ATALANTA BOW OUT WITH THEIR HEADS HELD HIGH
Atalanta were beaten 4-1 on aggregate, but it’s a rout that doesn’t tell the whole story. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men played a large part of the first leg with just 10-men but were only breached by a moment of brilliance from Ferland Mendy. In the first leg too, an individual error and penalty concession put them totally out of sight by full-time.
La Dea were one of the quarterfinalists last season and a revelation in the competition, and their run this time around, which comprised of a win at Anfield, must not be understated. They are not yet assured Champions League qualification for next season, but surely deserve it thanks to an attractive brand of football which makes seeing them play a treat to watch.
VINICIUS PERFORMED SUPERBLY BUT LACKED THE FINISHING
On a day when Real Madrid’s attack scored thrice for the first time in several matches, Vinicius Junior was one of their brighter sparks. The Brazilian was terrific on the ball and caused Atalanta’s backline all kinds of problems with his lethal dribbling and speed, however, his age-old problem of poor finishing let him down once again.
On a particular instance in the second half, he made a terrific run from his own half to within ten yards of goal, only to scuff his shot. Nevertheless, his performance yielded good feedback from Zinedine Zidane. Not to forget, it was Vinicius who earned the penalty that Ramos dispatched as Real Madrid sealed the deal and are through to the last-8.