Goals from Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio secured a 2-0 victory for Real Madrid over Inter Milan and top spot in Champions League Group D.
After Inter had the better of the early stages, Kroos opened the scoring after 17 minutes crashing an unstoppable left-footed drive home from 20 yards.
The game remained competitive but the hosts were always the more threatening and Rodrygo was close to scoring when Kroos found him in the box and he smartly turned and shot at goal, only for the ball to ricochet off the post and to safety.
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The match ended as a contest when Nicolo Barella was sent off for retaliation after Eder Militao had barged him into the advertising hoardings. Barella lashed out punching the Brazilian defender in the leg and, seemingly after consulting a voice in his ear, the referee sent him off.
The second Real goal even outdid the first. Asensio was on the field a minute when Luka Modric squared a ball to him on the edge of the 18-yard box and the substitute took a touch before curling an effort in off the far post.
The victory sees Carlo Ancelotti's side end the group stages on 15 points, with the only blemish caused by the shock defeat to FC Sheriff. Inter end the group second with 10 points.

TALKING POINT - ARE RISING REAL A THREAT?

Karim Benzema has been their best player as they embarked on a run of games which has opened up an eight-point gap at the top of la Liga, but this performance without him would have been even more encouraging for Carlo Ancelotti. All facets of Real seem to be coming together. Their back four looks very solid with Militao and Ferland Mendy more old school full backs whose priority is action in their own half. The midfield three of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric is just as good as it has always been but with the improving form of Brazilian flankers Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo they have fine talent to work with. It will still be a tough challenge against the three top English sides and Bayern Munich, but Real Madrid have reason to think they again can pose a challenge in the tournament synonymous with them.

MAN OF THE MATCH - TONI KROOS (REAL MADRID)

While the developing nature of the Real Madrid side is extremely exciting, the reason they can flourish is due to the remarkable consistency and talent of the old guard in midfield. He has been around so long it is easy to forget Kroos is not yet 32 and is almost certain to be around when they next have a golden trophy run. His goal was pure technique. Hitting his left foot, just as sweetly and truly as he would his right foot. Even outside of this sublime effort there were numerous examples of him controlling the game and setting up his forwards in goalscoring positions which should have resulted in more goals.

PLAYER RATINGS

Real Madrid: Courtois 7, Carvajal 7, Militao 7, Alaba 7, Mendy 6, Casemiro 7, Kroos 8*, Modric 7, Rodrygo 7, Vinicius Junior 7, Jovic 7.
Subs: Camavinga 6, Asensio 7, Valverde 6, Diaz, Hazard 6.
Inter: Handanovic 7; Dumfries 6, D’Ambrosio 6, Skriniar 6, Bastoni 6; Brozovic 6, Barella 6, Calhanoglu 7, Perisic 7, Lautaro Martinez 5, Dzeko 5.
Subs: DiMarco 6, Vecino 6, Vidal 6, Sanchez 6, Gagliardini 6.

KEY MOMENTS

17' GOAL FOR REAL MADRID! Kroos fires a low left-footed drive into the corner of the net. Far from a swinger his left foot.
45' Off the post! Kroos finds Rodrygo in the box and he turns and shoots beating Handanovic but it comes back off the woodwork.
63' Barella reacts angrily to a challenge from Militao which saw him go into the advertising hoardings.
65' And Barella is sent off. He sort of punched Militao in the leg from the floor. Have to think that's game over for Inter.
80' GOAL FOR REAL! And what a goal. Asensio on the angle to the penalty area, shifted the ball onto his left foot and then curled an effort that hit the inside of the post near the far top corner before flying into the net.

KEY STAT

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