Champions League, Real Madrid breeze past Atalanta: Records broken
13-time UEFA Champions League holders Real Madrid breezed past Italian side Atalanta to progress through to the quarter-finals. After claiming a 1-0 lead in the first leg away from home, Real beat Atalanta 3-1 at home to book their place in the last eight. Real's clinical second-leg show helped them to reach the quarters for the first time in three seasons. Here's more.
Real mid-fielder Luka Modric pounced on Atalanta goal-keeper Marco Sportiello's poor clearance to square for Karim Benzema who scored the opener. Sergio Ramos added Real's second from the penalty spot after Vinicius Junior was cynically tripped just inside the area. Atalanta pulled one back through Luis Muriel's marvellous 25-yard free-kick, however, Marco Asensio's near-post finish handed Real a comfortable victory.
Real Madrid have progressed to their 36th quarter-final in the European Cup/Champions League - at least six more times than any other side in Europe (Bayern Munich - 30). Zinedine Zidane has now won 30 matches in the Champions League in 49 matches in charge. Only, Josef Heynckes (42) and Pep Guardiola (48) won their 30th game in a fewer number of matches.
Real Madrid forward Benzema joined an elite list of players to have scored 70 or more goals in the Champions League. Notably, Benzema (126 games) is the fourth-fastest to 70 UCL goals after Lionel Messi (90), Robert Lewandowski (93), and Cristiano Ronaldo (106). He is also the fourth-oldest to notch 70 UCL goals (33 years, 87 days). Benzema has 58 UCL goals for Real.
Benzema (2005-2021) has matches Messi (2005-2021) and Raul's (1995-2011) record of scoring in the UEFA Champions League for 17 calendar years running. The veteran forward scored his 21st goal of the season in all competitions. He now has 270 goals for Real in 544 games.
As per Opta, Only Roberto Carlos (16) has scored more UEFA Champions League goals than Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos (15) among all defenders in the competition's history.