The full-time whistle goes and Real Madrid are into the quarterfinals of the Champions League. It was as comfortable as Zinedine Zidane’s side could reasonably have hoped for, and Italy’s chances in this competition now rest on Lazio’s shoulders (although they are 4-1 down on aggregate against Bayern so maybe don’t hold your breath).
- 2nd Half
- Vinícius JúniorRodrygo69'
- Ramos (P)60'
- 1/2 Time
- 1st Half
Real Madrid - Atalanta
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Benzema slides a clever ball through to Rodrygo, but he can’t find the finish and the rebound is mopped up by the Atalanta defence.
There will be five added minutes. It won’t be enough for the visitors though – this game is done.
Modric and Kroos combine for a foul in the centre of the park. Those two have been excellent tonight, controlling the game brilliantly in midfield.
Atalanta will leave Madrid wondering what might have been. They’ve played some lovely football tonight, but only in the last 20 minutes have they really offered much goal threat, and in truth they’ve looked a level below Real for much of the evening.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Asensio scores with what might have been his first touch. Real break and it’s three on three. Vazquez does well to pick out a pass, and Asensio tucks the finish into the far corner to make it 4-1 on aggregate.
- GoalLuís MurielAtalanta
GOOOAAALLL!!! What a goal that is! Atalanta try a clever routine to try and distract the goalkeeper with runners off the ball from a free-kick, but it still needs a great shot and Muriel delivers, curling his effort over the wall and in. 2-1!
This has the feel of a training match now, with Real completely confident and Atalanta still offering very little.
Rodrygo launches on a weaving run into the Atalanta box, not unlike Vinicius’s move earlier in the game, but he gets in a tangle at the crucial moment and runs the ball out of play.
Zapata has Atalanta’s best effort of the night, but Courtois pulls off a great save with his legs as the ball looks to be arrowing into the bottom corner.
- OffVinícius JúniorReal Madrid
- OnRodrygoReal Madrid
The lively Vinicius Jr is withdrawn. He’s been excellent tonight, albeit without the final finish (which is quite a good summary of his career so far in truth).
Benzema’s close-range header is brilliantly saved and the Frenchman turns the rebound onto the post. He should have scored there.
There it is, a proper effort from Atalanta! Zapata turns brilliantly on the edge of the box and forces a decent save out of Courtois. There are appeals for a penalty as the rebound strikes Varane, but nothing is given.
Nacho gets a crucial tough to nip the ball away from Ilicic inside the box. Atalanta are throwing numbers forward, but Courtois has yet to be seriously tested.
- OffSergio RamosReal Madrid
- OnEder MilitaoReal Madrid
Eder Militao replaces Sergio Ramos, which is a change that suggests Real Madrid think this is in the bag.
Toloi is taken off as Atalanta go in search of what would now be an astonishing comeback. It's Palomino who comes on. They’ve barely looked like scoring one goal tonight, let alone three, despite all of the tidy play in midfield.
- Goal by penaltySergio RamosReal Madrid
GOOOAAALLL!!! Ramos dispatches the spot-kick, although Sportiello did get a hand to it, and it’s 3-0 on aggregate. Is that the tie over?
- Yellow cardRafael TolóiAtalanta
Toloi is booked for his foul, rubbing salt into the wounds.
PENALTY! Atalanta give the ball away and it’s Vinicius who does the damage, nipping in to win the ball and bursting into the box. The youngster is fouled right on the edge of the box and a spot-kick is given, despite the defender appealing that the incident was outside the box.
- OffRobin GosensAtalanta
- OnJosip IlicicAtalanta
Gosens has been playing with a bit of a groin injury and pulls up his shorts to rub the impacted area. It’s almost NSFW and thankfully the camera pans away, but that will be his last involvement of the game.
Zapata is offering Atalanta a bit of a focal point, but the visitors are still flattering to deceive a little bit.
Mendy looks for his second goal of the tie, but his effort cutting in from the left is straight at the keeper.
Oh no! That would have been a classic Champions League goal, but Vinicius Jr ends an amazing run that saw him weave his way from deep inside his own half through the Atalanta defence with a finish that slides wide of the far post. The shot was the easiest part of the whole move, but he just couldn’t find it. Ramos, watching on from the back, sinks to his knees in disappointment, which is a reaction that pretty much sums that up.
Atalanta are playing some tidy football still, but they look further and further away from offering a goalscoring threat.
Atalanta have made one change at the break, with Zapata coming on to add a bit more firepower.
- 2nd Half
We’re back underway in Madrid and Real Madrid are 45 minutes away from the Champions League quarterfinals.
- End of 1st Half
The half-time whistle goes just as Atalanta look to have opened up the Real Madrid defence with a through-ball to Muriel. That was very odd. See you in 15.
Malinovskiy shoots well wide to bring a promising Atalanta attack to an end, but the number of blue shirts who bombed forward there is a clear indication that the visitors have no intention of changing their approach.
Real are taking the sting out of this game brilliantly since the goal, with Modric and Kroos probably the two players in world football that you’d want in this situation to control a game.
- Yellow cardFederico ValverdeReal Madrid
Valverde commits two fouls in quick succession and earns himself the first booking of the game.
In some ways that goal doesn’t change all that much for Atalanta in that a 2-1 win would still send them through on away goals. But it’s not ideal to hand Madrid control of the match.
Marco Sportiello will be so disappointed with that. It was great play from Modric and a tidy finish from Benzema, but Sportiello’s clearance handed that chance to Real on a plate.
- GoalKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
GOOOAAALLL!!! Benzema opens the scoring for Real Madrid! A clearance from the keeper was poor and intercepted by Modric, and the Croatian did brilliantly to burst into the box, suck in all the defenders, and then play a no-look pass across the box for Benzema to tuck home. 1-0!
Real Madrid have got a bit of a foothold in this game now, with Modric, Kroos and Benzema notably stepping up in the last 5-10 minutes to calm things down.
Vinicius goes down in the box, but that was good defending and he’d overrun the ball slightly. Nothing given. It’s the youngster who is looking the likeliest to unlock Atalanta though.
That’s the best chance of the game so far for Real Madrid as Vinicius Jr and Benzema link up with a lovely one-two in the box, only for the Brazilian’s effort to be blocked. It may have hit an arm, but that was certainly a natural position and nothing is given (either by the referee or video assistant).
Kroos plays a couple of lovely passes as Real threaten to open Atalanta up, but the move breaks down when Vazquez fails to control the ball on the edge of the box.
Muriel has a go from range, but he is closed down and the shot doesn’t get to Courtois. It is impressive this from Atalanta, they’re finding plenty of space in the pockets behind the Madrid midfield.
Real Madrid enjoy their best spell of pressure of the game, but Kroos’ half-volley from range is blocked. That’s more like it from the home side though.
Djimsiti has a crack from the edge of the box, but it’s a tricky skill to try and keep that bouncing ball down and his effort flies well over.
There are some speculative appeals for a penalty as Real bundle the cross away, but nothing is going there. It’s a very strong start from Atalanta though – they’ve been comfortably the better side so far.
The corner is well defended but Atalanta keep the pressure on and Toloi wins a free-kick on the far side of the box for another set-piece in a dangerous area.
That’s nice again from Atalanta. Muriel tries to thread a pass through to Pasalic, but Ramos reads it and prods the ball behind for a corner.
Pasalic makes a dangerous run down the left. That’s the flank where Atalanta have looked the more threatening so far, with Muriel also drifting out there to try and isolate Nacho.
Vinicius is fouled by Toloi but nothing is given by referee Danny Makkelie. That’s an odd decision, but perhaps an indication that the official is keen to let things flow tonight.
The visitors are playing really nice stuff so far and if Real weren’t aware that they are in for a tough evening then they will be now.
Atalanta have started the better of the two sides and Maehle keeps that momentum going by drawing a foul from Kroos in midfield.
Atalanta go extremely close to open the scoring, but Gosens makes a poor connection when meeting a dangerous cross into the box and it’s a comfortable save for Courtois.
- 1st Half
Atalanta, wearing their blue and black, get the game underway. Real, as usual, are in all-white.
This game isn’t being held at the Bernabeu but at Real’s training ground, the Alberto Di Stefano Stadium. It does give the game a very obscure international qualifier sort of vibe, but it’s because Madrid are making use of this Covid-19 spell to get a headstart on revamping their ground.
Whoever does progress from this tie will find out their quarterfinal opponents on Friday, with the draw for the last-eight to be held at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon.
Atalanta’s hope of pulling off a comeback will lie in the strength of their away form. Tonight’s visitors have won their last five Champions League matches away from home, with an aggregate score of 14-3 across those five games (including four clean sheets).
The stats are certainly in Real’s favour this evening. When they have won away from home in a first leg of this competition they have progressed eight out of nine times. Real have also won 11 of their last 12 games against Italian opponents in this competition.
It’s not a vintage year for Real Madrid, but Zinedine Zidane’s side are still just about in contention in La Liga, six points off Atletico with 11 matches to play. Los Blancos are no longer the dominant European force that they were, but their squad is still packed with quality and they certainly have what it takes to challenge for another Champions League crown.
Atalanta are enjoying another fine season in Serie A and have won five of their last six in the league to move back into the Champions League qualification spots ahead of Napoli and Roma. La Dea are a fun side to watch and score plenty of goals (only Inter have scored more in Serie A this season), but they’re going to need to click tonight if they are to turn the tie around and complete an historic win.
Atalanta also make three changes. Remo Freuler is suspended after his red card, and keeper Pierluigi Gollini and Duvan Zapata are also left out, with Ruslan Malinovskyi, Marco Sportiello and Mario Palasic coming in.
Real Madrid make three changes to the side that started the first leg, with all three expected. Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema come back in, while Federico Valverde replaces the suspended Casemiro. There’s no Eden Hazard tonight as he continues his slow and steady return from injury.
Right, back to the match at hand.
Before we carry on with more game-specific chat, take a minute to read this exclusive news straight out of Eurosport's Spanish office...
The first leg of this tie was a bit of an odd one. Atalanta, the relative minnows of the Champions League knockout stages, were reduced to ten men early on in the game, yet almost held out for a draw. Real Madrid laid siege to the home side’s box for much of the match, but it took an excellent late goal from Ferland Mendy to give Real the win and away goal.
Good evening. This tie is far from over and I’ll bring you build up and reaction to the team news over the next hour, before live text commentary from 8pm.