Champions League refs are the most incompetent bunch in world football. How does a foul outside the box with 2 more players covering for the fouling player in the box , be construed as a professional foul?Swiss International midfielder Remo Freuler was sent off in the 17th minute for the above foul. For the VAR ref not to pick up a possibility of a clear and obvious error is equally shocking. The least he could have done is advise the on field ref to have a second look. It is safe to say there was always one winner from there on. Los Blancos were utterly dominant in that encounter. This was sad to see for me . A match with both sides at full complement would have been something to savor. It is safe to say this is not the Real Madrid that struck fear in Europe during that run of consecutive wins from 2016 to 2018. They struggled to score against the ten men until the 86th minute. The scorer was the player who was fouled for the red card, Ferland Mendy. After Christiano left Los Blancos , Real have been searching for a new talisman. Hazard has been a flop. But one person has stepped up for me. Brazilian Casemiro’s role in the midfield three of Kroos and Modric is unfashionable but has been important in recent games.
Real Madrid attacked the Atalanta at will after the second half. Modric coming close, his deflected shot with outside of his right foot just missing the post. I have observed attack-minded teams tend to struggle playing with ten men. Atalanta proved this hypothesis. Zero shots on target from two attempts all game. Los Blancos were also not exactly proficient in from of goal, 4 on target from 19 attempts. The shocking part of Mendy’s goal was it came from his right foot curler and from outside the box. It started from outside the post and bent inwards ALA a former Real Madrid full back Roberto Carlos. He generated so much power by leaning back as he struck it beating despairing dive of Atalanta keeper Gollini. All hope is not lost for the Italian side though. Real has not been very good at getting results at the Stadio Alfredo Di Stafano with Shaktar beating them in their very first Champions League game of the season.