Real Madrid vs. Atalanta: 5 takeaways from a thoroughly impressive 3-1 win

Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

Vinicius Junior magnificent

While some fans will probably poke holes at Vinicius Junior’s finishing in the final third, the reality is that Vini was one of Real’s two most impressive players in the second leg alongside legendary midfielder Luka Modric. So yeah, that’s great company to be in.

The 20-year-old Brazilian completed four dribbles and never stopped looking to make something happen. What amazes me the most about Vinicius is that despite his age, he always takes on the responsibility in the biggest matches. This performance vs. Atalanta was no different.

Although Vini could not convert his own solo run, which would have been one of the goals of the tournament, he made up for the miss by winning a penalty shortly after. Ramos sunk the penalty, giving Real control of the match.

On this Champions League night, Vinicius, as he did in 2018-2019, showed the world why he has the potential to be a true superstar for Real Madrid. Give him a round of applause.

Marco Asensio is the super-sub

Vinicius wasn’t the only impressive wide forward on Tuesday night at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, though. Marco Asensio was on the bench for this game, which was the right decision, considering Vini has outplayed him. But even though Vini was the star of the attack, Asensio made his presence felt by scoring with his first touch (sound familiar?) from the bench.

His goal was an immediate response to Muriel’s free kick, ensuring Real Madrid would close the game with a two-goal cushion and no doubts that they were the better side by a wide margin.

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More importantly, Asensio’s goal was an individual statement from a player who had scored just twice this season prior to that left-footed effort at the near post. Vinicius should still be preferred, but Asensio’s goal is a reminder that he is not “useless” and does indeed have a role to play.