Today I was able to watch the Inter vs Real Madrid match of the Champions League group stage. These 2 teams played about 3 weeks earlier with a victory for Real Madrid and today the result was the same, Inter was beaten by Real Madrid 0-2.
The beginning of the match was very comfortable for Madrid, Inter's defense caused a silly penalty, and since Ramos and Benzema weren't on the pitch, it was Hazard the one who shot it and it went in. An easy goal for Hazard who hasn't been able to score that many goals since signing for Real Madrid last season.
Besides the absence of Ramos and Benzema, Real Madrid began the match without Casemiro in the midfield, which was occupied by Kross, Modric, and Odegaard. Casemiro entered the pitch around the 60-minute mark in exchange for Odegaard and the other 2 midfielders played the entire match.
Both Lukaku and Martinez, Inter's strikers had a bad match. They were completely defeated by Real Madrid's defense, Varane, and Nacho, and they didn't cause that much danger to Real Madrid. Last season these 2 strikers were in incredible shape but right now their performance is lower than normal.
Real Madrid was better for the entire 90 minutes but Inter pretty much destroyed its chances of tying or winning the match just half an hour into the game. There was a potential penalty in favor of Inter and the referee decided it was no penalty so Vidal went all crazy to yell to the referee and he got not just 1 yellow card but 2 of them, which equals a red card and he was forced to leave the match. Inter lost one key player just because he couldn't control himself when yelling to the referee.
With Real Madrid winning and controlling the match, and now with Inter having 10 players instead of 11, the match was pretty much over by that point. Heroic feats such as tying or even winning the match with 10 players vs 11 have been achieved in the best, but this is clearly against all odds. Real Madrid continued to play even better than before and with the confidence of being not only in better shape than Inter but also with 1 extra player.
Casemiro and Ramos are usually missed because they are extremely important for Real Madrid's defense, but today the team was so dominant their absence wasn't felt at all. Nacho had an awesome match in the central defense with Varane, and the midfielders were all great.
The second goal came second after Real Madrid first changes around the 60-minute mark. Casemiro and Rodrygo went in and Rodrygo's first touch was actually his goal! It was assisted by Lucas Vazquez with a perfect cross from the right side of the pitch. I am not sure if this goal is considered Rodrygo's or Hakimi's own goal. On the TV it appeared as an own goal but it looked like Rodrygo's goal to me and then on the internet it is listed as Rodrygo's.
Perhaps the weakest player for Real Madrid was the striker, Mariano. Since Benzema is injured and Jovic has covid it is Mariano, the third striker of the team, the one who has been participating in the last 2 matches. Today, he didn't do much. I think he is a little bit out of shape but it is not as if his match was horrible. He could have done better but it was an "OK" match for him. The team, in general, was very good and this should help them regain some confidence after the disappointing tie in the weekend in a national league match.
Real Madrid's next match is this Saturday and I am planning to watch it. The next Champions League matches are next week.