Toni Kroos and Eder Militao starred for Real Madrid as they beat Inter Milan 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu to finish on top of Group D in the Champions League.
The game was off to a pulsating start as both Real Madrid and Inter Milan went all-in in search of a victory. Vinicius Junior had a shot deflected wide early in the contest for the hosts while Inter Milan also posed a threat, with Marcelo Brozovic coming close with a stunning strike from outside the box.
The Nerazzurri were gaining control of the game, but Real Madrid struck at the right moment with Toni Kroos firing the ball into the back of the net in the 17th minute with a brilliant left-footed strike from the edge of the area. Ivan Perisic missed narrowly for Inter not long after while Luka Jovic hit the side-netting at the other end before Rodrygo struck the post as Real Madrid entered half-time with just a 1-0 lead.
Just minutes into the second half, Nicolo Barella had a glorious chance to equalise for the visitors but sent his effort over, while Jovic was involved again at the other end, forcing a save from Samir Handanovic. Things got harder for Inter when they were reduced to ten men after the hour mark as Barella was given his marching orders for lashing out at Eder Militao after a strong challenge from the Brazilian.
It was all Real Madrid from thereon, and they deservedly found the second goal in the 79th minute, courtesy of a Marco Asensio stunner that ricocheted off the post and into the net. The 2-0 victory ensured Carlo Ancelotti’s side finished at the top of Group D while the Italian champions ended as runners-up. Here are our player ratings for both sets of players from the night.
Real Madrid Player Ratings
Thibaut Courtois: 6/10
Pretty much a stroll in the park for Thibaut Courtois as Inter Milan never really asked any serious questions of him. The Belgian had one or two routine stops to make and made a few claims in his box, bagging another clean sheet in the process.
Dani Carvajal: 7.5/10
The Spaniard enjoyed a fine outing on Tuesday night, keeping things solid at the back while providing a constant outlet on the overlap. Carvajal produced a crucial block to deny Perisic in the first half and kept the Croatian in check. He finished the game with four key passes and an assist.
Eder Militao: 9/10
The centre-back continued from where he left off in the win against Real Sociedad, putting up another rock-solid display at the heart of the Real Madrid defence. Militao won everything in the air and on the ground, finishing with five clearances, five interceptions and two shots blocked. He also won each of the six aerial duels he contested while passing accurately from the back. Booked for the involvement in the kerfuffle with Barella that saw the Italian get sent off.
Eder Militao vs Inter Milan
— Nirvik (@NirvikAdhikari3) December 7, 2021
David Alaba: 7/10
The summer signing was reliable as ever on the night, ensuring Edin Dzeko was kept quiet while his ball-playing abilities were crucial to Real Madrid building up from the back. Alaba wasn’t pushed a great deal defensively by the Nerazzurri.
Ferland Mendy: 7/10
Mendy had an interesting duel on his hand against the lively Denzel Dumfries, and the Frenchman came out on top, keeping things tight at the back while also providing attacking support to Vinicius on the left flank.
Luka Modric: 7.5/10
A solid, all-action display from Modric without entirely standing out. The Croatian international provided defensive support, winning back possession in midfield and then made driving runs forward while also laying on chances for his teammates.
Casemiro put in a solid shift in the middle of the park as is the norm, shielding the defence effectively while keeping things neat and tidy in possession. He also pulled off a fine dummy in the lead-up to Kroos’ goal. He was taken off with a knock.
Toni Kroos: 9/10
Toni Kroos scores Real Madrid's 1000th European Cup/Champions League goal ? pic.twitter.com/paqSarJjF9
— GOAL (@goal) December 7, 2021
The German superstar got the ball rolling for Real Madrid on the night with a stunning strike from the edge of the box with his weaker left foot. He was precise and sharp with his passing, creating two chances, including one for Rodrygo, which stood out. Kroos finished with a 97% pass accuracy, which included ten accurate long passes while he also helped out defensively. He has been absolutely top-notch since returning from injury.
Rodrygo Goes: 7/10
The Brazilian got the nod over Marco Asensio on the right-wing and had a decent outing. He got the assist for the opening goal on the night and came close to scoring twice in the first half, hitting the post and the side-netting. Rodrygo also forced a save from Handanovic after the break and worked extremely hard off the ball to help out defensively against Perisic.
Luka Jovic: 7/10
Getting a starting berth in the absence of Karim Benzema, the Serbian striker, provided a focal point at the top, keeping Milan Skriniar occupied and using his physicality to hold up the ball and bring others into play. Jovic linked up well with Carvajal and came close to scoring in the first period but hit the side-net. He then forced Handanovic into a save and generally put in a good shift on the night.
Vinicius Junior: 7/10
While the Brazilian was not at his fluent best, he still caused a host of problems to the Inter Milan defence, forcing them to often double up on him. Even then, the 21-year-old managed to squeeze out of tight spaces and also produced three key passes. He sent a shot narrowly wide within just two minutes of kickoff.
Eduardo Camavinga: 6/10
The Frenchman came on for Casemiro in the 71st minute. Got on the ball and kept things ticking along.
Marco Asensio: 7/10
You won't see a cleaner strike than this ?
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 7, 2021
On for Rodrygo with less than 15 minutes left. Scored a stunning goal with his left foot after cutting in from the right flank to make it 2-0.
Federico Valverde: 5/10
He did not see much of the ball after replacing Kroos.
Mariano Diaz: 5/10
He missed a great chance after coming on for Jovic.
Eden Hazard: N/A
Late sub for Vinicius.
Inter Milan Player Ratings
Samir Handanovic: 6/10
The Inter Milan captain could not have done anything to stop either goal from Real Madrid on the night but did make a couple of decent stops to deny Jovic and Rodrygo after the break.
Danilo D’Ambrosio: 5/10
He started as the right-sided centre-back, and the Italian found it hard to cope with Vinicius. Moved to wing-back after the half-time break and picked up a booking for a rash challenge. Not the most memorable night.
Milan Skriniar: 6/10
The Inter Milan defensive mainstay was kept busy by Jovic throughout the game but dealt fairly well with the threat of the Serbian. He passed out well from the back and was not at fault for any of the goals or the chances that Real Madrid produced.
? Skriniar: “We knew that it would be a tough game. We started out well, creating plenty of chances while moving the ball around well and combining as a team. Yet if you don't take your chances against a team like Real Madrid you'll pay for it.”
— Inter Xtra (@Inter_Xtra) December 7, 2021
Alessandro Bastoni: 6/10
There were one or two hairy moments at the back, but he was tight defensively for the most part and even made a crucial interception to stop a pass from reaching Jovic in a dangerous position.
Denzel Dumfries: 5/10
The Dutchman made some forward runs on the right flank but was suspect defensively and could have given away a penalty. Taken off at half-time to be replaced by Federico Dimarco.
Nicolo Barella: 3/10
The midfield mainstay had a great chance to equalise early in the second half but fired his shot over the bar. Then he completely lost his cool after being brushed off the ball by Militao and lashed out at the Brazilian, leading to a sending off. That pretty much ended Inter Milan’s chances of winning.
Oh dear ?
It's a red card for Barella after lashing out ? pic.twitter.com/Mv2pAOhJpI
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) December 7, 2021
Marcelo Brozovic: 6/10
The Croatian international started positively and came close to scoring with a fine strike from distance early on. Kept things in check in the middle of the park, but his impact waned as the game wore on. He was taken off in the second half.
Hakan Calhanoglu: 6/10
He may have made a game-high five key passes on the night, but Calhanoglu never really looked like a threat against Real Madrid. Looked sloppy on the ball at times, especially in the first period, losing possession and was taken off at the hour mark.
Ivan Perisic: 7/10
The Croatian international looked the likeliest to make things happen for Inter Milan on the night. He had a couple of chances in the first period, one of which was blocked, and the other went wide. Pushed back defensively at times, and he did not let his guard down.
Edin Dzeko: 5/10
A quiet night on the field for Inter Milan’s main man, who never really got involved in the proceedings a great deal and did not offer a goal threat at all. Well-marshalled by the hosts.
Lautaro Martinez: 5/10
Much like his strike partner, the Argentine international also endured a sub-par showing, hardly making any impact in the final third of the pitch. He was taken off after Barella’s red card.
Federico Dimarco: 5.5/10
Replaced Dumfries at half-time and slotted in as the left-sided centre-back. Could do little to alter the course of the proceedings.
Arturo Vidal: 6/10
He came on for Brozovic at the hour mark. Vidal added more intensity and tenacity to the middle of the park.
Alexis Sanchez: 5.5/10
The ex-Barcelona ace replaced Dzeko for the last thirty minutes. He was lively and buzzed around the box but lacked support in the final third.
Matias Vecino: 5/10
Came on for Calhanoglu but hardly did anything of note.
Roberto Gagliardini: 5/10
Sent on in place of Martinez in the 66th minute. Struggled to keep hold of the ball under pressure from the home team.