Heading into the San Siro, Real Madrid had everything stacked against them. A poor run in the Champions League so far, a recent 4-1 loss in La Liga to Valencia and they were without Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema amongst others.
Instead, Zinedine Zidane’s side walks away from Milan with a crucial 2-0 victory over Inter thanks to a strong team performance and, of course, a hot headed Arturo Vidal.
See player ratings below.
Thibaut Courtois—7.5: Didn’t have much to do tonight as the hosts only recorded five shots. Courtois still came in clutch, however, making two big plays to keep a clean sheet. Given the defence’s recent disasters, the Belgian should be impressed with this performance.
Dani Carvajal — 8.25: Oh to watch vintage Carvajal play, what a joy. With a new-look defence it was nice to have another senior player leading the backline. Looked great with Vazquez and Modric on the wing. Some devious skills as well. Crucial to moving the team forward.
Raphael Varane — 8: That was the class-act Varane performance we’re all used to seeing. Very lucky to get away with the tackle on Vidal (talk about impeccable timing). Finished with three tackles and two aerial duels. Also gets the win wearing the captain’s arm band.
Nacho — 8.5: In for Ramos tonight and proved he could step up to the challenge. Floated up top to help in attack but was never caught out of position when doing so. Also won the penalty. Great to see him back in top-form. Finished the match with five tackles, one dribble and one aerial duel.
Ferland Mendy — 7.75: Used his speed to cause problems for Inter, especially against Hakimi. Good interceptions of the ball but failed to make anything out of that beautiful play in the first half. Needed to do more with that chance but was there an expectation on him to put it in the back of the net? Not so sure. Still proving he plays better than Marcelo.
Toni Kroos — 8.5: A quiet, but master-class of a match from the German. Without Casemiro, Kroos played slightly ahead of the centre-backs and directed the game from there. Afterwards, he moved forward and became more involved. Set up the play for Rodrygo’s goal. Two key passes, one shot, 98% pass completion and two tackles.
Luka Modric— 9: Can someone please explain how this man is 35?! Modric was the pinnacle of youth tonight in Milan and always looked to propel Madrid forward. Sniffed out opportunities all game and almost made a fool of Samir Handanović. Finished with three key passes, two dribbles, one shot, one tackle and one aerial duel.
Martin Ødegaard — 8.25: Seeing Ødegaard play alongside Kroos and Modric was mouthwatering. Together, the trio operated the midfield with ease and gave Madrid total control. Ødegaard sat in behind the attacking line and played in through balls (some no-look passes as well). Finished with three key passes and one tackle. Subbed after 58 mins.
Lucas Vazquez— 8: Sergio Ramos, sorry, I mean Lucas Vazquez, absolutely bodied Inter tonight. The Spaniard did all the dirty work for the club and put in one heck of a shift. Had four shots on target, hit the post on one chance, three dribbles, one tackle and one key pass. Assisted Rodrygo’s goal and also told Vidal to get up off the ground.
Mariano Diaz — 7: Earns a start after a strong showing in the league against Villarreal. Had one early opportunity but the soft header went unnoticed. Good in positioning to open up space around him but overall not too influential. Would have liked to see him more involved. Subbed after 58 mins.
Eden Hazard — 8.5: Once again the fuel behind the win as his penalty gave Madrid a 1-0 lead just six minutes in. Was very fluid on the pitch and linked up well with Ødegaard and Vazquez. Finished with six dribbles, three shots and one key pass. Is slowly but surely working his way back to full fitness. Subbed after 78 mins.
Casemiro — 8: Came in for Ødegaard after 58 minutes and easily found his place. Added an extra bit of energy for the last half. Positioned himself above the centre-backs which helped Kroos move forward and give Madrid more possession in the midfield. Good ball recovery as well.
Rodrygo — 8: Another UCL game, another clutch UCL goal. Rodrygo came on for Diaz as the second half of a double change from Zidane and immediately made an impact with a ruthless strike to make it 2-0. Afterwards he kind of died off but overall he still played exactly how you want a substitute to play. Come on and make a difference.
Vini Jr. — 7: Came in for Hazard with just over 10 minutes left in the match. Tried an attempt on goal early on but couldn’t get anything out of it. Still showed an eagerness to help Madrid add one more, which is another nice quality to see in a substitute.