It just travels over the head of Benzema in the middle. Madrid recycle possession as Vazquez finds Valverde before Kroos lines up a strike that is charged down.

16′ OVER! Atalanta win a corner down the left flank and Malinovskiy sends a dangerous cross into the box. The ball ricochets around the area before Djimsiti lines up a strike, but he sends his left-footed effort over the bar.

15′ Pasalic clips a cross into the box, but Madrid manage to clear their lines as Muriel tries to connect with a strike.

14′ Mendy brings down Toloi on the byline on the right flank, catching him with an outstretched boot. The visitors have a free-kick in a dangerous position.

13′ Muriel threads a pass through to Pasalic in the Madrid box, but Ramos sticks out a boot to divert it behind for a corner. The defender had to make that intervention.

10′ Madrid are trying to work themselves into a rhythm this evening. Kroos and Modric are attempting to get a feel for the game.

8′ Vinicius takes a touch on the edge of the box, but he goes down under pressure from Toloi. The referee does not award a free-kick, and there are no complaints from the Madrid man.

6′ The visitors are not deterred by the occasion or the prestige of their opponents. Atalanta seem content to take the game to Los Blancos.

4′ Atalanta are putting in a few heavy challenges in the early stages as De Roon brings down Valverde late.

3′ CHANCE! Gosens should put Atalanta ahead on the night. He latches on to a perfect cross from the left flank by Muriel. However, he fails to make a strong connection on the slide, allowing Courtois to make a comfortable save.

2′ Malinovskiy is late on Nacho and gives away a free-kick in the middle of the park.

1′ We’re underway in this Champions League clash.

Real Madrid have progressed from eight of their last nine UEFA Champions League knockout ties when they’ve won the first leg away from home. However, the one time they were eliminated in this run came at this exact stage in 2018-19 against Ajax, following a 4-1 second leg defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Atalanta have made three changes to their side that beat Spezia at the weekend. Freuler is out due to suspension, while Palomino and Ilicic make way from the starting line-up. Romero comes into the middle of the defence to start alongside Toloi and Djimsiti. Pessina starts in the middle of the park and Malinovskiy gets the nod in the final third. Hans Hateboer and Bosko Sutalo remain out of action.

Madrid have made two changes to their side from their win over Elche. Casemiro misses out due to suspension and Isco drops to the bench. Kroos and Modric are recalled into the starting line-up to anchor the midfield. Vazquez and Vinicius start either side of Benzema.

ATALANTA SUBS: Jose Luis Palamino, Sam Lammers, Mattia Caldara, Francesco Rossi, Matteo Ruggeri, Davide Ghaslani, Aleksey Miranchuk, Josip Ilicic, Duvan Zapata, Pierluigi Gollini.

ATALANTA (3-4-3) Marco Sportiello; Rafael Toloi, Cristian Romero, Berat Djimsiti; Joakim Maehle, Maarten de Roon, Matteo Pessina, Robin Gosens; Ruslan Malinovskiy, Luis Muriel, Mario Pasalic.

REAL MADRID SUBS: Eder Militao, Marco Asensio, Marcelo, Andriy Lunin, Isco, Rodrygo Silva, Diego Altube, Hugo Duro.

REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Nacho Fernandez, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy; Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde; Lucas Vazquez, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior.

Atalanta have given themselves work to do this evening after losing at home. Remo Freuler’s dismissal put Gian Piero Gasperini’s men up against it after only 16 minutes in the contest. They battled manfully, but were eventually undone by Los Blancos. They have won three of their four matches since in Serie A, losing only once to Inter. They put in an impressive performance to see off Spezia last time out, and will need a flawless effort tonight.

Madrid take a 1-0 lead into the contest having scored late on against the Italian outfit on the road through Ferland Mendy. Zinedine Zidane’s side have been on their mettle of late towards the end of matches, earning points against Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid with strikes at the death. Karim Benzema continued that theme with a late winner against Elche last time out. Although Los Blancos are not at their best, they’re still grinding out results.

Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the second leg Champions League round-of-16 clash between Real Madrid and Atalanta at the Alfredo Di Stefano.

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