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Pogba still out with thigh injury
Pogba still out with thigh injury

Mendy fires late winner as Real struggle to beat 10-man Atalanta

Mendy fires late winner as Real struggle to beat 10-man Atalanta

Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 First Leg - Atalanta v Real Madrid - Stadio Atleti Azzurri, Bergamo, Italy - February 24, 2021 Real Madrid's Ferland Mendy celebrates scoring their first goal with Lucas Vazquez REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Mendy fires late winner as Real struggle to beat 10-man Atalanta

Ferland Mendy popped up with a late winner to earn lacklustre Real Madrid a 1-0 win over 10-man Atalanta in Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg.

Real’s task appeared to have been made much easier after Atalanta’s Remo Freuler was sent off in the 17th minute for denying Mendy a goal-scoring opportunity.

Against the 10 men, however, Zinedine Zidane’s side, who were missing several high-profile players through injury, struggled to break down the hosts, and Real had only one shot on target in the rest of the first half.

Atalanta continued to defend doggedly after the interval, but Mendy’s superb strike in the 86th minute gave the Spanish side a slender lead to take into the second leg.

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