Genuine Madrid exploited Atalanta’s expensive goalkeeping change to make it back to the Champions League quarterfinals.
Madrid defeated Atalanta 3-1 on Tuesday to propel 4-1 on aggregate after two consecutive eliminations in the last 16, with Karim Benzema leading the best approach to victory after a first-half blunder by Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello, who was among the progressions made by mentor Gian Piero Gasperini from the 1-0 first-leg misfortune in Italy.
“I don’t have regrets on my initial choices,” Gasperini said. “We can’t afford to make mistakes and gift goals, we wanted to do better. It’s a pity.”
Skipper Sergio Ramos and Marco Asensio fixed Madrid’s victory by scoring an goal each in the second half. Atalanta’s goal came from a free kick changed over by Luis Muriel late in the game.
“The goal was to advance and we came out playing with ambition to try to win the match,” Ramos said. “We controlled the game and had chances to score even more.”
Sportiello tried to play from his territory yet misplayed his shot and the ball went straightforwardly to Luka Modric, who entered the container and made a low pass for a simple objective by Benzema from close to the punishment spot in the 34th minute. Sportiello had supplanted Pierluigi Gollini after the primary leg and had been beginning in Serie A from that point forward.
It was the 70th Champions League goal for Benzema, making him just the fifth player to arrive at the imprint in the opposition after Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Raúl González. Just Ronaldo, Messi and Lewandowski arrived at the achievement faster than the French striker’s 126 matches.
Atalanta was hoping to make it to the last eight for the subsequent straight season after an remarkable run its presentation in the top European club competition. It had won the entirety of its away games in the Champions League this season, including against Liverpool and Ajax.
It frequently pressed in advance to attempt to compel Madrid into botches however with no accomplishment as the hosts had the option to remain in charge during the greater part of the match at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium.
Madrid had arrived at the elimination rounds or better in eight straight seasons between 2010-11 and 2017-18 preceding losing to Ajax in the last 16 out of 2019 and to Manchester City last season.
Madrid mentor Zinedine Zidane played with the 3-5-2 arrangement that he had been testing recently, with Ramos, Raphael Varane and Nacho Fernández as focal safeguards and Ferland Mendy and Lucas Vázquez on the flanks.
Ramos, who converted over a 60th-minute extra shot after Vinícius Júnior was fouled inside the zone, left the game a couple of moments later in just his second match since a long injury layoff.
Muriel pulled Atalanta closer in the 83rd however substitute Asensio restored Madrid’s two-objective two or after three minutes.
Madrid was without the suspended Casemiro and the harmed Eden Hazard.
Atalanta defender Remo Freuler was inaccessible due to his red card in the first leg.
In Tuesday’s other game, Manchester City advanced to the quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive season by beating Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0, to seal a 4-0 win on aggregate.