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Real Madrid leave Inter Milan close to Champions League exit after Vidal sees red

Last updated 2 months ago | By Reuters

Real Madrid's Eden Hazard, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Group B, Champions League soccer match between Inter Milan and Real Madrid at the San Siro Stadium, in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Real Madrid claimed a first-ever win at San Siro on Wednesday, beating Inter 2-0 in the Champions League after the Serie A side had midfielder Arturo Vidal sent off for dissent in the first half.

Eden Hazard converted a seventh-minute penalty and Achraf Hakimi deflected Rodrygo’s shot into his own goal in an authoritative Real performance to leave Inter close to a second successive group-stage elimination.

Real stayed second in Group B with seven points from four games, one behind leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach. Shakhtar Donetsk are third with four and Inter bottom with two, leaving them with only a remote chance of going through.

“Win, lose or draw, the important thing is to play well. Today we deserved to win and we had the match under control until the end,” said Real coach Zinedine Zidane, whose side were held 1-1 at Villarreal in La Liga on Saturday.

“It doesn’t change anything. We also played well the other day and deserved three points.”

Real, without Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos, were gifted an early lead when Nicola Barella clipped Nacho’s heels as he was about to shoot and Hazard comfortably converted the penalty.

Lucas Vazquez hit the post for Real shortly afterwards before Inter began to fight their way back into the game -- only for Vidal to get himself needlessly dismissed.

Champions League - Group B - Inter Milan v Real Madrid - San Siro, Milan, Italy - November 25, 2020 Inter Milan's Arturo Vidal is sent off by referee Anthony Taylor [REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo]

The Chilean went down under a challenge from two players and was livid when the referee waved away his penalty appeal, refusing to even look at the pitchside monitor. Vidal was booked for dissent, continued arguing, was booked again and sent off in the 33rd minute.

Inter had another penalty waved away when Roberto Gagliardini went down early in the second half before Real struck again.

Vazquez, given too much space, clipped the ball back from the byline and Rodrygo’s shot was deflected in off Akram Hakimi, and awarded as an own goal against the Inter fullback.

“It’s a difficult situation but hope springs eternal,” said Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic. “When we went down to 10 men, Real knew how to control the match and pass the ball around. With the quality of their players, that makes it more difficult.”

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