Zizou relieved by European win

25 February 2021 18:17:55 GMTPlus10

Zinedine Zidane says he is aware Real Madrid didn't play well on Wednesday night but is just happy to have picked up the 1-0 win against Atalanta in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Los Blancos went into the clash missing several first-team players, including Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Eden Hazard, but they were given a helping hand 17 minutes into the contest in Bergamo.

We still have to play the second leg, but it's a good result.

Zinedine Zidane

Midfielder Remo Freuler was sent off for the Italian outfit for a professional foul on Ferland Mendy at the Gewiss Stadium and Madrid were expected to take control of the tie from that moment on.

However, the reigning La Liga champions struggled to create any clear chances and it looked like they would have to settle for a draw, having mustered just three shots on target with five minutes of normal time remaining.

But Atalanta's rearguard was breached in the 86th minute when Mendy grabbed his first European goal with a sweetly struck effort, handing Madrid a slender advantage ahead of the return leg.

Speaking about the performance, Zidane knows his side were not at their best but he is just glad to have racked up a fifth consecutive victory across all competitions.

"We didn't play a great game tonight, but I think the most important thing is the result," he said after the match.

"In the end, scoring is what is important to us. We still have to play the second leg, but it's a good result.

"We played against a very physically strong team. Defensively they were good and it's a good result. There are many casualties, but we continue with what we are doing well. The players who are here are committed.

"The return leg takes place on 16th March and Madrid are 2.25 to win in 90 minutes, while a draw is priced at 3.60.

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