Real Madrid 3-2 Inter Milan: results, summary and goals
Real Madrid 3-2 Inter Milan: as it happened
Real Madrid boosted their chances of reaching the Champions League knockout stages after a late winner by substitute Rodrygo gave them a 3-2 home victory over Inter Milan in an absorbing Group B clash on Tuesday.
The result left Real, winners of a record 13 titles in Europe's premier club competition, level on four points with Shakhtar Donetsk, one point behind leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach and two ahead of bottom placed Inter.
Real had thrown away a two-goal lead and were flirting with a defeat which would have piled more pressure on manager Zinedine Zidane before their Brazilian duo of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo combined to save the day.
Chances had gone begging at either end before Karim Benzema gave the home side a 25th-minute lead, rounding goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and slotting home after intercepting a dreadful back pass by Real's former wing-back Achraf Hakimi.
The hosts seemed to be cruising after 33 minutes when Sergio Ramos headed their second -- his 100th goal for the club in all competitions -- but Lautaro Martínez pulled one back for Inter two minutes later thanks to a sublime assist by Nicoló Barella.
Real were rattled when Ivan Perisic equalised midway through the second half, threading a shot into the far corner from close range after Martinez headed the ball into the Croatian's stride. Inter then missed a pair of gilt-edged chances as Martínez shaved the outside of the post with a shot from the edge of the area and Perisic fired wide, with Real's defence in tatters.
The Italians were punished for their misses, however, as Vinicius Júnior and Rodrygo, brought into the fray together by Zidane shortly before Inter's equaliser, carved out the winner from a lightning fast break. Vinicius Junior raced clear of his marker down the left flank and squared the ball back to Rodrygo, who beat Handanovic with an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 10 metres.
Inter are now under pressure halfway through the group stage to turn their fortunes around and will hope to have Romelu Lukaku back for the reverse fixture on 25 November after the Belgium striker missed the match with a thigh injury.
Here's how Group B looks after that. Madrid and Shakhtar level on points with Inter propping things up. Mönchengladbach the surprise leaders at the halfway stage.
Ramos: "100 goals isn't bad. It's the result of years of hard work and it's not something that happens every day."
Ramos: "Bad results always lead to questions but we don't listen to the opinions of others."
Sergio Ramos: "It was a difficult game against a very tough side and it's a good resut for us, three very important points and we'll go for another three in the next game."
That's five goals in eight Champions League games for Rodrygo now: "I hope I'll get more chances."
Rodrygo: "Zidane told us to go out and try and up the tempo, keep the ball and if we had the chance to look for a goal."
Rodrygo speaking to the picth-side reporter: "I'm always ready and waiting for my chance and I'm happy to have been able to help the side."
And there's the whistle! Real Madrid hang on for a priceless 3-2 victory that keeps them very much in the running for a place in the knock-out stages!
Benzema! The striker hits the target and forces Handanovic into a save that gives Madrid a corner and the chance to run the clock down.
Courtois takes a yellow card in exchange for a valuable few seconds....
Young looks for Achraf on the far side but the Moroccan can't keep the ball in.
Madrid camped in their half now as Inter probe for a final chance...
Three minutes added!
Casemiro with a vital block on Brozovic on the edge of the area. Inter pushing for the equaliser here. Benzema is back in defence to lend a hand and cuts out a Nainggolan ball on the edge of the area.
Radja Nainggolan on for Vidal.
Sánchez hammers his shot straight into the wall and Brozovic whacks a follow up high into the stands.
Five minutes for Inter to hit back again and Casemiro concedes a free kick in a very dangerous position...
Benzema! The Frenchman has the ball on the line but just can't quite nudge it over! What a chance for Madrid although VAR may have had a look at it anyway as he appeared to handle the ball.
Madrid with nine behind the ball now when Inter are in possession.
Inter appeal for a handball against Rodrygo at the other end but the ref isn't having any of it.
Lovely sweeping move from Madrid... Valverde releases Vinicius and he squares for Rodrygo who hammers a ferocious shot past Handanovic. Out of nowhere really Madrid are ahead and Zidane will take that!
Gagliardini on for Inter as well.
Sánchez on for Perisic, Modric on for Kroos.
Corner for Madrid... Bastoni heads it clear though. Alexis Sánchez preparimg to come on, which is not good news for Vázquez.
Perisic! Inter carve Madrid's exhausted back line open again and the winger is close to finding the bottom corner with a low strike.
Lautaro! The Inter striker capitalises on another Madrid mistake and clips the bar with a rasping shot!
Madrid are running out of ideas now and Inter are dealing with whatever they cook up with little fuss. When will Conte roll the dice? The game is set up for some fresh Inter legs.
Corner for Madrid as Young nods the ball out on the far side after Benzema tries to find Rodrygo.
Barella goes into the book for protesting. About what we're not quite sure.
Madrid are really struggling physically now and Zidane looks suitably concerned on the touchline. Conte has a lot more in reserve than the Frenchman.
Madrid switch off for an instant and are punished. Ramos was out of position and left Lautaro to his own devices almost for the first time all evening and the striker nods across goal for Perisic, who shrugs off Vázquez and beats Courtois with a scuffed shot into the far corner.
Vázquez! The stand-in right back flashes a shot wide of the far post. He's covered every inch of that right side and may well be next on Zidane's list.
Rodrygo hasn't even had a touch yet and he's already in trouble as Young goes in hard. A scare for Zidane there but the Brazilian youngster is ok to continue.
As expected, Hazard and Asensio make way for Vinicius and Rodrygo.
Corner for Inter as Ramos gets in front of a ball heading for Lautaro. More good defending from the Madrid captain.
Valverde adds his name to the ref's book for a poor challenge. The Uruguayan has also covered a lot of ground this evening.
Asensio appears to be running out of steam. The Spain winger is still not up to full match fitness and will probably be the first to be hooked, with Hazard not far behind we'd imagine. Vinicius and Rodrygo are readying to enter the fray.
Barella picks out a lovely pass to send Achraf through but Courtois reads it well and times his run to perfection to smother the ball at the full back's feet.
Madrid are being pinned back now as Inter up the pressure in the opposition half. Mendy is floored as he tries to protect the ball to give the home side a breather.
Inter are starting to boss the midfield now... looking at Madrid's bench, it's hard to see how the home side can shake things up if they need to add a midfielder with Valverde, Kroos and Modric operating in similar areas of influence.
Nicely worked free kick from Inter, which almost picks out Lautaro but Courtois is alert to the danger and comes to claim.
Brozovic into the book for some studs down the back of Hazard's calf... always a concern for Madrid when the Belgian gets a knock but he shakes his ankle and looks ok to continue.
Good defending from Varane there as he tracks a high ball to Perisic and beats the Inter winger for pace. He always looks better running towards his own goal, the France international.
What was Valverde doing there? The Madrid midfielder almost turns assist maker for Inter as he flicks on a free kick across his own area...
Mendy goes in the book as he gets a chunk of Achraf's foot. The Madrid man apologises. No malice, just a clumsy challenge. It's been a fascinating battle between these two so far.
Back underway in the Di Stéfano!
Madrid will move level on points with the Ukrainian champions if the result in the Di Stéfano remains unchanged.
A look at the group as it stands after Mönchengladbach thrashed Shakhtar earlier.
Inter on the other hand are carrying out their plan of getting the ball wide as much as possible to run at the full backs and pull Madrid out of shape. They have had some joy but Vázquez and Mendy have been largely up to the task. The issue for Zidane is that there is no natural replacement for both on the bench beyond Marcelo and Castilla defender Santos. Vázquez will run all day but even he will tire around the 70-80 minute mark.
Probably not much for either coach to do at half time in terms of the chalkboard. Madrid look comfortable in possession and it took something very special from Barella to put Lautaro in. Sergio Ramos has been chaperoning the Argentinean throughout the half and has not ventured far from his striker's side in a very mature performance so far.
And that's the half! Good stuff it was too, Madrid taking a 2-0 lead and Inter getting back in it through Lautaro.
Nice movement from Madrid and Asensio spies a pass through the middle but Inter cut it out.
Arturo Vidal is first into the referee's naughty book for a clumsy challenge on Vázquez. No complaints from the Chilean, he knew what he was doing.
Benzema hauled up for a foul as the ball is whipped into the area. Fair's fair, intimates Conte on the touchline.
Free kick to Madrid with Kroos having a look at this. Inter not happy as it looked like Casemiro had slipped.
Barella clips Hazard and immediately holds his hands up as the Belgian goes down rubbing his calf. A quiet half so far from the number seven, who Madrid had hoped would be the catalyst for an upturn in form. As it is, the old guard have provided the goals this evening.
That's 100 Real Madrid goals for Sergio Ramos! Not a bad haul for a defender.
What a time for Lautaro to rediscover his touch. He had gone five games without finding the net but he's pulled Inter back into this one.
The Argentinean hammers home from just inside the area with a clinical strike but the assist was out of this world, Nicolò Barella with a delicious flick to take Ramos and Varane out of the picture for Lautaro to fire past Courtois.
Kroos swings in a wicked corner and Ramos rises above the Inter defence to glance a header past Handanovic! Wonderful technique from Ramos, who has made a bit of a trademark out of those.
Hazard manages to drive into the area and Handanovic is forced into action to turn his cross out for a corner.
Sergio Ramos is doing an excellent job of keeping Lautaro under wraps so far. Brozovic lofts a free kick forward and the Madrid captain beats the Argentinean for height as though he's on the training ground.
Inter have not been scoring for fun lately and Conte will have been looking to keep the score to 0-0 for as long as possible.
That will settle some stomachs around the Di Stéfano.
Inter felt that Mendy had shoved Achraf to the floor in the build-up to that and they may have a point but the ref waved play on and Benzema took full advantage!
The Frenchman runs on to Mendy's through ball and Inter's defence are nowhere to be seen! Handanovic has no choice but to come out to challenge and Benzema skips over the keeper to stroke home into an empty net.
Valverde! The Uruguayan has a glorious chance from Benzema's touch but hammers his shot into the turf and wide!
Achraf on the charge again and Vázquez is perfectly positioned to mop up the danger, unlike his central defenders.
Handanavic and De Vrij almost get into a pickle at the back as a Vázquez cross drops awkwardly in front of the keeper with Benzema lurking.
Three shots apiece at the 20-minute mark. Handanovic made a fine save early on and Inter clipped the woodwork but the breakthrough eludes both sides so far.
Mendy and Achraf get into a tangle with the former Madrid full back bearing down on goal. The Frenchman gets a trailing boot on the bonce but shrugs it off and is fine to continue.
Fairly evenly matched so far in the Alfredo Di Stéfano. Madrid came out of the blocks quickly but Inter have gained a foothold in the game and look dangerous every time they get forward.
Madrid carve out a chance through Vázquez, who finds Kroos on the edge of the area. The German hits the target but it's no problem for Handanovic.
Inter have the opener at their mercy! Achraf streaks down the right but just overcooks his ball to Perisic, unmarked on the far side. The Croatian pulls it back and Lautaro lands a looping header on the upright! Madrid's defensive frailty on show again there, nobody taking responsibility for picking up the second ball.
Valverde! The Uruguayan lets fly from a fair old distance and the ball whistles narrowly over the bar. Madrid looking to land an early blow here.
Uffff. What a ball from Valverde, who whips in a cross that Casemiro can't get a boot to right under Handanovic's nose. Vázquez strides forward and pings in another that Inter just about manage to scramble clear. Inter on the back foot here and Conte is not looking happy.
Handanovic! The Inter keeper makes a fine save from Asensio after the ball broke kindly for Madrid in the area. Corner for the home side...
An early touch for Lucas Vázquez after a long period of possession for Inter. Achraf charges back from an advanced position and nicks the ball off the onrushing Hazard.
We're off! Madrid get the ball rolliing!
The teams are out, the Champions League anthem sounds across an empty Alfredo Di Stéfano and we're about to get going on a pretty chilly evening in Madrid.
Inter unbeaten in 11 away games
Antonio Conte's side have only lost once this season so far, at home against AC Milan. Madrid have lost two so far in 2020-21, against Cádiz and Shakhtar.
Borussia Mönchengladbach are now 6-0 up away at Shakhtar... the Bundesliga side are positioning themselves as genuine contenders to top the group after three games.
Inter last visited Madrid in the Champions League in 1998-99, when the home side won 2-0 via goals from Fernando Hierro and Clarence Seedorf.
Plenty of ammunition on the Inter bench tonight. Alexis Sánchez is bound to get a run at a tiring back four late on while young striker Andrea Pinamonti can cause problems as well. Milan Skriniar is back after almost a month out and Christian Eriksen is also a useful option to have.
Lucas Vázquez is such a handy player for Real Madrid to have. The versatile Spain international has over 300 senior club appearances to his name, as a right winger, right midfielder, left winger, left midfielder and right back, where has played 14 times.
Inter Milan starting XI confirmed
And none from Conte either. It looks as though the Inter schemer will stick to his guns with a 3-5-2 and Perisic gets the nod to partner Lautaro up top.
Real Madrid starting XI confirmed
Zidane has announced his starting line-up and as we suspected the Frenchman has elected not to risk Marcelo on the left against the marauding Achraf. Lucas Vázquez slots in at right back with Mendy on the other side. No surprises from the home side otherwise.
Real Madrid have never failed to get out of the group stage of the Champions League. We imagine Florentino Pérez will be none too pleased if Zidane leads his side into the Europa League, or fails to even manage that. Madrid have failed to win their last four in the competition, their worst run in Europe since 2006 when Zizou was still playing for the club.
Here's how Group B currently stands. Borussia Mönchengladbach are 4-0 up away at Shakhtar at half time so it's reasonable to assume the Bundesliga side will remain on top ahead of kick-off in Madrid. An Inter win really would leave Zidane's side in a pickle ahead of the return at San Siro.
If there is even the slightest chance Lucas Vázquez can be wheeled out for 90 minutes Zidane will be very tempted to play the winger at right back and stick Ferland Mendy on the left given the shape Conte likes to use, Inter's wing backs pulling opposition defences out wide.
A key battle this evening will involve Marcelo and Achraf Hakimi, who Zidane must wish could swap shirts back just for one evening against his former club. The Morocco international has flourished away from the Bernabéu to become one of the finest attacking full backs in world football and he will be relishing the acres of space the Brazilian tends to leave behind him. Marcelo doesn't have the pace he used to possess either and he's never been the most tactically aware of defenders.
Conte's main issue this evening is how to deal with the absence of top scorer Romelu Lukaku, who is out with a muscle issue. Lautaro Martínez will start and is likely to be partnered by Ivan Perisic in a tandem that doesn't scream goals: the Argentinean hasn't found the net in five games for Inter and the Croatian scored his first since May 2019 in the 2-2 draw against Parma.
Real Madrid squad against Inter Milan
Here's Zidane's squad this evening. The Real boss will be pleased to have his preferred attacking line-up of Benzema, Hazard and Asensio avaliable, even if the latter two are still not quite up to full match sharpness after injuries. The midfield has picked itself for a while now and Casemiro can expect a busy evening with Inter likely to take every opportunity to test a back four who really can't afford to put a foot wrong in the Alfredo Di Stéfano.
Zidane has a defensive headache this evening with all of his right backs unavailable and Éder Militão out after a positive coronavirus test. That has left the Real Madrid manager with just five defenders for the game, two of whom are left backs and one, Sergio Santos, who is a right back but has never made a senior appearance for the club.
Antonio Conte isn't in a hugely more enviable situation with Inter on two points after two games but the level of expectancy is the key difference. The Serie A side haven't been past the group stage in almost a decade and Conte's stock is high after a run to the Europa League final last season and finishing a single point behind Juventus in the league. Inter have the advantage this evening in that they are not necessarily required to win. A draw would be a decent result for the visitors.
It was inevitable... it has become as much a part of the football vernacular as a "game of two halves" used to be. Zinedine Zidane called this match "a final" in his pre-game presser and although that is not of course in any way accurate, it does summarise the position Madrid find themselves in. Zidane's side are rock bottom of Group B and really cannot afford to lose this one.
Real Madrid vs Inter Milan: welcome
Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of the Champions League Group B game between Real Madrid and Inter Milan at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano. Kick-off is at 21:00 CET.