Real Madrid player ratings after 3-2 victory over Inter Milan
Zinedine Zidane rolled the dice with Rodrygo and Vinicius, the two subs combining for the winner after Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos had found the net.
Real Madrid averted Champions League disaster by edging a thrilling encounter against Inter Milan in the Alfredo Di Stéfano. The home side took a two-goal lead through Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos before Inter pulled level through Lautaro Martínez and Ivan Perisic. Zinedine Zidane threw caution to the wind by sending on his Brazilian youngsters Rodrygo and Vinicius, who combined late on to seal a 3-2 victory.
Here’s how Madrid’s players fared against Inter.
Thibaut Courtois: The Belgian stopper conceded for the sixth game in a row but he was instrumental in the win: two fine saves at 0-0 from Lautaro and Barella provided a platform and he could do little to stop the Argentinean’s attempt. He might have done better with Perisic’s scuffed effort though.
Lucas Vázquez: There was a time when internet wags would produce memes comparing occasional right back Vázquez with Cafu, but he lived up to those standard son Tuesday. Excellent positioning, a tireless work rate and covered the lines well. He could also have got on the score sheet with a shot that narrowly missed the far corner.
Raphaël Varane: A game of two sides for the Frenchman, who read the game well, was good in anticipation and quick to get back and cover Inter forays down the flanks. He was though also caught out for both goals, letting Lautaro slip for the first and too static when Perisic struck.
Sergio Ramos: A colossal game from the captain, who seems to play like two defenders in the Champions League. He had Lautaro under wraps for most of the game and could do little about Barella’s sumptuous assist for the Argentinean’s goal. Scored with a glorious header for his 100th Real Madrid goal.
Ferland Mendy: Solid on the left and came out on top in his duel with former Madrid full back Achraf. His defensive duties meant he didn’t get forward much and an error almost led to Inter scoring a third.
Fede Valverde: The closest Madrid have to a Bayern Munich player. He moves the ball, tackles, dispossess, distributes and shoots. It’s as though the Uruguayan has six legs.
Casemiro: A fine game from the Brazilian, who made a key block but inevitably went into the book for a clumsy challenge that presented Inter with a dangerous free kick. Helped to keep Lautaro quiet and covered the back four well.
Toni Kroos: Perfectly positioned for most of the game to keep the ball circulating and key to the midfield battle between Madrid’s three and Inter’s five.
Marco Asensio: A quiet game from the winger, who is still short of fitness. A decent effort in the opening stages tested Handanovic and while he showed willingness to track back he played little part in Madrid’s attacking forays.
Karim Benzema: Made the difference again for Madrid. Played two delicious balls for Valverde in the first half and was a constant menace to the Inter back line, pressing and nicking balls. Scored the first with anticipation and a cool head but faded a little in the second half.
Eden Hazard: Teed up Asensio for his chance but was well-marshalled by the Inter defence and still lacking full match sharpness despite a couple of decent runs.
Vinicius: Madrid were stodgy in attack until the Brazilian came on. Made the run and delivered a precise pass for the decisive goal.
Rodrygo: A fifth goal in eight Champions League appearances and what a goal it was, hitting the back of the net with a cracking shot that left Handanovic with no chance.
Luka Modric: Came on to lend some experience and played for the team as he always does in the final stages.
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