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Saturday, 08 May 2021

Mendy fires late winner as Real struggle to beat 10-man Atalanta

Reuters , Thursday 25 Feb 2021
Ferland Mendy
Real Madrid's French defender Ferland Mendy (C) celebrates after opening the scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match Atalanta vs Real Madrid (AFP)
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Ferland Mendy popped up with a late winner to earn lacklustre Real Madrid a 1-0 win over 10-man Atalanta in Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first leg.

Real's task appeared to have been made much easier after Atalanta's Remo Freuler was sent off in the 17th minute for denying Mendy a goal-scoring opportunity.

Against the 10 men, however, Zinedine Zidane's side, who were missing several high-profile players through injury, struggled to break down the hosts, and Real had only one shot on target in the rest of the first half.

Atalanta continued to defend doggedly after the interval, but Mendy's superb strike in the 86th minute gave the Spanish side a slender lead to take into the second leg.

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