13-time UEFA Champions League winners, Real Madrid faced Italian side, Atalanta in the Round of 16 first leg away from home in Italy. The Spanish side won the game 1-0 thanks to a late goal.
Real Madrid were missing up to 10 first team regulars including both captain’s Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema, but took the initiative early in the game and were almost rewarded in the 16th minute when left back, Ferland Mendy was through on goal, only to get fouled by Atalanta’s Swiss midfielder, Remo Freuler. The foul earned Freuler a red card and Atalanta were a man down from the 17th minute. In spite of the sending off, Real Madrid found it difficult to break down the backline of the Italian side and resorted to taking snapshots which were blocked easily. It took a moment of brilliance in the 86th minute to seal the game as French left back Mendy cut onto his less favoured right foot and arrowed a shot into the corner of the net to give Real Madrid the away goal and win.
The Spanish champions will welcome the Italian side to their home ground in three weeks’ time for the return leg hoping to have their key players back as they chase a record-extending 14th Champions League title.