Atalanta Real Madrid Player Ratings: Mendy to the Rescue

At the Gweiss stadium in Bergamo, Atalanta hosted Real Madrid in first leg of the Champions League round of 16. Remo Freuler’s early red card changed the outcome of the match indefinitely, as the Italians shifted into survival mode for the rest of the match, and they almost sealed a precious draw, if it wasn’t for Ferland Mendy’s late stunner. So here are our player ratings for the European clash between Atalanta and Real Madrid.

Atalanta XI

Pierluigi Gollini – 6

Despite the Spanish onslaught, the Italian goalkeeper surprisingly didn’t have to produce too many saves. Did well to deny Varane’s header in the first half, but wasn’t provided with a clear view to track Mendy’s shot.

Rafael Toloi – 7

An impressive performance from the Brazilian who even had the audacity to support his team’s attacks whilst playing with a man down. Committed few fouls on Vinicius but had the upper hand on his younger compatriot in general.

Christian Romero – 7.5

Another solid performance from the young Argentine. Dominated the Atalanta box in the absence of a true Real Madrid striker in the first half, and comfortably dealt with Mariano after his introduction in the second half.

Berat Djimsiti – 7

The big Albanian absolutely nullified Asensio’s threat throughout the match. He was let down by his touch on some occasions, but he did his main job with comfort and ease.

Joakim Mæhle – 6

The Danish wingback had some troubles in dealing with Mendy since the start of the match. Made some good interceptions in the second half, but couldn’t burst forward due to the numerical disadvantage.

Marten De Roon – 7

The former Middlesbrough man had some extra work to do after the dismissal of his midfield partner. Shielded the defense and protected the ball while causing some Madrid players to get booked.

Remo Freuler – 4

The usually reliable Swiss was the villain as he left the Italian side with a man down after 20 minutes for his challenge on Mendy. Although it wasn’t a particularly harsh foul, it prevented the Frenchman from facing the goalkeeper one-on-one.

Robin Gosens – 6.5

The German tried to support his team’s attacks at the beginning of the match, before being forced to retreat. Had a tough battle against Vazquez, and prevented the Spaniard from causing trouble with his overlaps.

Matteo Pessina – 6.5

The Italian started the match as an attacking midfielder before covering in a deeper position after Freuler’s red card. Fought hard against the Real Madrid midfielders and was able to temporary ease the pressure off Atalanta with some smart passing.

Luis Muriel – 5.5

The former Sevilla forward tried to threaten Courtois with some long shots but he was never truly close to scoring.

Duvan Zapata – 5.5

The big Colombian striker started the match full of energy and tracked back to help his teammates in defense, but had to leave the pitch early due to an injury.

Atalanta Substitutes

Mario Pasalic – 6

The Croatian was introduced to support the midfield, and spent his time on the pitch chasing after every ball.

Josip Ilicic – 5

A substitution which didn’t really work for Gian Piero Gasperini. The Slovenian wasn’t exactly willing to chase after the ball, and didn’t have a fellow striker on the pitch who would be willing to help him in creating chances. Taken off in the last 10 minutes.

José Luis Palomino – N/A

Ruslan Malinovskiy – N/A

Real Madrid XI

Thibaut Courtois – 6

The former Chelsea shot-stopper was mostly a spectator for the entire match. Never truly threatened by a dangerous Orobici shot on target.

Lucas Vázquez – 5.5

The winger-turned-fullback was expected to offer more support for his teammates going forward. Whilst he raised the number of his overlaps by the second half, his usual dangerous crosses were still missing.

Raphaël Varane – 6.5

An easy night at the office for the World Cup winner. He was able to deal with Muriel’s threat early on, and almost scored with a towering header.

Nacho Monreal – 7

The versatile defender chased Zapata all over the pitch in the first half, and came up with a good interception on Muriel. Tried to support his team’s attacks at times as well.

Ferland Mendy – 8

The Frenchman almost single-handedly won the match for his compatriot Zinedine Zidane. His vicious run towards the Atalanta box caused Freuler’s red card, and when his Madrid teammates failed to pounce on the numerical advantage, he pulled off the goal himself with a sublime strike with his weaker right foot.

Luka Modric – 6

The former Ballon d’Or winner wasn’t as influential as usual for the capital side, and was let down by his shooting. Nonetheless, the Croatian ended up providing the assist for the match’s lone goal.

Casemiro – 6

The Brazilian workhorse will miss the second leg after receiving a booking. Did well to ensure that his side retrieved the ball as quickly as possible, but wasted some opportunities in front of goal.

Toni Kroos – 6.5

The former Bayern Munich midfielder is the architect behind all Los Blancos‘ plays. Controlled the middle of the park as the Italian side retreated to their own areas, and kept the ball ticking for the Spanish champions.

Marco Asensio – 5

An ineffective performance from the Spanish winger who disappeared from the match at times. It was surprising to see him lasting for more than 70 minutes on the pitch.

Isco – 6.5

The surprise package of the evening. The former Malaga man played as a false number nine, but he ran all over the pitch. Played some good passes including a sublime pass that was wasted by Vinicius, but he couldn’t score himself when presented with the opportunity.

Vinicius Junior – 5

The Brazilian was the culprit in wasting numerous occasions for his side. He really should be doing better to prove that he deserves to be considered as the future of the prestigious club.

Real Madrid Subsitutes

Mariano Diaz – 5

The Real Madrid striker had some difficulties when coming up against the Atalanta defenders – Romero in particular.

Sergio Arribas – N/A

Hugo Duro – N/A

Ferland Mendy is the obvious for the man of the match of the first leg encounter between Atalanta and Real Madrid
Ferland Mendy is the obvious for the man of the match of the first leg encounter between Atalanta and Real Madrid

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