- Ancelotti’s team resolved a difficult game against Celtic in the second half thanks to goals from Vinicius, Modric and Hazard but the Frenchman had to be replaced due to a knee injury
Real Madrid kicked off their defense of the Champions League title with a hard-fought win against a rambunctious Celtic side, but the victory was overshadowed by injuries to Benzema and Eder Militao . Especially worrying were the gestures of the Frenchman, who had a sore knee, and whose absence could have very negative consequences for Ancelotti ‘s men . But Madrid have plenty of resources, at least to surrender to Celtic , and their most effective version and the inspiration of Vinicius , Modric , Kroos and a reborn Hazard were enough.
Carlo Ancelotti opted in Glasgow for a starting eleven, so much so that the only change in the line-up with respect to the Champions League final was Tchouaméni for the transferred Casemiro .
Celtic came out at full speed and without complexes, ready to bite Madrid up and with the intention of verticalizing at the slightest opportunity. The white team, more contemplative, naturally accepted the give and take, aware that as soon as the first rush subsided, Kroos and Modric would take over.
But far from letting up, Celtic went up another gear and stifled a Madrid unable to overcome the local pressure. At the Whites’ worst moment, a shot from McGregor crashed into the crosshead. The warning was not the worst for Madrid, who a few minutes later saw Benzema request the change due to a knee problem after colliding with a rival.
While waiting to know the diagnosis, the injury could have a devastating effect for a Madrid that has no natural substitute in the squad for its best footballer. All the alarms are on in the ranks of Carlo Ancelotti ‘s team .
Eden Hazard , chosen by Ancelotti as false nine instead of Rodrygo , came on cold but went further and ended up participating in the first two goals and scoring the 0-3. By then Madrid was already somewhat improved, more protagonist with the ball because Kroos, Valverde and Modric took a step forward to take over the last bars of the first half. Precisely the Uruguayan, the Belgian and Vinicius , who wasted a very clear one-on-one, enjoyed the best white chances, but Madrid had wet powder and little presence in the Hart area .
As for a skinny dog, everything is fleas, the second half dawned with another bad news for Madrid as Militao , supposedly with physical problems, had to be replaced at halftime by Rüdiger . Daizen , another newcomer onto the pitch, had Celtic’s best chance but missed a very easy shot under Courtois ‘s nose .
The notice served as a spur to Madrid , willing to regain control from their midfielders. However, the lack of depth, and especially Benzema ‘s, was a handicap for Carlo Ancelotti ‘s men .
But in the bad times, the savior of Madrid , Vinicius , emerged, lethal by taking advantage of a great counterattack between Courtois , Hazard and Valverde , who assisted the Brazilian with a precise cross hitting the right bank (55′). Without time for Celtic to digest the 0-1 blow, Hazard rescued a ball in the midfield, changed pace and found Modric , who after a rebound, defined from outside. In four minutes, the gloomy panorama turned into paradise for Madrid , who found the spaces they wanted to punish a broken Celtic .
Even Hazard had time to join the party, making his debut in the season by finishing off a square and bevel play by Kroos and Carvajal . The temporary resurrection of the Belgian is not minor news for a Madrid that may have to survive without Benzema in the coming weeks.