Nacho: “If we can keep a clean sheet the goals usually arrive”

Real Madrid secured an invaluable 1-0 away victory at Atalanta in the Champions League last 16 first leg this evening. Ferland Mendy scored the only goal of the game late on, after Los Blancos had struggled to break down their ten-man hosts.

Madrid won their group in the previous phase of the competition, finishing two points clear of both Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk and four points clear of Inter. Madrid’s form has improved after a shaky start to the season. They’ve won four straight in La Liga and now sit on the shoulder of league leaders Atletico Madrid, just three points behind.

 

The game opened furiously in terms of incident. Remo Freuler was sent off for Atalanta early doors in a controversial decision, before Casemiro picked up a booking that will ensure he misses the second leg. Madrid were unable to capitalise on their man advantage for most of the game, however, until Mendy scored his golazo inside the final five.

Atalanta v Real Madrid

“We only managed to score one goal, it’s true,” Nacho said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “But we have to attribute a lot of value to what the team have done.

“We’ve re-engaged in La Liga, we’ve won here. We’re making an effort. The objective of these games is to leave with a clean sheet, and we did a very good defensive job. It’s true that the rival was one less [down to ten men] but it wasn’t easy. If we can keep a clean sheet the goals usually arrive.”

Tags Champions League La Liga Nacho Real Madrid