Atalanta look to claim Real scalp

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2020-21 UEFA Champions League

Last 16, first leg

Atalanta v Real Madrid

Wednesday 24 February 2021, 22:00 CAT
Gewiss Stadium, Bergamo

Atalanta will look to claim the scalp of mighty Real Madrid when the teams meet in a UEFA Champions League Last 16, first-leg match at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo on the evening of Wednesday 24 February 2021, kick-off at 22:00 CAT.

Atalanta earned their place in the knockout phase by finishing second in Group D behind Liverpool, just two points off the pace of the English champions with their only defeat coming in a 5-0 reverse at home to Jurgen Klopp’s team.

La Dea have been in fine form domestically in recent weeks, notably earning a spot in the Coppa Italia final last week, prompting manager Gian Piero Gasperini to joke about their prospects of a treble of trophies.

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane
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“It’s also not an excuse to suggest we’re already thinking of Real Madrid, because although we rotated the squad, we haven’t underestimated any of our games,” said Gasperini.

“There seem to be excessive expectations around Atalanta, as if they want us to win the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and Champions League. I mean, if you ask us to win the Treble, we’ll give it a go! But really we’re satisfied with what we are doing.”

Real, meanwhile, topped Group B ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach, Shakhtar Donetsk and Internazionale, but they were hardly convincing in doing so – with that kind of inconsistent form echoed in their domestic competitions.

Atalanta forward Duvan Zapata
Image copyright: Getty Images

Los Blancos have also been hit by a lengthening injury list which carries mixed news: captain and key defender Sergio Ramos is definitely out for this first leg, but attacker Eden hazard could return from the sidelines.

"I don't understand it, we've had so many [injuries] and I'm worried," said manager Zinedine Zidane, who may need a strong showing in the Champions League if he is to remain Real manager beyond the end of the season.

In head-to-head terms, this will be the first UEFA club competition meeting of Atalanta and Real Madrid.


Atalanta v Real Madrid – Head-to-head

N/A – This will be the first UEFA meeting of Atalanta and Real Madrid

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Published: 02/22/2021