Zidane praises complete performance as Real Madrid march on

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  • Post published:March 17, 2021

Zinedine Zidane feels Real Madrid produced a complete performance against Atalanta to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in three seasons.

Los Blancos were already 1-0 up in the tie from the first leg in Italy and made Atalanta pay for missing early opportunities as they completed a 4-1 aggregate win.

Karim Benzema fired Real Madrid in front on the night in the 34th minute after Luka Modric had capitalised on a poor clearance from Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello.

Captain Sergio Ramos all but settled matters when he converted a penalty on the hour mark.

Although Luis Muriel clipped in a fine free kick to pull one back for the Serie A side, substitute Marco Asensio wrapped things up late on with a third goal.

‘I’ve congradulated the boys because they played a great game from start to finish against a side who ask a lot of you physically,’ Zidane said.

‘We needed to defend well and we were able to play our own game with the ball.

‘We can say that it was a complete match for us.’

Zidane, quoted on UEFA.com, added: ‘The [Duvan] Zapata chance aside they didn’t really have sniff.

‘Normally they create a lot of chances, but tonight they didn’t. We played well and looked good going forward.’

The Italian side were always up against it having failed to make the most of home advantage in the first leg.

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was left to reflect on missed opportunities to test the LaLiga side more having battled through the group stages as runners-up to Liverpool.

‘We can’t afford to make mistakes and gift goals, we wanted to do better. It’s a pity,’ Gasperini said to Sky Sport Italia.

‘This is always a fantastic experience for everyone, the coach, the players, the club.

‘We had the chance to play against some of Europe’s best.

‘We did well this season, and are disappointed for these last two games.’