MADRID — Rodrygo’s goal 10 minutes from time gave Real Madrid a dramatic 3-2 win at home to Inter Milan to keep their Champions League hopes alive on Tuesday night.
Things were looking increasingly desperate for Madrid after Inter Milan had fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2, a result that would have left them with just two points from their opening three group matches.
Rodrygo took advantage of a break launched by Vinicius Jr to earn his side’s first win in this season’s competition as Inter was pushing for a winning goal.
As expected, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane fielded an attacking formation consisting of Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio, while former Real Madrid defender Achraf Hakimi and former Barca midfielder Arturo Vidal started for Inter.
Real Madrid’s recent injury problems at right back have caused some to question the wisdom of selling Achraf to Inter this summer, but the defender did his chances of returning no favors in the 25th minute with a dreadful backpass which was intercepted by Benzema, who rounded the keeper before putting the ball into the net.
It was 2-0 to Real Madrid in the 33rd minute when Sergio Ramos scored a smart header following Toni Kroos’ corner.
It was looking as if Zidane’s side would cruise to victory, but two minutes later Lautaro Martinez got Inter back into the game with a smart finish after a touch from Nicolo Barrella.
Real Madrid was looking reasonably comfortable in the second half until Inter drew level after Martinez turned provider for Ivan Perisic, who held off Lucas Vazquez before driving past Thibaut Courtois with 22 minutes left.
At that moment, Real Madrid had one foot out of Europe. Although they still have work to do to reach the knockout stages, Rodrygo’s goal has made their job a bit easier.