Mendy’s Late Goal Sees Real Madrid Beat 10-Man Atalanta As Man City Edge Moenchengladbach
Real Madrid struggled to break down 10-man Atalanta before Ferland Mendy scored an 86th-minute winner for a 1-0 win in the first leg of the round of 16.
Madrid entered the game as the big favourites despite a host of injuries, and Atalanta’s chances diminished further when midfielder Remo Freuler was sent off in the 17th minute after being adjudged to have denied a goalscoring opportunity.
But Madrid, who were missing Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard and captain Sergio Ramos, still found it difficult to test Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini until the end of the first half, when he pulled off a great reaction save to keep out Casemiro’s header from a Toni Kroos’ free-kick.
Just as it looked as if Atalanta would hold on for a draw, Mendy received the ball outside the area after a corner and curled a shot into the right side of the net from 20 yards.
Meanwhile, Manchester City moved to the verge of the Champions League quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday but coach Pep Guardiola insisted his team still need to “be more clinical upfront”.
A first-half header from Bernardo Silva and a Gabriel Jesus strike in the second period of the last 16 first leg tie extended a winning streak by Guardiola’s high-flying side to 19 games in all competitions.