Thursday, October 21, 2021

Inter 0-1 Real Madrid: Heartbreak for Nerazzurri – Football Italia

It was a heart-breaking Champions League opener for Inter, who forced several tough Thibaut Courtois saves, only to be beaten by Real Madrid and Rodrygo in the final minute.

The Nerazzurri missed Stefano Sensi, but had Alessandro Bastoni back in defence after a knock. Carlo Ancelotti had to do without Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale, Dani Ceballos and Ferland Mendy, so Luka Modric and David Alaba started despite not being fully fit. Eden Hazard was dropped in favour of Lucas Vazquez.

Edin Dzeko sprung the offside trap on a smart Lautaro Martinez through ball, forcing Thibaut Courtois to rush off his line and parry with an outstretched leg.

Casemiro drilled across the face of goal, while Lautaro Martinez’s header tested Courtois, but Eder Militao turned a free header wide of the near post from Modric’s corner.

Lautaro Martinez’s glancing header turned a Nicolò Barella cross just wide, then Marcelo Brozovic’s daisy-cutter from the edge of the area skimmed the upright.

Dzeko should’ve done better too when firing straight at Courtois from close range, but he did have a great header from a corner on 54 minutes, Courtois palming it off the line and Milan Skriniar unable to bundle the rebound over the line.

Samir Handanovic finally had a real save to make soon after, when Dani Carvajal was gifted a chance by poor defending, while Alaba at full stretch had to prevent Denzel Dumfries rolling it across for a Dzeko tap-in.

Skriniar charged down a Vinicius strike, then made a decisive sliding tackle on the same player inside the penalty area.

The deadlock was finally broken in the last minute of normal play, as Edouard Camavinga flicked up the assist on the volley off the inside of the boot, for Rodrygo to in turn volley in from seven yards.

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