Careless Inter Surrender to Madrid in 2-3 Champions League Clash

Things are getting complicated for Inter in the Champions League: Not even in the face of one of the least impressive Real Madrid sides in a few years did the Nerazzurri manage to grab some points in their third encounter in Group B of the top continental competition.

Antonio Conte’s boys did give the impression they could come out with something out of their Madrid trip but ultimately paid for their defensive carelessness despite managing to cancel a two-goal deficit. Zinedine Zidane’s men wrapped a 3-2 win with goals from Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos, and Brazilian starlet Rodrygo. Lautaro Martinez and Ivan Perisic made it to the scoresheet for the Nerazzurri.

The Champions League night had had an unexpected start in Group B as Shakhtar Donetsk shockingly collapsed and conceded six goals to Borussia Moenchengladbach. That would make things much difficult for those who would come out with a loss out of Madrid’s Valdebedas Stadium – the Real training ground.

As a consequence of tonight’s defeat, Inter are now last-placed in the group, trailing Real Madrid and Shakhtar by two points. With three more games to play, nothing is lost for Inter but the Nerazzurri left Madrid with the bitter regret that they could have collected achieved more.

The big miss among the Inter lines was obviously Romelu Lukaku, still at bay due to an injury. With Alexis Sanchez also not in top shape, Antonio Conte had to adapt Ivan Perisic again as a support striker for Lautaro Martinez who came into the game in a bad state of form.

The first five minutes were an authentic Blancos monologue and Samir Handanovic had to produce himself in some fine goalkeeping to deny Marco Asensio, who was served from Eden Hazard from the right side.

Inter’s reaction was as fast as unexpected, however. Ivan Perisic found himself almost one-on-one with the opposition goalkeeper but took too much time to decide what to do and when he finally crossed the ball for Barella it was too late – though the playmaker would still manage to hit the crossbar with a header. One minute later, Lautaro made himself dangerous and called Thibaut Courtois to action for the first time.

In the 13th minute, it was Inter again to go for the shot as Arturo Vidal rocketed the ball towards Madrid’s goal but only managed to hit the side netting.

Real showed all their skills with a great team effort as Lucas Vazquez served Karim Benzema in the box and the Frenchman flanked the ball for Federico Valverde. Fortunately for Inter, the 22-year-old’s conclusion was unworthy of the service received.

But it didn’t take skills for the hosts to put their heads ahead as Real Madrid’s opener rather came from an authentic harakiri on the part of the Nerazzurri: In the 25th minute, Achraf Hakimi came up with an unconceivable back-pass form his midfield line as he whipped the ball where there was no one to be found – except for Benzema who, not even believing his eyes, only had to dribble past Handanovic to wrap Madrid’s opener.

The Moroccan appeared to be charged by Ferland Mendy in the occasion but his back-pass choice still seemed inexplicable.

Only seven more minutes and Sergio Ramos served the specialty of the house to double the Blancos‘ lead as he headed the ball home from a Raphael Varane corner kick. The Real Madrid captain did what he is best at to collect his 100th career goal (as a defender!) but Stefan De Vrij totally failed to mark him in the occasion.

Good for Inter that just one minute later Nicolò Barella’s no-look back-heel pass found Lautaro Martinez in the box and El Toro reduced the deficit taking advantage of Varane’s poor marking. An absolutely brilliant piece from Inter’s Sardinian midfielder right when the Nerazzurri needed it most.

Inter believed but were confused in their attacks: Right after the restart, Vidal and Lautaro almost crashed into each other in an attempt to convert a Marcelo Brozovic cross from a set piece. Not much happened for the next 15 minutes until Barella gave another sample of his servicing skills with a brilliant vertical pass for Hakimi in the box, but the Moroccan was anticipated by Courtois.

In the 65th minute, Zinedine Zidane went for a double substitution as he changed two thirds of his front-line: Vincius replaced Eden Hazard while Marco Asensio gave way to Rodrygo. The two youngsters didn’t have time to make an impact, however, as immediately after, Inter made it 2-2. It would be just a matter of time, though.

Rodrygo scored the third for Real Madrid a few minutes after making his entrance to the pitch to wrap his side’s 3-2 win over Inter

It was Ivan Perisic to finish for the best, slotting the ball into the bottom right corner from a Lautaro Martinez headed service – well served from an Arturo Vidal cross.

Inter were full of confidence now and just one minute later it took a great defensive coverage on the part of Ferland Mendy to prevent Lautaro from shooting from point-blank range. The Argentine went for the kill again a few minutes later but his curl missed the target by just a few inches.

The Nerazzurri, however, squandered everything as they gave away the third with another defensive blunder. Inter’s defensive line was totally caught by surprise when Vinicius progressed on the left flank and served a golden service in the box for his fellow countryman Rodrygo, who whipped the ball past Handanovic with no opposition.

Real could also score the fourth but Karim Benzema ended up touching the ball with his hand when he was about to go for the finish from point-blank range. When he tried again during stoppage time, Samir Handanovic managed to push back his challenge to keep the score at 2-3 for real Madrid – but that wasn’t enough for Inter.



November 3, 2020 – Champions League 2020-21 Group Stage

SCORERS: 25′ Benzema (R), 33′ Sergio Ramos (R), 35′ Lautaro Martinez (I), 67′ Perisic (I), 79′ Rodrygo (R)

REAL MADRID (4-3-3) Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos (78′ Modric); Asensio (63′ Rodrygo), Benzema, Hazard (63′ Vinicius) (Lunin, Altube, Santos, Marcelo, Isco, Jovic, Mariano) Coach: Zidane
INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella (77′ Gagliardini), Brozovic, Vidal (85′ Nainggolan), Young; Lautaro Martinez, Perisic (77′ Sanchez) (Padelli, Stankovic, Skriniar, Kolarov, Darmian, Ranocchia, Eriksen, Pinamonti) Coach: Conte

REFEREE: Turpin (France)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Vidal, Brozovic, Barella (I), Mendy, Valverde, Casemiro, Courtois (R); Extra Time: 1st Half 0′, 2nd Half 3′