Real Madrid kicked off the Champions League group stage with the most important match ever – a visit to Inter. Carlo Ancelotti was lucky: despite the dominant performance of the hosts, Madrid left with a minimal victory thanks to Rodrigo’s goal in the 89th minute.
The Brazilian winger entered the game in the second half and immediately turned on dribbles against Alessandro Bastogne. On the other flank, the compatriot was supported by Vinicius: number 20 regularly stitched Inter’s defense and broke through to the front. Back in Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal (dangerously involved in the penalty area) and Eduardo Kamavinga (gave an assist) flashed. Against the background of field partners, the contribution of Thibaut Courtois, the main character of Madrid, in the framework of the Milan departure faded.
In the match with Inter, the Belgian made five saves – this is Courtois’ second result in the 2021/22 season, more was only in the game with Betis (7). Thibault’s first rescue from Milan came at the 19th minute: the Real Madrid goalkeeper parried a head blow from Lautaro Martinez, who closed the fast lunge. The second hypermoment is fixed at the 54th minute. Edin Dzeko nodded after a cross from a corner – the pupil of Genk immediately fell to the lawn and met the ball with his gloves.
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In the first half, Real Madrid’s defense allowed 14 shots – a negligence that Madrid has not experienced since 2013, when Juventus fired 15 shots in 45 minutes for the Spaniards. In difficult conditions it was Courtois who dragged. Even before the break, Inter’s xG approached the 1.5 mark. Thibault did not allow a single blow to be realized.
Result – Courtois turned out to be the best player of the match according to the Spanish edition of Goal. “Thibault took three balls from Lautaro and two from Dzeko,” summed up the author of the publication, Mario Cortegana. The goalkeeper himself spoke more modestly about the game: “In the first half, we had little possession of the ball and could not put pressure on Inter. True, in the second, the opponent’s activity decreased – we caught on and built on our success. “
Such performances hint: even a controversial nature does not take away from Courtois the quality, thanks to which Thibault competes for the title of the best goalkeeper in the world. He just got into the perestroika team.
“Today I have fulfilled my dream. Real Madrid are the best club on the planet, “Courtois rejoiced in 2018 when he hastily moved to Madrid from Chelsea. London fans still remember the harsh farewell to the goalkeeper, and now they are probably sneering: Thibault came to the Spanish capital at the turn of the generations.
The victorious Real Madrid squad is gradually retiring. Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Luca Modric and Karim Benzema are already over 30. Florentino Perez understands the problem and gives the coaches the youngsters: Ferlan Mendi, Eder Militao, Vinicius, Rodrigo and Eduardo Camaving. Only Courtois is in prime age. The Belgian is 29 years old.
Thibault faced a problem: Real Madrid of the 10s, which was associated with dreams and the best clubs in the world, has come to a career end, and the next generation is only gaining the necessary experience. “Madrid” has not sagged in quality enough to be knocked out of the pool of top teams, but the major achievements, which Courtois fantasized about on a plane from London, cannot yet claim.
All the more powerful performances in the spirit of Thibault against “Inter” look.
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