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Atalanta - Real Madrid

Nacho: “We're putting in good performances and we have to recognise that"

NEWS | 24/02/2021 | Bárbara Jiménez

“We had all of the ball and we got a goal and the win, which is valuable away from home", added Courtois.
Real Madrid got the better of Atalanta on the road in the first leg of the Round of 16 Champions League tie. Nacho, who played the full 90 minutes, summed up the game: “We didn't find it easy, Atalanta were a man down and they sat right back, but we got the goal thanks to a superb hit by Mendy. We have to congratulate him, we're thrilled with the goal but we've still got to play the second leg”.
 
“Our aim is to keep clean sheets, we're doing a very good job defensively and we showed that again tonight. Against such a good side who are fantastic going forward, that's no mean feat. There were more spaces today because the opposition were reduced to ten men but I like to get forward because it's a way of breaking the lines and I feel comfortable doing it. It's a shame that the move where it all went perfectly broke down with the final ball but I'm happy with the performance and having picked up a vital win".
 
Goal
“We only got the one goal today but in recent games, the crucial thing is we haven't been conceding. We have to appreciate what this team is doing. We're back on track in LaLiga and we're producing some very good performances".

Valorar al equipo
"We head away with a slightly bittter-sweet feeling because we'd like to have scored more goals but we have to acknowledge what we're doing. Hopefully, we'll get the injured guys back strong heading into the closing stages of the competitions".
 
Courtois “A goal and the win here are very valuable"
“I didn't expect such a relaxed night between the sticks but we defended well. The red card helped us in the sense they couldn't attack as much but it was a tough game. They defended with 10 men behind the ball, looked for the counter, and we struggled to find space. In the end, it's a great strike by Mendy and a win to take back to Madrid".

Lucas: "The tie isn't over but it gives us a slight advantage going into the second leg".

“Atalanta always score a lot of goals and we expected a difficult match, but with the red card it's normal for them to defend deep. We had to stay focused, we had a lot of possession and we weren't always able to create much, but we managed to get the goal and the win, which is worth a lot here. We can't think the job is done. The second leg will be tough too and we'll have to stay focused”.

Injuries
“We’ve been hit by injuries and we’re all fighting so that everyone can return and help us battle for the Champions League and the league. We’re giving it everything. It’s not easy, but keeping clean sheets in the last four games is a great achievement. We have to keep it up”.

Lucas: “The win gives us the advantage in the second leg”
“Whatever result we picked up it was always going to be really tough to put the tie beyond them. We expected a difficult game against a good team who are in form, but in the end it was a fair result and a deserved victory”.

Freuler’s sending-off
"Following the sending off the game was tough, they sat back and we found it difficult to get any space but in the end, Mendy’s goal clinched the win for us. It was a beautiful hit and we’re thrilled for him. With our experience in the Champions League, we know these knock-out ties are decided by fine margins. It was a quick move, I don’t know if it’s a red card or not. The tie isn’t over but it gives us a slight advantage going into the second leg”.

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