Atalanta - Real Madrid (2020-02-24)

Lineup thoughts

  • Isco up front with Vini and Asensio; Zidane and the rest of us hoping for three-peat Isco to show up
  • Zapata and Muriel starting up front; I've normally seen one starting and not the other but maybe this isn't as surprising as I think it is

First half thoughts

  • 12' - a lot of U-shaped passing for Real Madrid and some cross-field passes sprinkled in; there's not really an aerial threat up front so this is how Madrid will build up their attack
  • 13' - great lob pass from Isco to Vini but the Atalanta keeper gets there Neuer-style; keeper probably lucky not to get a card there since he left his leg on Vini after clearing the ball
  • 16' - already two great defensive stops by Nacho/Mendy to dispossess Zapata
  • 17' - great 1-2 from Mendy and Vini; Vini releases Mendy into the open space and he gets fouled by an Atalanta defender who gets a red card; I'd like to see another angle on the card-worthy foul but a red card seems a bit harsh
  • 23' - some great dribbling from Vini on the left flank which started with Kroos opting to pass to the left instead of slinging another pass to the right
  • 24' - Nacho surprisingly beats Atalanta's backline into the box but overhits a cross; we're going to need more of this 
  • 25' - where was Mendy on that Atalanta break?
  • Not much from Asensio up to this point but Madrid haven't been attacking from his side a lot
  • Attacking plan so far has been to switch the play from one side of the field to the other, dribbling up to the 18-yard box and attempting a through ball to a player; no luck so far
  • 37' - first great chance! Isco outside of the boot pass to Modric who dummies an Atalanta player and plays a pass to Isco in the box; Isco has his back to the goal but is able to get a shot off which leads to a corner
  • 38' - another great chance; Madrid wins the ball in Atalanta's half; Isco releases Vini in the open space and his shot gets deflected; great from Vini
  • TUDN commentator mentioned that Benzema probably makes it 1-0 there but no complaints from me; old Vini probably doesn't do much there
  • Mendy playing so high up near the middle of Atalanta's 18-yard box

Second half thoughts

  • Madrid need an away goal; Casemiro will be out for the second leg and Madrid need to take advantage of currently being a man up
  • 56' - failed counterattack from Madrid after winning the ball in midfield
  • TUDN commentator mentioned an interesting stat (Madrid-Atalanta still 0-0): 6 away sides so far had won the first leg for this year's round of 16, with Porto being the only home team to win the first leg against Juventus

Real Madrid win 1-0 after Mendy scores with a shot from outside the box late in the game. Atalanta never really threatened and Madrid playing again with a makeshift lineup. Madrid should have some key players back for the return leg.