A late goal from Rodrygo secured a 1-0 win for Real Madrid over Inter Milan at a raucous San Siro, in a UEFA Champions League Group D opener that had looked destined to end level.
Italian champions, Inter Milan are hoping to make the knockout stages of the competition for the first time since 2011/2012 but their profligacy upfront was punished in the final minutes of the clash.
Getting the early momentum in such a high-profile clash was vital, especially for an Inter side playing at home.
As such, the ‘Nerazzurri’ showed great intent inside the first ten minutes, with Lautaro Martínez and Edin Džeko forcing saves from Thibaut Courtois, while Milan Škriniar’s header went marginally over the crossbar.
Lautaro Martinez missed out on a golden opportunity to put the hosts ahead with a 19th-minute header of his own, after finding himself completely unmarked by the penalty spot when Ivan Perisic’s pinpoint cross arrived, but the Argentine forward powered it straight at Courtois.
Naturally, 13-time winners Real had flashes of inspiration themselves as the half progressed, and they regained some control, but the home side continued to impress both in and out of possession.
Éder Militão sent a headed effort wide with the away side’s best chance of the half, after finding a surprising amount of space in the box.
The Spaniards looked an improved side after the break, and again, it took a brilliant stop from Thibaut Courtois keep Real Madrid in the game as he denied Džeko’s 53rd-minute header despite it bouncing just in front of him.
With the visitors courage unabated, Dani Carvajal had a chance of his own just before the hour mark, but sent it straight at Samir Handanović.
Defeat was finally inflicted upon Inter in the 90th minute, when Rodrygo got on the end of fellow substitute Eduardo Camavinga’s cushioned volley and guided the ball past Handanović.
This was a harsh result for Inter against Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid, who up to that point had shown little of the attacking verve which has brought them 13 goals in four La Liga games so far this season.
The win takes Real Madrid to seven consecutive wins in Italy, while Simone Inzaghi will be furious to see his side surrender a point in the final moments of such a big game.
Madrid however, are not top of the group as that honour goes to the new boys in town, Sheriff Tiraspol, who downed Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 in a dream start to life in the Champions League.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago