It was one of those nights of Champions League where your temperament would be tested to the highest level. The opposition would choke our life out but still, you have to find a way to get past and break the deadlock. At Milan, Real Madrid experienced the going tough – well, they do have the youngsters to show them the way and obviously, without Brazilian magic, there cannot be any party.

Real Madrid have enjoyed a good start to the season under new management. Carlo Ancelotti’s men carry a four-match unbeaten run into the contest, topping La Liga in the early stages of the term. The Los Blancos were at their free-flowing best in a 5-2 hammering of Celta Vigo last time out. Ancelotti was desperate for another clinical performance in a tense clash on the road.

Inter embark on their Champions League campaign in their bid to win the competition for the first time in 12 years. New manager Simone Inzaghi has made a solid start to his reign in the Italian Serie A with a three-match unbeaten run, although his team was held to a 2-2 draw by Sampdoria last time out.

The Nerazzurri was confident of having to up their standards against Madrid to kick off their Group D campaign on the front foot – they certainly tested the Royal Whites.

Real Madrid have made two changes to their line-up from their victory over Celta Vigo at the weekend. David Alaba and Lucas Vazquez came into the fold in place of Gutierrez and Eden Hazard respectively. Ancelotti shifted his formation to a 4-3-3 rather than a four-man midfield used last time out.

Inzaghi made one change to his side that drew against Sampdoria last time out.

Bastoni came back into the side after missing the contest at the weekend and replaced Dimarco on the left side of the defence. Eden Dzeko and Martinez spearhead the attack for the Nerazzurri.

There were good chances for both sides in the early going, with Inter’s Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez forcing big saves from Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, while a long-range effort from Casemiro skirted wide of the post.

Inter kept the pressure on and Brozovic would come within a whisker of the far post with a shot, followed by a reaction save from Courtois on a stabbing effort by Dzeko.

Courtois’ heroics continued into the second half with the big Belgian denying Dzeko again with a reaction save and the Madrid defence scrambling before finally clearing.

Ancelotti’s first move to the bench came midway through the second half, with Rodrygo on for Lucas Vazquez. But any spark from the Madrid attack was coming from Vinicius, but despite the Brazilian’s best efforts, few chances were generated.

Eduardo Camavinga was next summoned off the bench by Ancelotti for Luka Modric with 10 minutes to play, but it was still Vinicius on the front foot and a deep defensive block from Inter’s Milan Skriniar prevented the visitors from scoring.

Madrid’s persistence would finally pay off in the dying moments and they did so in exquisite fashion with Camavinga receiving a Fede Valverde pass and one-timing a ball across for Rodrygo to volley into the net to earn Madrid the dramatic 1-0 victory.

For a while, many in Spanish football scoffed at Real Madrid spending a combined €90 million (£75m/$015m) on Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes.

The Brazilian wingers failed to deliver consistently for Zinedine Zidane, and the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo continued to loom large over the Spanish capital, especially considering Eden Hazard’s injury problems.

Hazard’s consistent absences were matched by the inconsistency of the South American duo, but at the start of this season, they have been crucial for Carlo Ancelotti and Los Blancos.

Vinicius has netted four goals in the opening four La Liga matches to put Madrid top of the table, and now Rodrygo’s 89th-minute strike has earned his team a much-needed away win.

“I liked the game because we had to suffer and we suffered being compact,” Ancelotti explained in his press conference.

“I like that, knowing how to suffer and showing that this team can sacrifice and has character.”

“It was a very important victory, we were better in the second half than in the first; we didn’t concede a goal thanks to Courtois in the first half.”

Rodrygo scored a winning goal that could be the spark his Los Merengues career needed, and the Italian coach was delighted with his impact.

“I thought about putting him in the second half, but Inter closed us very well in front of the centre,” he added.

“I wanted to open the game from the wings, that’s why I put Rodrygo on.”


“The game was won by the players, then the changes were important because the players were fresh.”

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