Real Madrid was on the verge of a second Champions League draw this season when things took twists and turns, Rodrygo producing the decisive moment to silence Inter Milan with time ebbing away.
Despite the absence of their star man, Romelu Lukaku who is sidelined with a thigh injury, the Seria A side were the forerunner. The pair of two sensations, Lautaro Martinez and Nicolo Barella dictating the proceedings at the center half – out passed Real Madrid’s fragmented midfield to mount pressure on the Spanish giant’s defensive wall early into the game.
However, the visitors were in dismay when the first clearcut chance of the game was at the hands of the host. Karim Benzema, capitalizing on a dreadful back pass by Los Blancos former wing-back Achraf Hakimi, swept away Samir Handanovic to slot in a 25th-minute goal in the easiest of tappings.
The home side seemed to be cruising after 33 minutes when Sergio Ramos headed in their second – his 100th goal in all competitions for the club – by getting away from his marker to meet Tony Kroos’ sublime corner.
Moments later, Inter gave themselves an instant lifeline as Barella ultra- intelligently flicked the ball into the part of Martinez to bury it at the bottom-left corner 10 minutes before the interval.
It looked like Antonio Conte’s men had not lost their zest to secure a point from the contest. Thus, against the run of play, Martinez nicely nodded a long driving ball for Ivan Perisic – only for the makeshift striker to put the ball beyond Thibaut Courtois reach. Real were stunned!. An unprecedented drama in the Spanish capital.
Thereafter, Inter were vibrant in attack as they pushed for a match-winning goal. Unfortunately, they missed a pair of gilt-edged chances as Martinez showed less prowess in front of goal when his curling shot shaved the outside of the framework and Perisic blasted his shot wide off the goal post.
The Italians were punished for their misses, as super substitutes, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo came off the bench to save the day in an incredible fashion.
Vinicius Junior made a quite brilliant run down the touchline to square the ball back to Rodrygo, who beat Handanovic with a wondrous strike from 10 yards out.
For Real Madrid, it is a vital win to keep their Champions League hopes alive after they’ve claimed just 1 point out of a possible 6 in their opening 2 games of the campaign. The Los Blancos manager Zinedine Zidane expressed his delightfulness about the outcome of the match particularly on the impact of the substitutes in these words:
“The changes were to try to do something. The move for the third goal was really good. We had to get the three points, with what Vini and Rodrygo did, a beautiful goal, we have to be happy with both of them.”
Sergio Ramos also has this to say after crossing off another milestone with his century career goal for Real Madrid on Tuesday night:
“I’m really pleased. For me, it’s a cluster of emotions. I’m very happy on a personal level, as you say, to have reached the 100-goal mark. At the end of the day, individual prizes always come second, but it’s really pleasing to be recognized for scoring 100 goals after so many intense years and so many sacrifices.”
The defeat is a setback for Inter and under-pressure boss Antonio Conte as they continue their quest for a win after 5 matches without a win.