Milan: Real Madrid closed in on the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday with a 2-0 win that pushed 10-man Inter Milan to the brink of elimination from the competition.
Eden Hazard put Real ahead after just seven minutes at the San Siro as Zinedine Zidane’s side brushed off the absence of captain Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema.
Antonio Conte’s Inter played over an hour a man down after Arturo Vidal was sent off after half an hour.
The Chilean midfielder had argued for a penalty after going down under pressure from Real defenders but instead received two yellow cards for dissent.
Substitute Rodrygo came off the bench and forced Inter’s Achraf Hakimi to divert the ball into his own net against his former club, doubling Real’s lead on 59 minutes.
Real, the record 13-time European champions, move second in Group B with seven points from four games, one point behind Borussia Moenchengladbach, with Inter Milan bottom with just two points.
“The team performed really well to assure ourselves of three very important points,” said Hazard.
“There are two group games left to win now and we need all the points we can get. Scoring was important to me but far more important was winning.”
“The situation is difficult, but there is always hope,” said Inter Milan captain Samir Handanovic of his side’s hopes of reaching the last 16.
“We must move from words to actions.”
A minute’s silence took place before kick-off in honour of former Argentina and Napoli legend Diego Maradona, who died Wednesday aged 60.