Atalanta 0-1 Real Madrid: Mendy saves lucky Los Blancos in Italy

They struggled even against 10 men but an unlikely goal late on gave them an advantage

| sport

Francesc J. Gimeno

Somehow they always seem to do it. Ferland Mendy, four minutes from time, gave Real Madrid a slim advantage against Atalanta in the Champions League.

They had dominated the last 16 first leg, thanks to an unfair red card for Remo Freuler after 17 minutes, overzealously issued by the referee. Somehow they always seem to do it.

Casemiro was booked too and will miss the second leg, which will give Atalanta hope because he’s one of the few truly great players in the Madrid team.

He might have seen red for a dive late on but was pardoned and merely issued a ticking off.

That was when Madrid were trying to break the deadlock, with Atalanta defending well.

Vinicius Junior, Toni Kroos and Isco all fired off target, while Thibaut Courtois had the square root of nada to do in goal for Madrid.

The game was heading for a stalemate, with Madrid unable to capitalise on their man advantage for 70 minutes, until Mendy produced an unlikely goal, from distance, on his right foot. 

A fine strike, but a lucky one for Madrid, who live to fight another day despite their depleted squad.

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