While the Champions League could have opened with a flurry of goals from across Europe, Real Madrid had to leave it late as they snatched a last-ditch winner at San Siro on Wednesday night.
In what appeared to be a mouth-watering affair on paper, Inter Milan suffered late heartbreak in the face of vocal support at home when second-half substitute Rodrygo scored a goal in the 90th minute. .
Managing to open their European adventure with what could prove to be a decisive 1-0 win in a foreign land, we took a look at the main points of discussion after what was a largely reticent night in Milan.
The substitutes save the day for Ancelotti
By managing to gain perfect momentum over the weekend, scoring an action packed 5-2 win against Celta Vigo at home, it looked like Real Madrid made the trip to Milan with their full confidence.
However, despite having found an immediate boost since bringing former manager Carlo Ancelotti back to life over the summer, Los Blancos have failed to find their feet during the first half and will know they were lucky to have entered the club. break not at a disadvantage.
Despite failing to put together a single shot on goal during the first single, Ancelotti’s substitutions in the second half certainly had the impact he would have hoped for.
The arrival of Rodrygo and Eduardo Camavinga, dominating large periods of the second half and really finding his feet on the ground, was a real turning point as the former Milan manager marked his return to San Siro with a victory in extremis.
Picking up a crucial clean sheet after making public his displeasure with Real Madrid’s recent defense, Camavinga’s beautiful volley pass was crushed at home by Rodrygo seconds before going into injury time.
Full of praise for his team’s captivating second half recovery and barely sniffing Inter Milan, Ancelotti has certainly managed to bring his dream back to Milan.
Two-time history for Inter
Watching coach Antonio Conte leave San Siro over the summer after leading Inter to their first Serie A victory in a decade, many have wondered how the Nerazzurri would react under new manager Simone Inzaghi.
However, despite having to settle for a 2-2 draw against Sampdoria on their return from the international break last weekend, the reigning Italian champions were enjoying a rebound early in the season.
Opening Wednesday’s match with some convinced he could score the Champions League, the former Lazio coach saw his team really impress throughout the first half, despite failing to find the net.
With Lautaro Martínez and the summer arrival Edin Dzeko forcing Thibaut Courtois to a couple of point blank saves, it was clear that Inter were missing Romelu Lukaku, who recently passed away.
Despite the feeling that they should have taken the lead at half-time, the midweek hosts tumbled drastically during the 45 seconds and failed to match their opening intensity.
Now with only one Champions League win at San Siro in the last eight attempts, Inzaghi will know his team has no time to feel sorry for themselves if they want to avoid a shocking fall to the Europa League once again.
What’s next for both of us?
Although Real Madrid could still be priced up to 18/1 with Betfair to regain the Champions League crown this season, there is no doubt that the Los Blancos would have been empowered by their last-ditch winner in a foreign land.
With many from across Europe aiming for Ancelotti’s side as now the undisputed leader in the chase to book a spot in the knockout stage, the former Spanish champions will be seen in action in La Liga this weekend as they make the trip to Valencia on Sunday.
Feeling a golden opportunity to clinch two straight Champions League wins in two weeks when they host their European top flight rookies, Wednesday’s win could prove to be crucial for Real Madrid.
On the flip side, while midweek hosts may have been left heartbroken at home, the Italian giants should definitely still imagine their chances of finding an automatic way out of Group D.
With sheriff Tiraspol, Moldovan Champions League rookie, shocking Shakhtar with a 2-0 win at the start of the day, the Nerazzurri will be next to play in Europe when they make the trip to Ukraine in a fortnight.
Report of the match
Inter Milan: Handanović (5), Škriniar (7.5), De Vrij (6.5), Bastoni (6.5), Darmian (7), Barella (6), Brozović (6.5), Çalhanoğlu (6), Perisic (5.5), Dzeko (6) , Martinez (7)
Subtitles: Dimarco (5), Dumfries (4), Vidal (4.5), Correra (4), Vecino (N / A)
Real Madrid: Courtois (9), Carvajal (6.5), Nacho (7), Militão (6), Alaba (6.5), Valverde (7), Modric (6.5), Casemiro (7), Vázquez (5), Benzema (4), Vinicius Junior (6)
Subtitles: Rodrygo (8), Camavinga (7), Asensio (N / A)
yellow cards: Inter: Martínez – Real Madrid: Alaba
red cards: N / A
Referee: Daniel Siebert