Real Madrid kick-started their Champions League campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Italian Champions Inter Milan on Wednesday. It was a very tough win that looked like it’ll end goalless until the 90th minute, when substitute Rodrygo Goes scored off a brilliant Camavinga assist to give Real Madrid the lead and the win.
There were some really tough moments for the Spaniards in this game, particularly in the first half. Real struggled a lot with Inter’s constant pressure and some great defending to go with it. Inter also attacked well which forced a huge chunk of saves out of Thibaut Courtois, who was undoubtedly the man of the match.
There are things Real should worry about, but many of those things were corrected in the second half, as the Italians started getting tired by the minute. Let’s get into it.
Ancelotti’s substitutions changed the game for Real Madrid
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said in the post-game press conference that he brought on Rodrygo instead of Eden Hazard because he wanted more width in Real Madrid’s attack. He wanted to unlock Inter’s defense through the flanks, and so he went with Rodrygo. The Italian made the correct decision as Rodrygo’s involvement resulted in a dynamic shift. Real were able to do a lot of things because of the explosiveness of Rodrygo. He connected really well with Dani Carvajal, and was more in sync with the team than Vazquez ever was during the game. Rodrygo also helped a lot on the defensive side of things.
As for the other guy, Eduardo Camavinga, this kid is amazing. Luka Modric was very tired, and it showed from his slightly lacklustre performance. His progressive passes weren’t all that special, and he just looked a step slower than usual. So, Modric went off for the Frenchman, and there was a change. Camavinga’s energy was something that was needed in the midfield. Combine that with Fede’s ability to just go on relentlessly, you form a pretty good duo.
Up against a tired Inter side, Camavinga found spaces that Modric wasn’t able to in the first half, and that was ultimately what led to the goal. Fede Valverde’s pass to Camavinga was beautiful, and the Frenchman forwarded the ball first-time to Rodrygo, who slotted it home. It was something that showed how beyond-his-age Camavinga’s game was, and it’ll be great to see him develop into the player we are so sure he’ll become one day.