Real Madrid managed to secure all the 3 points from their third UCL Group stage match against Italy’s Inter Milan. Real Madrid were already under pressure as they could only grab a point from their last two UCL games, it was a must win match for Real Madrid in order to revive their chances to progress to the Round of 16 stage of the competition.
This 3-2 result against Inter Milan left the 13 times UCL champions level on 4 points with Shakhtar Donetsk, one point behind the group leaders Borussia Monchengladbach and two points ahead of bottom placed Inter Milan.
Los Blancos managed to cruise forward in the 25th minute as Karim Benzema slotted the ball into the net after he intercepted an awful back pass from former Real Madrid winger Achraf Hakimi.
The hosts doubled their lead when Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos scored a header to put his team up 2-0. With the goal, Sergio Ramos reached a phenomenal milestone as he scored his 100th goal for the club in all competitions. Lautaro Martinez managed to find the net and pulled one back for Inter as he converted from a brilliant back-hell assist from Barella just 2 minutes after Ramos scored.
Ivan Perisic was able score the equalizer for Inter and Real Madrid were becoming disconcerted at the back as the visitors spurned chances after the equalizer but didn’t managed to score. Zidane’s two Brazilian substitutes, Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo, were the game changers for Real Madrid as they tormented the Inter defense with their pacey vertical runs and incisiveness in the final third.
The 19-year old Rodrygo hammered a strike home and gave the lead to Los Blancos in the 80th minute. Much of the goal was built up by Vinicius Jr. as he surged down the left flank, caught Inter cold on the counter, and added an assist to his name.
This was a good showing from an energetic Real Madrid side, and Madridistas can breathe calmly, for now. Real Madrid kept Inter in check for most of the game, and Inter managed only 3 shots on target out of which 2 found the back of the net. But Real knew it was coming as Inter is a top Italian side and they don’t let their opponents off the hook easily. It is a good sign for Real Madrid fans as Benzema is finding the back of the net regularly which is boosting their confidence and improving their attacking form. Asensio, however has not impressed much, especially due to the absence of Carvajal, their regular RB, who is out injured. Makeshift RB Lucas Vasquez plays his part every game as he makes accurate crosses and paces down opponents but is often times getting caught out of his defensive position as he ventures forward to help in attack. Rodrygo, with his goal, again showed why he’s the ultimate competitor for the RW spot.
Real Madrid Player Ratings:
Thibaut Courtois (6.5/10):
The Belgian stopper had an average day protecting his goal but was instrumental in the win. Two fine saves at 0-0 from Lautaro and Barella but he could do little to stop the Argentinean’s second attempt. He might have done better with Perisic’s scuffed effort though.
Ferland Mendy (8.5/10):
Was solid on the left flank for Real and kept the pacey Achraf Hakimi in check and emerged as the winner in their duel. He had some serious defensive duties so he couldn’t help as much in the attack as he likes to.
“EL CAPI” scored his 100th goal for Real Madrid with a thumping header. At defense, he was a force to be reckoned with. He kept Lautaro Martinez under wraps for most of the game but could do little to stop the Argentine’s goal.
Raphael Varane (7/10):
Not a memorable day for Varane, as he was beaten off the ball several times but managed 6 crucial interceptions, his team highest. Switched off completely which led to Lautaro Martinez’s goal.
Lucas Vasquez (7/10):
The makeshift right back was once again solid in his adopted position and he did play his part. He outpaced his opponents most of the time, and fed the midfield with his incisive passes.
Federico Valverde (7/10):
This was a relatively quiet outing for Federico Valverde, who struggled to get himself into the game. He missed a half-chance early on and even blasted an effort over the bar from the edge of the box. He was also booked for a late challenge on Barella.
An horrific night for Casemiro. Misplaced several passes and conceded 2 free kicks.
Toni Kroos (8/10):
His work rate and the accuracy of his passes was, as per usual, impressive. Assisted Sergio Ramos with a well placed corner.
Eden Hazard (6.5/10):
Having recently come back from injury, he was lacking confidence in his attacks. Sometimes he took the game to the opponent’s backline but was not productive. Largely quiet for most part of the game.
Marco Asensio (6.5/10):
Started the match with confidence and pace, even linked up with a pass from Hazard and drew a good save from Inter goalkeeper Handanovic. But began to fade as the match drew on.
Karim Benzema (8/10):
Found the back of net at the 25th minute due to his awareness and pouncing on an errant back pass from Hakimi. Pressed Inter’s defense consistently and went for each and every ball. Miss a huge chance in the last moments of the game as the ball ricocheted off his legs, when he was in front of an open net.
Rodrygo – 8.5/10
Rodrygo didn’t do much but his goal was enough to make a huge impact as it helped secure all three points for Real Madrid. Now has 5 goals and 3 assists in 8 UCL matches.
Vinicius Junior – 7.5/10
Vinicius Junior wasn’t involved in the game much but helped set up Rodrygo with an accurate cross through Inter’s defense.
Luka Modric – 6.5/10
The Croatian was called on for the final 15 minutes of the match in place of Toni Kroos and created a chance for Benzema right at the death. Still going strong at 35 years and as always brings a sense of calm and control in the midfield when the team needs it most.