Inter Milan 0-2 Real Madrid: Antonio Conte’s Champions League campaign left in tatters after Arturo Vidal sees red while strikes from Eden Hazard and Rodrygo leave Italian giants unable to qualify for knockout stages
Eden Hazard kept his head from the penalty spot and Arturo Vidal lost his, as Real Madrid won 2-0 in Milan to ease closer to the Champions League knockout stage.
Vidal has been sent off three times in his career in the Champions League and twice it has been against Real Madrid. On this occasion referee Anthony Taylor had little choice but to send the Chilean off with two yellow cards both for dissent.
Hazard gave Madrid the lead from the spot and played a part in winning the penalty. He and Martin Odegaard swapped quick passes inside the area and the Norweigan released Nacho.
Eden Hazard broke the deadlock from the penalty spot as Real Madrid took an early lead
Hazard stepped up to take the spot-kick which was awarded after just five minutes
The Belgian attacker put his spot-kick past Samir Handanovic to give Real an early lead
INTER MILAN: (4-2-3-1) Handanovic, Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni (D’Ambrosio 46), Hakimi (Sanchez 64), Barella, Gagliardini (Sensi 78), Vidal, Young, Lukaku (Eriksen 86), Martinez (Perisic 46)
SUBS NOT USED: Ranocchia, Stankovic, Darmian, Nainggolan, Radu
BOOKINGS: Gagliardini (19), Vidal (33, 33), Sensi (86)
SENT OFF: Vidal (33)
COACH: Antonion Conte
REAL MADRID: (4-2-3-1) Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Mendy, Modric, Kroos, Lucas, Odegaard (Casemiro 58), Hazard (Vinicius Junior 78), Mariano (Rodrygo 59)
SUBS NOT USED: Duro, Asensio, Marcelo, Lunin, Isco, Altube, Chust
GOALS: Hazard (PEN 7), Rodrygo (59)
COACH: Zinedine Zidane
REFEREE: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
VENUE: San Siro
The centre-back, unusually placed in centre-forward territory was tripped by Nicolo Barella and Taylor pointed to the spot.
Samir Handanovic dived the right way but Hazard’s penalty beat him for pace and Madrid had a nerve settling lead after just seven minutes.
Four minutes later the lead was almost doubled when the outstanding Lucas Vazquez hit the post.
Ferland Mendy then ran in behind Inter’s defence but he pulled the ball back too far behind all the Madrid players in the penalty area.
Inter had started badly and things got worse when Vidal got himself sent off. First he kicked the ground in the area instead of the ball which Raphael Varane had toe-poked away from him a split-second before.
He went to ground but Taylor called it perfectly – it was no penalty. Vidal protested sufficiently to earn a booking and that should have been that but Vidal just got angrier and when he went nose to with Taylor the referee went back into his pocket for the yellow, and then the red. Inter players were incensed but the no-penalty and the double dissent were both beyond doubt.
On 59 minutes it was 2-0. Rodrygo Goes, on for Mariano Diaz, lashed home a volley from a cross from Lucas.
It was his first touch, a minute after coming on and it keeps up his extraordinary Champions League record – six goals in just nine appearances in the competition.
He’s on around a goal every 45 minutes although UEFA might spoil the record if they give the goal to Achraf Hakimi who it touched as screamed into the roof of the net.
Rodrygo doubled Real’s lead just seconds after coming off the bench in the second half
The Brazilian winger lashed home a volley at the back post to double Real’s advantage
The Real Madrid players celebrate with the young winger after he doubled the visitors’ lead
Arturo Vidal believes he fouled by Raphael Varane (right) inside the Real area in the first half
The Chilean’s protests earned him a yellow card from English match official Anthony Taylor
Seconds later, Vidal picked up a second yellow card and subsequent red for dissent
Ivan Perisic shot just wide in what was Inter’s best chance of the game and he then forced a save from Thibaut Courtois with eight minutes left but the Belgian dealt with it without problems.
This was meant to be the biggest game of the season so far for Real Madrid but they had strolled through it without the injured Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema as well as Casemiro and Militao.
For Antonio Conte the Europa League looms large again. If they manage even that. They are bottom with just two games left.