A dramatic late goal from Rodrygo gave Real Madrid a huge win away at Inter Milan.
When two giants of Europe come together in one of the games most iconic theatres of football the expectation is always high. And this match didn’t disappoint.
Inter dictated the pace of the game for large portions of the first half, getting in between the lines with neat passages of play which caused Madrid all sorts of problems.
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But the visitors equally looked very dangerous on the counter attack and could well have been a goal up if Éder Militão got some direction on his header from a perfectly placed corner.

Rodrygo - Real Madrid

Image credit: Getty Images

Up the other end the combination of Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martínez kept Thibaut Courtois busy, forcing the Belgian keeper into a series of saves.
In the second half Madrid came out the strongest and dominated possession, but it was Inter that created the clearest chance as Dzeko got on the end of a corner, but Courtois was once again in the right place at the right time to make a vital save.
Despite the visitors showing great composure in their build up play, they failed to really work Samir Handanović in the Inter goal.
The game continued to be played at pace and eventually it was Rodrygo who found the late breakthrough.
Next up for Inter Milan is a league match with high flying Bologna, while Madrid also return to domestic action taking on Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium.

TALKING POINT - ANCELOTTI KEY TO MADRID SUCESS?

There has always been something of a revolving door at Real Madrid when it comes to managers. Nothing but success at the highest level is expected and those that have failed to deliver the Champions League have found themselves out of a job.
So the return of Carlo Ancelotti could be seen as something of a sideways step at a time where the Spanish giants need to reinvent themselves to mix it with the crop of new challengers in Europe's elite competition.

Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric (L) passes the ball past Inter Milan's Italian midfielder Nicolo Barella during the UEFA Champions League Group D football match between Inter Milan and Real Madrid on September 15, 2021 at the San Siro stadiu

Image credit: Getty Images

But records at this level speak for themselves and the Italian knows how to deliver, not only has won this competition back in 2013-14, he also boasts the greatest win percentage (76%) of any manager at a single club in the competition's history who has managed at least 20 games. For those on the Madrid board they will feel like their club is in a safe pair of hands.

MAN OF THE MATCH - THIBAUT COURTOIS (REAL MADRID)

For all of Real Madrid's attacking football over the course of the game, it wouldn't have counted for anything if they didn't have a top class keeper to call upon at key moments. His quick reactions and ability to command his box meant that the Inter Milan forwards had to be at their very best to beat him.

PLAYER RATINGS:

Inter Milan: Handanovic 7, Skriniar 8, de Vrij 6, Bastoni 6, Darmian 7, Barella 6, Brozovic 6, Calhanoglu 6, Perisic 7, Dzeko 8, Martínez 6,
Real Madrid: Courtois 9, Carvajal 7, Militão 7, Nacho 6, Alaba 8, Valverde 6, Casemiro 6, Modric 6, Vázquez 6, Benzema 8, Vinícius Júnior 7, Rodrygo 8

KEY MOMENTS:

8' - SAVE! Courtois gets a foot to a Dzeko shot which was creeping into the bottom corner
18' - CHANCE! Up the other end a beautiful cross finds Martínez in the box, but his header is directed straight at Courtois who palms the ball away
35' - CHANCE! The corner is perfectly placed, but Militão's head is off target. He really should have scored
42' - SAVE! Courtois called into action again as Dzeko reacts quickly to a loose ball in the box and flicks a shot towards the goal, but the keeper was on hand to push the shot away
53' - SAVE! Corner for Inter which is whipped into the box and finds the head of Dzeko. But Courtois is there again to deny the home crowd their celebrations
90' - GOAL - 1-0 Real Madrid (Rodrygo) - Rodrygo gets on the end of a side foot volley pass from Camavinga and lashes the ball past Handanovic in the dying moments of this game

KEY STAT

Inter have lost their Champions League opening match for the first time since the 2011/12 season against Trabzonspor. They made it through the group stage that year.
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