Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema stepped up for Real Madrid as they eased past Atalanta 3-1 to book a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Coming into the game with a slender 1-0 first leg advantage, Real Madrid were up and running on the night a little past the half-hour mark when Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello’s botched clearance fell to Luka Modric, who in turn teed up Karim Benzema and the Frenchman made no mistake to put his team in front.

After both Vinicius Junior and Ferland Mendy came close to doubling their lead early in the second half, Real Madrid were awarded a penalty, with Rafael Toloi bringing down the former in the box. And captain Sergio Ramos stepped up and dispatched it calmly to all but confirm his side’s place in the next round.

Atalanta had a few openings from that point on, with Thibaut Courtois needing to make a save to deny Duvan Zapata twice while at the other end Karim Benzema missed a glorious chance. The visitors were able to pull a goal back through Luis Muriel’s fine free-kick in the 83rd minute, but Marco Asensio made it 3-1 to ensure there were no late shenanigans and sent Real Madrid through.

It was a solid performance from Zinedine Zidane’s men after having looked dodgy at times in the past few matches. And here’s how we rated the performances of the Real Madrid stars as they made it through to the quarter-finals with a 4-1 aggregate scoreline.

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Thibaut Courtois: 7.5/10

Had a save to make just two minutes in from Robin Gosens, but it was a straightforward one. Not tested much after that up until late in the second half when substitute Duvan Zapata called him into action twice and Courtois was up to it on both occasions, pulling off important saves to keep Real Madrid in front.

Raphael Varane: 7/10

Early jitters for the Frenchman as he gave the ball away leading to a chance for Atalanta, who failed to convert. Grew steadier as the game went on, reading danger well and stepping out to snuff it out as he made four interceptions and eight clearances. Passing needed to be a bit sharper, though.

Sergio Ramos: 8/10

Makes such a difference on the field for Real Madrid. Ramos started off strongly, making a good intervention to deny Mario Pasalic a goalscoring opportunity and kept things tight at the back. Made his most important contribution at the other end of the pitch, slotting home the penalty kick to put the tie beyond Atalanta’s grasp. Taken off soon after as a precaution.

Nacho: 7/10

Continued his solid run of form on Tuesday night, as he ensured little got past him, making four tackles and three interceptions, along with a solitary clearance. There were times when he carried the ball up the pitch which seemed to unsettle Atalanta. Booked late on.

Lucas Vazquez: 7/10

Had some problems early on in the game with Atalanta targeting his flank but was much more comfortable once Real Madrid established control over the proceedings. Got forward well and created a couple of chances, one of which Benzema struck the crossbar from, while the other one was bundled home by Asensio.

Federico Valverde: 6/10

Played on the right side of the three-man midfield and had his fair share of troubles early on against the likes of Mario Pasalic. But his energy and running did help Real Madrid break the Atalanta press on occasions. Still not back to his peak condition after the injury layoff.

Luka Modric: 8/10

Another game and another display full of energy that makes one wonder if he is really 35 years old. Modric was a bundle of intensity in the middle for Real Madrid as he went about harrying Atalanta while driving the team forward with quick, sharp passes. Made the interception and then fed the ball to Benzema for the opening goal. Finished with three tackles and a game-high five interceptions while also completing the most number of passes on the night (89).

Toni Kroos: 7.5/10

The German international, along with Modric were crucial to Real Madrid establishing control of the game after Atalanta had them on the backfoot in the early exchanges. Demonstrated good defensive awareness along with sharp link-up play and precise passing on the ball, helping launch attacks. Misplaced just six of his 91 attempted passes and made four interceptions.

Ferland Mendy: 7/10

Seems to be relishing playing in the wing-back role as the attacking facets of his game were on full flow. Got forward with urgency and executed some brilliant link-up play with the likes of Benzema and Vinicius, setting up the latter for a great chance after the half-time break. Not troubled a great deal defensively, with Atalanta focusing their attacks through the opposite flank. Made two key passes.

Vinicius Junior: 7.5/10

A very impressive performance from the Brazilian as he got the better of the Atalanta defence on multiple occasions with some piercing runs through their players. However, once more, the end product was not always there as he fired wide on one occasion and took an extra touch on the other, allowing a defender time to make the block. Finished with four dribbles and a key pass but needs that bit of polishing on his final pass and shot.

Karim Benzema: 8/10

Looked in his elements from the start as he had an effort blocked before he set up Vinicius for a chance with a beautiful piece of interplay. Found his goal eventually, slotting the ball home precisely after being set up by Modric. Should have had another after the break but Benzema headed straight at the goalkeeper and then hit the woodwork. Stepped up once again when his team needed to.


Eder Militao: 6/10

Made a rare appearance, replacing Ramos shortly after Real Madrid’s second goal. Solid.

Rodrygo Goes: 6/10

On for Vinicius in the 69th minute. Looked bright and made a good run.

Marco Asensio: N/A

Replaced Valverde with less than ten minutes left. Scored the third goal to put the game beyond Atalanta’s reach. The strike will have done his confidence a world of good after recent listless performances.

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