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Internazionale vs Real Madrid: UEFA Champions League background, form guide, previous meetings

Inter are in danger of being cut adrift in Group B after defeat at a Real Madrid side whose Matchday 3 win brought them back into contention.

Alessandro Bastoni and Sergio Ramos after the sides' meeting in Madrid
Alessandro Bastoni and Sergio Ramos after the sides' meeting in Madrid Getty Images

Internazionale are in danger of losing touch in Group B as they face a Real Madrid side whose Matchday 3 win against the Italian side has revived their own hopes.

• An 80th-minute Rodrygo goal gave Madrid a dramatic 3-2 victory in Spain last time out, goals from Lautaro Martínez (35) and Ivan Perišić (68) having brought Inter back on terms after Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos had given Madrid a two-goal lead.

• That took Madrid on to four points, a point behind Borussia Mönchengladbach and level with Shakhtar Donetsk, with Inter on two points and still seeking their first win in this season's UEFA Champions League.

Previous meetings

Highlights: Real Madrid 3-2 Inter
Highlights: Real Madrid 3-2 Inter

• Before Matchday 3 the sides had shared 15 fixtures but none since autumn 1998, when they met in their only other UEFA Champions League contests. Madrid won 2-0 in Spain thanks to goals in the final ten minutes from Fernando Hierro, a penalty, and Clarence Seedorf, before a 3-1 Inter win in Milan sealed by two late Roberto Baggio goals (86, 90). Both clubs were defeated quarter-finalists that season.

• Four of the teams' previous ties had come in semi-finals, Madrid winning all four on aggregate – including a memorable comeback in the most recent, in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup, when they went down 3-1 away but won 5-1 after extra time at home.

• The Spanish side also came out on top in the two previous European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-finals between the clubs, and have won five of their six two-legged knockout ties against Inter.

• The Nerazzurri, however, have never lost at home to Madrid (W5 D2) and can also point to a 3-1 victory in the 1964 European Cup final, Sandro Mazzola scoring twice in Vienna to give Inter the trophy for the first time.

Form guide

Ramos reflects on 100-goal milestone for Real Madrid
Ramos reflects on 100-goal milestone for Real Madrid

• Antonio Conte's side drew their first two fixtures, 2-2 at home to Mönchengladbach – Romelu Lukaku scoring twice, including a 90th-minute equaliser – and 0-0 at Shakhtar.

• Second in Serie A in 2019/20, a point behind champions Juventus, Inter are the last Italian team to win the UEFA Champions League, in 2010 – their third European Cup triumph, and first in 45 years. That 2010 final, in which they defeated Bayern München 2-0, was played in Real Madrid's regular home, the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.

• This is the 14th time Inter have been in the group stage and the third season in a row having missed out for six consecutive years between 2011/12 and 2018/19.

• Conte's charges finished third in their section last season, behind Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund after losing 2-1 at home to the Spanish side on Matchday 6. They picked up seven points from their six games.

2020 Europa League final highlights: Sevilla 3-2 Inter
2020 Europa League final highlights: Sevilla 3-2 Inter

• The Nerazzurri moved into the UEFA Europa League, beating Ludogorets 4-1 on aggregate in the round of 32 before wins in one-off ties on German soil against Getafe (2-0), Bayer Leverkusen (2-1) and Shakhtar (5-0) took them into the final. Inter came up short at the last, however, going down 3-2 against Sevilla in the Cologne decider.

• Inter have won only two of their last 13 UEFA Champions League matches (D5 L6).

• Lukaku had scored in nine successive European matches before drawing a blank on Matchday 2. He missed the defeat in Madrid.

• The Milan club's last two UEFA Champions League campaigns have ended in the group stage, Inter finishing third in their section both last season and in 2018/19 – the first time in nine campaigns they had failed to progress.

• The loss in Madrid made it 20 defeats in Inter's 45 games against Spanish sides and seven in their last nine contests (W1 D1). They lost 2-1 away and at home to Barcelona in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage.

• The defeat by Barça ended the Nerazzurri's nine-game unbeaten run against Liga opposition at San Siro (W3 D6) stretching back to a 2-0 loss to Alavés in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup fourth round. It was only their second defeat at home to a Spanish club in 20 fixtures (W9 D9).

• Victory against Getafe in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16 was only Inter's 14th win against Spanish opposition. Half of those, however, have been against Real Madrid.

Real Madrid
• Madrid went down 3-2 at home to Shakhtar on Matchday 1 and looked set for a fourth consecutive European defeat for the first time in their history when they trailed 2-0 at Mönchengladbach in their second fixture, but late goals from Benzema (87) and Casemiro (90+3) came to their rescue.

• Spanish champions for a record-extending 34th time in 2019/20, this is Madrid's 25th UEFA Champions League campaign – a joint record along with Barcelona. They have qualified for the knockout rounds in all of their 25 seasons, also a competition best.

• This is the 13-time champions' 51st European Cup campaign, more than any other side.

• Madrid have finished second in their group three times in the last four seasons.

Matchday 4 highlights: Real Madrid 6-0 Galatasaray
Matchday 4 highlights: Real Madrid 6-0 Galatasaray

• In 2019/20, Zinédine Zidane's side were runners-up in their section behind eventual finalists Paris Saint-Germain. They were beaten 3-0 in the French capital on Matchday 1 and let slip a two-goal lead late on to draw 2-2 at home in the reverse fixture; they were also held at home by Club Brugge by the same scoreline. Madrid did win 3-1 in Belgium, and beat Galatasaray away (1-0) and at home (6-0) to finish on 11 points, five fewer than Paris.

• Madrid's campaign came to an end in the round of 16, however, as they lost 2-1 home and away to Manchester City.

• Having reached the semi-finals or better for eight successive seasons between 2010/11 and 2017/18, Madrid have therefore lost in the last 16 in each of the last two campaigns, bowing out against Ajax in 2018/19.

• Matchday 3 was only Madrid's second win in their last seven UEFA Champions League matches (D2 L3) and their second in eight home games (D2 L4).

• Madrid have lost six of their last 14 UEFA Champions League matches (W5 D3).

• The Spanish side have won 16 of their last 27 European away matches, losing six.

• Benzema's goal on Matchday 2 means he has matched Lionel Messi's record of scoring in 16 successive UEFA Champions League campaigns.

• Madrid have won nine of their last ten games against Italian clubs, the exception a 3-1 home defeat by Juventus – who they beat 4-1 in the 2017 UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff – in the 2017/18 quarter-final second leg. Madrid nevertheless squeezed through having won 3-0 in Turin.

2017 final highlights: Real Madrid 4-1 Juventus
2017 final highlights: Real Madrid 4-1 Juventus

• The Merengues have won their last four games in Italy, most recently a 2-0 success at Roma in the 2018/19 group stage, having previously gone eight matches without a victory (D4 L4).

Links and trivia
• Zidane was a Juventus team-mate of Conte between 1996 and 2001, the pair winning the Serie A title in 1997 and 1998.

• Achraf Hakimi joned Madrid in 2006, stepping up to the reserve side in 2016. His first-team debut came in October 2017 and he went on to score twice in his nine Liga appearances that season, also featuring twice in Madrid's victorious UEFA Champions League campaign. He joined Dortmund on a two-year loan in 2018 before making a permanent switch to Inter in July 2020.

• Have also played in Spain:
Arturo Vidal (Barcelona 2018–20)
Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona 2011–14)

• Vidal's record against Madrid with Barcelona was W3 D2 L1; he scored in Barça's 5-1 Liga victory at the Camp Nou in October 2018.

• Sánchez scored three goals in his 13 matches for Barcelona against Madrid; his record was W5 D4 L4.

• International team-mates:
Aleksandar Kolarov & Luka Jović (Serbia)
Romelu Lukaku & Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard (Belgium)
Ivan Perišić & Luka Modrić, Marcelo Brozović (Croatia)

• Have played together:
Romelu Lukaku & Eden Hazard (Chelsea 2013)
Arturo Vidal & Toni Kroos (Bayer Leverkusen 2009/10)

Latest news

• Arturo Vidal's next game in UEFA club competition will be his 100th.

• Lautaro Martínez ended a run of three Serie A Games without a goal on 8 November, but a late equaliser meant Inter had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Atalanta. Martínez had scored in the first three league games of the season.

• Inter ended a four-game run without a victory in all competitions by coming from 2-0 down to beat Torino 4-2 at San Siro on Sunday, Romelu Lukaku scoring twice and Alexis Sánchez and Martínez once apiece. That was only their fourth victory in all competitions this season in their 11th fixture (D5 L2).

• Milan Škriniar returned at Atalanta having missed five games due to illness. Marcelo Brozović, Aleksándar Kolárov and Daniele Padelli have all been sidelined with a similar problem.

• Stefano Sensi has been out since 7 October due to a thigh injury.

• On 15 November, substitute Andrea Pinamonti scored in a 4-0 win against Luxembourg that secured Italy's place at the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, although he subsequently twisted his ankle and has not played since.

• Škriniar's own goal did not prevent Slovakia claiming a 2-1 extra-time win away to Northern Ireland in their UEFA EURO 2020 play-off final on 12 November.

• Alessandro Bastoni made his Italy debut in a 4-0 friendly win against Estonia on 11 November.

• Christian Eriksen scored both Denmark goals in the 2-1 UEFA Nations League victory against Iceland on 15 November, including a 90th-minute penalty winner.

• Vidal scored both of Chile's goals in the 2-0 home win against Peru in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying on 13 November, and also found the net in the 2-1 defeat away to Venezuela four days later.

• Achraf Hakimi was on target as Morocco beat the Central Africa Republic 4-1 in CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on 13 November.

• On 18 November, Lukaku scored twice as Belgium defeated Denmark 4-2 to book a place in the UEFA Nations League Finals, while Martínez was on target as Argentina beat Peru 2-0.

• Lukaku has 14 goals in 14 games for club and country in 2020/21 and had scored in five successive outings, seven goals in all, before drawing a blank at Shakhtar on Matchday 2.

Lukaku's Europa League Best Player acceptance speech
Lukaku's Europa League Best Player acceptance speech

• On 2 October Lukaku was named the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League Player of the Season.

• Lukaku was joined by Samir Handanovič, Stefan de Vrij, Nicolò Barella, Brozović and Martínez in the UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season.

Real Madrid
• Madrid have won only three of their last eight games in all competitions (D2 L3); they were held 1-1 at Villarreal in the Liga on Saturday.

• Madrid suffered their second league defeat of the season on 8 November, going down 4-1 at Valencia – a game in which they conceded three penalties for the first time in the Liga.

• A 1-0 loss against Cádiz on 17 October was Madrid's first Liga defeat at home since a 2-0 reverse against Betis on 19 May 2019; Cádiz thus ended Madrid's 20-match unbeaten home league run (W16 D4).

• Sergio Ramos broke Gianluigi Buffon's European all-time men's caps record in Spain's 1-1 draw with Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League on 14 November, making his 177th international appearance. However, he missed two penalties in the game, having scored his previous 25 for club and country.

• Ramos also started the 6-0 win against Germany, also in the UEFA Nations League, three days later that booked Spain's place in the Finals, but had to be substituted shortly before half-time due to a hamstring injury and missed Madrid's weekend draw.

Highlights: Serbia 1-1 Scotland (4-5 pens)
Highlights: Serbia 1-1 Scotland (4-5 pens)

• A Luka Jović goal was not enough to prevent Serbia losing on penalties to Scotland after a 1-1 draw in the final of their UEFA EURO 2020 play-off in Belgrade on 12 November. Jović scored twice more six days later as Serbia concluded their UEFA Nations League campaign with a 5-0 home win against Russia.

• Nacho was substituted just before half-time in the 3-1 win in Barcelona on 24 October due to a thigh injury, returning to play 90 minutes at Villarreal.

• Dani Carvajal also played the whole game for Madrid on Saturday, his first appearance since suffering a knee injury in training on 2 October.

• Martin Ødegaard came on as a substitute at Valencia, his first appearance since Norway's 1-0 UEFA Nations League win against Northern Ireland on 14 October due to a calf injury.

• Álvaro Odriozola picked up a calf injury in training before the October international break and has not played since.

• Federico Valverde suffered a leg injury at Valencia and has not played since.

• Casemiro, Éder Militão and Jović have been sidelined by illness while Karim Benzema has an adductor problem.

• Mariano Díaz (tonsillitis) has also been on the sidelines but returned as a substitute at Valencia and scored Madrid's goal on Saturday.