Friday, October 22, 2021

Immediate Reaction: Real Madrid 1-0 Inter Milan

Real Madrid opened their 2021-22 UEFA Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win in the San Siro against Inter Milan. Eduardo Camavinga assisted Rodrygo’s winner.

Real Madrid started the match with spells of possession but the team was unable to cause Inter Milan problems in the final third. Inter were actually the team that had the better chances in the first few minutes and throughout the first half. As the first half progressed Inter were able to pin Los Blancos in their own half for large stretches.

Los Blancos looked the most dangerous when they won the ball back in the Inter final third with their counter-press. But Real Madrid were only able to create three looks on goal in the half. Casemiro curled a shot wide of the post from distance, Karim Benzema couldn’t steer his shot on target from close range, and Eder Militao flashed a header wide of the post.

Real Madrid started the second half with more urgency. Los Blancos defended well, recovered the ball in midfield, and went forward quickly. The match soon slowed to the measured pace that was consistent throughout the first half. Real Madrid dominated possession and Vinicius provided a spark down the left flank. Inter looked to recover the ball and go forward quickly in transition.

The Merengues looked the more likely to open the scoring as the match neared its conclusion. Carlo Ancelotti’s substitutes breathed life to Real Madrid as they searched for the winner.

Two subs combined for the winner. Federico Valverde found Eduardo Camavinga in the area. The French midfielder played it to Rodrygo and the Brazilian made no mistake.

6’ Nicolo Barella crossed to Lautaro Martinez. The Argentine’s shot was easily saved by Thibaut Courtois.

9’ Milan Skriniar passed it to Martinez, who played a one-touch pass to Edin Dzeko. Dzeko shot across goal toward the back post but Courtois reacted quickly and made a kick save.

14’ Casemiro cut inside and curled a low shot from distance just wide of the post.

19’ Real Madrid lost the ball after a spell of possession. Martinez made a run into the center of the box as Inter progressed on the counter attack. The Inter forward was completely unmarked. Martinez met the early cross with his head but hit it right at Courtois. The chance sparked a spell of pressure from Inter Milan.

27’ Los Blancos won the ball in a dangerous area thanks to the defensive work of Lucas Vazquez. He tackled the ball to Luka Modric, who played it wide to Federico Valverde. The Uruguayan hit a low cross to the back post. Benzema arrived but her couldn’t get his footing right and wasn’t able to put his shot on target.

36’ Militao leaped and met a corner kick. He fired the header just wide of the goal.

37’ Barella played an early cross to Martinez, who made a run in front of David Alaba. His header flashed wide. Almost immediately, Marcelo Brozovic ran toward goal and shot from the top of the 18-yard box. His shot wasn’t hit with much force and curled wide of the post.

43’ Barella crossed to the back post. An Inter player then tried to play a cutback cross that deflected off Dani Carvajal and into the path of the on-rushing Dzeko. Courtois was again able to thwart Inter.

54’ Dzeko was the target of an Inter corner kick in the 54th minute. He rose well and headed the ball down and toward goal. Courtois reacted quickly to parry Dzeko’s header wide.

57’ Modric led Vinicius Jr. down the left flank with a through ball. Vinicius returned the favor by pulling his pass back to Modric at the top of the box. The Croatian’s shot deflected to Benzema, who played it wide to Carvajal. The Spanish right back launched toward goal but Samir Hadanovic kept the shot out.

79’ Benzema got on the end of a Valverde lofted cross and tried to head it back across goal. The Frenchman headed it wide but it wouldn’t have counted because the flag was up for offside.

82’ Substitute Rodrygo passed to Carvajal in the penalty box. The Spaniard turned and got endline. He cut his pass back to Vinicius, who shot toward goal but it was cleared by a well-placed defender.

89’ Two subs played an integral role in Real Madrid’s winning goal. Valverde lofted it into the box to Eduardo Camavinga. He looped it first time to Rodrygo, who finished clinically.

Real Madrid travel to Valencia next. Los Blancos with take on Los Che in Mestalla on Sunday, Sep. 19. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST (9 p.m. CEST).
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