Madrid, March 17: Real Madrid booked their place in the Champions League quarterfinals after a 3-1 win over Atalanta on Tuesday thanks to goals from Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Marco Asensio.
With a 1-0 lead from the first leg, Benzema eased any nerves for Madrid when he swept home in the first half following a mistake by Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello.
Madrid were awarded a penalty after the break when Vinicius Junior was clumsily fouled by Rafael Toloi and Ramos emphatically buried the resulting spot-kick.
Atalanta pulled a late goal back with a free-kick from Luis Muriel, but Asensio ensured there was no drama with goal on the counterattack.
4 - Since his first season in 2018/19, Vinícius Júnior has won four penaltis in all competitions, more than any other Real Madrid player since then. Unstoppable. pic.twitter.com/Kl1jrGSivv— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 16, 2021
Madrid made a tentative start and Atalanta went close early on when Muriel cut the ball back for Robin Gosens, who could only manage a tame shot straight at Thibaut Courtois. Los Blancos eventually found their rhythm midway through the half when the lively Vinicius combined with Benzema inside the box, but the Brazilian saw his goal-bound effort blocked. Zinedine Zidane's side took the lead after a weak clearance by Sportiello went straight to Luka Modric and he fed Benzema, who finished clinically. Vinicius almost added a second in spectacular fashion, shooting wide with just Sportiello to beat after a dazzling run. Ramos left Atalanta with a mountain to climb when he converted from the spot, Sportiello unable to keep it out despite getting a hand to the ball. Benzema headed against the post and Courtois twice saved from Duvan Zapata before Atalanta pulled one back – Muriel curling a superb free-kick into the top-right corner with seven minutes left. Madrid finished the game with a flourish and a minute later Asensio punished the Serie A outfit on the counterattack, beating Sportiello at his near post.