Sergio Ramos takes the penalty that marked Madrid 2-0.Bernat Armangue / A
P With the invaluable collaboration of young Vinicius, a group of thirty-somethings pushed Real Madrid to the quarterfinals of the Champions League , a round that had not smelled for three seasons. Modric, Sergio Ramos, Kroos and Benzema helped tame Atalanta's initial momentum and punished their stupid mistakes. So, with the clash over, it was time for the first two to vindicate their age, ambition and weight in the team at a time when they are in negotiations to renew and with one foot in the air, especially the captain .
"When You have been taking care of yourself for so long, sowing, you end up harvesting. No one can be judged by a DNI. People must value performance, "warned the 34-year-old central defender , who again pointed out that there was no news about his future. The Croatian, whom the Sevillian embraced effusively at the end of the game in the changing room tunnel, seconded the message from the pack boss: “You don't have to look at the years. The important thing is what the player does on the field, not the passport. I feel good. I still want to compete at the highest level and I work every day to achieve it. Today we show that there is still a lot of hunger and that the team wants to keep winning ”. The double argument received the support of Zidane. “Luka [Modric] is 35 years old, but it doesn't show on the pitch. And Sergio is our leader. You better be with us. They are hungry and want to continue making history, ”the white coach signed.
Real MadridCourtois, Nacho, Sergio Ramos (Eder Militao, min. 63), Varane, Lucas Vázquez, Kroos, Ferland Mendy, Federico Valverde (Marco Asensio, min 81), Modric, Vinicius Junior (Rodrygo, min. 68) and BenzemaAtalantaSportiello, Djimsiti, Cristian Romero, Rafael Tolói (Palomino, min. 60), Joakim Maehle, Marten de Roon, Robin Gosens (Josip Ilicic, min. 56) , Matteo Pessina (Mattia Caldara, min. 83), Pasalic (Duván Zapata, min. 45), Luis Muriel (Aleksey Miranchuk, min. 83) and Malinovsky Goals1-0 min. 33: Benzema. 2-0 min. 59: Sergio Ramos. 2-1 min. 82: Luis Muriel. 3-1 min. 83: Marco Asensio. Referee Danny Makkelie Yellow cards Federico Valverde (min. 38), Rafael Tolói (min. 57), Nacho (min. 72) and Kroos (min. 76)
Along with the rides of Vinicius, the Kroos chair and the clinical sense of Benzema ( 33 years), the two of them were decisive in dispatching the Bergamascos. Modric and the French striker cooked the 1-0 with the collaboration of Sportiello. The Balkan took advantage of the gift of the rival goalkeeper and gave it to the nine white, who scored his 70th goal in the Champions League. He is one of Raúl González and is the fifth footballer to reach this record in the competition. The list is headed by Cristiano (135), Messi (120) and Lewandowski (72). The verduguillo to the Italians was given by Ramos, who scored his twentieth consecutive penalty with Madrid, this time adjusting to the goalkeeper's right post. "Today Panenka was not the most suitable option," he said with a smile. The defender, absent in the return matches of the last two European eliminations (Ajax and City), ended the game by hugging all his teammates one by one.
For the second game in a row, Ramos found himself wrapped in a defense of three centrals, a tactical solution increasingly used by ZZ. Without Casemiro, sanctioned, that was the option chosen by the French to shelter Courtois. "We have players and, from time to time, we can do it," said the French coach laconically, little given to going into depth about the drawings and decisions.
Hazard, at home
"Sometimes we lack a player higher up, but we can afford it to have more control ”, Ramos analyzed about this scheme. “The first minutes we were in doubt because we did not know how they were going to press. Ultimately, you depend on the other team's approach. But we resolved quickly. They did not have clear chances, "added the Sevillian.
Zidane, always attentive to assessing the defensive cut, stressed that his team hardly suffered behind against an opponent who usually runs wild in attack. "Today we did not see that," said the Frenchman. “From start to finish, we did not lower our guard. When we are like this, we are hard to beat. Atalanta is a team that demands a lot physically. We interpreted the game well in defense and in attack we had good feelings. When you have opportunities and you put in, perfect ”, the white coach congratulated himself after several weeks living to the limit and saving the games on the hood.
Madrid pulls tradition European liberation for Vinicius
Offensive production is often an ordeal for Madrid, especially in recent days. "The teams come here to close behind," Benzema protested last Saturday after suffering the defensive rigors of Elche. Quite the opposite of the European duel on Tuesday. Atalanta's eagerness and offensive vocation disturbed Real Madrid for the first 25 minutes, highly demanded by the high pace of the old Colonel Gasperini's soldiers, but the Italian plan had a crack that the whites were delighted to appreciate. Frequently penalized in the league against very close behinds, Bergamo's momentum left them gaps through which to reach the rival goal. Out in the open, Zidane's boys felt liberated to run and look closer to the goal, often an elusive element for them. Few thanked him more than Vinicius , who was in his power to deploy in slalom like a skier. Another thing was his wisdom in the opposite context.
A day of relief and escalation that Hazard, once again injured and with the doubt of which treatment is the best at this point of medical torture, followed from home with the authorization of Zidane to do not go to Valdebebas.
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