Real Madrid make light work of Atalanta to reach quarter-finals

13-times champions into last eight for the first time since 2018

 Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos celebrates with team-mate Lucas Vazquez after scoring their second goal  during the  Champions League round of 16 second leg  match against Atalanta at the  Alfredo Di Stefano stadium in Madrid. Photograph: JuanJo Martin/EPA

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos celebrates with team-mate Lucas Vazquez after scoring their second goal during the Champions League round of 16 second leg match against Atalanta at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium in Madrid. Photograph: JuanJo Martin/EPA

 

Real Madrid 3 Atalanta 1 (Real Madrid win 4-1 on agg)

Real Madrid easily overcame Atalanta 3-1 at home in their Champions League last-16 second leg on Wednesday to stroll into the quarter-finals 4-1 on aggregate.

Karim Benzema scored a sixth goal in five games to put the 13-times European champions in charge after 34 minutes while captain Sergio Ramos converted a penalty on the hour mark.

The Italian side managed to get one goal back thanks to a free kick from Luis Muriel in the 83rd but any hope they had of making a comeback was quickly dashed a minute later by a low strike from Real substitute Marco Asensio.

Real, who were knocked out in the last 16 by Manchester City last term and Ajax the season before, reached the last eight for the first time since 2018.

They will be the only Spanish side left in Europe’s elite club competition unless city rivals Atletico Madrid overturn a 1-0 deficit at Chelsea on Wednesday.

Atalanta had pulled off away wins over European giants Liverpool and Ajax in the group stage and nearly got off to an ideal start when Robin Gosens met a Muriel cross in the third minute but was thwarted by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The Serie A side continued to harass Real with their high pressing but the hosts slowly managed to pass their way out of trouble thanks to the experienced heads of midfield duo Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

Real found the breakthrough on the night thanks to some high pressing of their own which saw Modric stick out a leg to block a kick out from Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello and then square the ball to Benzema, who calmly stroked it into the net.

The home side’s Brazilian forward Vinicius Jr should have doubled their lead after a superb move involving left back Ferland Mendy but after doing the hard part to coast past Atalanta’s defence he missed the target from close range.

He made amends by bursting into the area and drawing a foul in the box by Rafael Toloi, allowing Ramos to blast just beyond the outstretched Sportiello and effectively end the tie as a contest, scoring his 101st goal for the club in the process.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.