Lautaro Martinez wants Inter to quickly move on from the disappointment of losing to Real Madrid and focus on a "difficult match" to come against Atalanta.

Antonio Conte's Inter are still without a win in Europe this season after going down 3-2 in the Spanish capital on Tuesday, a result that leaves them sitting bottom of a tightly contested Group B.

Martinez scored once and assisted Ivan Perisic's equaliser as the Serie A side rallied from falling 2-0 behind to draw level, only for Rodrygo to grab the winner for the hosts in the 80th minute.

There is little time to dwell on the result, however, as the Nerazzurri travel to Bergamo on Sunday for their final game before November's international break, a key fixture between two clubs hopeful of breaking Juventus' domestic dominance in Italy.

They will face an Atalanta team smarting themselves from a midweek setback, having been beaten 5-0 at home by Liverpool in Champions League action.

"It's a shame because we did all we could to win," Martinez, who created four chances and had two shots on target against Madrid, told Inter TV and Sky Sport Italia after the Madrid game.

"We didn't get them playing as we want. We could've won; we created a lot of chances but couldn't win.

"We need to keep our heads up, work and continue to move forward.

"Now we just need to think about the game against Atalanta - a difficult match. Then we have the break and a lot of important games."

Asked what exactly was missing from the performance, he replied: "Details make the difference. We need to be more alert for the whole 90 minutes."

Martinez's 35th-minute goal means he has now managed five on the road in the Champions League since the start of the 2019-20 season, a tally bettered only by Bayern Munich duo Robert Lewandowski (11) and Serge Gnabry (6).

However, it was his first in the competition this season, having failed to find the net in draws against Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk, as he stepped up for his team in the absence of the injured Romelu Lukaku.

On his own performance, Martinez said: "I work for Inter, for my team-mates; sometimes I do well, sometimes less so. But I'm sure that I always give it my all to be at this level and I'm always calm."

Madrid have won seven of their eight home matches against Inter in European competition, including each of the past six. The return fixture takes place at San Siro on November 25.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos revelled in his century of goals for Los Blancos, who edged Inter in the Champions League.

Ramos scored his 100th Madrid goal across all competitions – 55 of those being headers – as the LaLiga champions defeated Inter 3-2 on Tuesday.

The star defender, who became the highest-scoring defender in LaLiga history last July and made his 500th appearance in the competition at the weekend, reached the milestone by rising highest to head home Toni Kroos' corner in the 33rd minute.

"Individual records are secondary, but it's nice when your achievements, effort and sacrifices over the course of so many years are recognised," Ramos said.

"It's not every day you get your 100th goal and all the more so when you're a defender.

"As long as they help us to win games and bring positive things to the team, I'll be really happy. Here's hoping I get many more."

Madrid were winless in Group B before Rodrygo struck the decisive goal against Inter with 10 minutes remaining at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Karim Benzema – only Lionel Messi (70) and Cristiano Ronaldo (63) have scored more Champions League group-stage goals than the Frenchman (49) – opened the scoring in the 25th minute before Ramos doubled the lead eight minutes later.

Inter rallied via Lautaro Martinez's 35th-minute strike and Ivan Perisic's equaliser 22 minutes from the end, though Rodrygo and Madrid had the final say.

Rodrygo has had a direct hand in eight goals in eight Champions League appearances for Madrid (five goals, three assists), while the Spanish giants have won seven of their eight home games against Inter in European competition, winning each of the last six.

"As long as we continue to surprise people, it's a good sign," Ramos said. "We're pleased, it was a really tough game, there was a lot at stake. They're a very solid side, with a very clear playing style and they made the most of that, but we got a good result to pick up three really important points. The group was looking tough but tonight's win was vital.

“When the team wins, the players gain confidence. But we have to try not to be affected by it all and do what we do best, which is playing football. Today was like a final for us. Everything was at stake.

"It was a must-win game. When you see them equalise after you've worked so hard, you've got to make the extra effort once again and the team has done that. We went for it and it paid off. In the Champions League you have to take your chances or you'll be made to pay for it."

Zinedine Zidane has "no doubt" Sergio Ramos will stay on at Real Madrid after the long-serving defender reached another milestone figure with his 100th goal for the club.

The Spain international put Madrid two goals up against Inter in their eventual 3-2 win over the Italian side in Tuesday's entertaining Champions League clash.

Ramos' landmark header came on the same day he had been linked with a move to Juventus but Zidane is adamant his captain is going nowhere.

"I have no doubt that he will stay," Zidane said at his post-match news conference. "He is our leader and of course we love him forever."

Ramos joined Madrid from Sevilla in 2005 and made his 500th LaLiga appearances in last weekend's 4-1 win over Huesca.

Of his 100 goals, 55 have come via his head and the skipper admits he took pride in scoring from a set-piece against Inter.

"We knew from what [Samir] Handanovic said that they had been studying our corner deliveries with Toni [Kroos] finding me," he told Movistar after the game.

"But the more we can continue to surprise our rivals, the better. They know what they are doing, they have a very defined philosophy and they made the most of that. 

"It's a good result, and three points in a group that had started to look complicated for us."

Asked about his achievement of reaching three figures for goals in Madrid colours, Ramos said: "It's not bad, and it is nice that it is recognised.

"It's not a figure which defenders usually get to. Hopefully there'll be many more."

Ramos' header came eight minutes after Karim Benzema had profited from an Achraf Hakimi error to open the scoring for Madrid at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Inter recovered through goals from Lautaro Martinez and Ivan Perisic but Rodrygo regained Madrid's lead in the 80th minute after being set up by fellow substitute Vinicius Junior.

Madrid had more of the possession (55 per cent) and managed seven shots on target to Inter's three, and Zidane believes the right team won in the end.

"There was always going to be tension because we were playing a strong rival," he said. "We have suffered but we must congratulate the players because they deserved it. 

"We started very well, pressing up as we wanted. We made it 2-0 but then had difficulty keeping up with the ball. Then the second half was very close, but that is normal.

"The team has an impressive character and they want to show that they can do. We are going to have difficulties in all the games because I watch a lot of games and I don't see any of them win the games easily."

Madrid have conceded two or more goals in five consecutive Champions League games for just the second time, having previously done so in 2001, and Zidane admits it is now about finding the right balance between attack and defence.

"It is true – there is always a balance to have," he said. "We played a side who are also good on the counter, but how long ago was it that they said we do not score such goals?

"We have to keep working because it is not easy to do the two things together."

Madrid are third in Group B, behind Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk, after moving onto four points from three games.

He may be a defender, but Sergio Ramos racked up another incredible goalscoring feat as Real Madrid defeated Inter 3-2 in the Champions League.

Club captain Ramos scored his 100th goal for the club when he added to Karim Benzema's opener by guiding Toni Kroos' first-half corner into the bottom-right corner in the 33rd minute.

It was his eighth headed goal in the Champions League, which moved him ahead of John Terry for the most by a defender in the competition since 2003-04.

Inter fought back and Lautaro Martinez fired home after a brilliant flick from Nicolo Barella before Ivan Perisic restored parity after the hour mark, but substitute Rodrygo fired home the winner with 10 minutes remaining at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Tuesday.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at the numbers behind Ramos' century.

Who's he scored against?

Ramos arrived at Madrid from Sevilla in 2005 and the team he's scored against more often than any other for Los Blancos is – you guessed it – Sevilla.

He is undoubtedly a man who thrives on the big occasions, with seven of his 100 goals registered against his former club, while six have come against neighbours Atletico Madrid and five have been versus Clasico rivals Barcelona.

Carlos Kameni and Gorka Iraizoz are the goalkeepers he has beaten most frequently, each seeing the Madrid captain put five past them.

The only players to have scored more for Madrid since he joined are Cristiano Ronaldo (450), Karim Benzema (254), Gonzalo Higuain (121) and Gareth Bale (104).

How has he scored them?

More than half of Ramos' 100 goals – 55 to be exact – have been scored with his head. His dominant right foot has accounted for 37 and he has found the net with his left on seven occasions, with one goal coming via a different part of his body.

The 34-year-old is particularly influential from set-pieces. He has scored from open play just 16 times, with corners (39) and free-kicks (22) where he proves to be deadliest.

Ramos has also scored 21 penalties – 16 of them have been in LaLiga, which is more than any other defender has managed in the competition in the 21st century – and converted two direct free-kicks. It is therefore unsurprising that only three of his goals have come from outside the box.

Kroos' assist for Ramos on Tuesday was his 13th for the skipper, which is more than any other player has provided him with.

When does he score them?

With his goal against Inter, Ramos converted in the last quarter of an hour of the first half for the 18th time.

He has been most prolific in the final 15 minutes of matches, however, coming up with 23 late goals to aid Madrid's cause in crunch time.

Ramos enjoyed his best goalscoring season for Madrid in 2019-20, with his tally of 13 the third time he had reached double figures in all competitions for the club.

His 11 in LaLiga last term was a record for a defender in the competition since the turn of the millennium.

Antonio Conte said he is satisfied with Inter's performance in their 3-2 defeat against Real Madrid and remains hopeful of reaching the Champions League last 16.

Inter battled back from two goals down in Tuesday's clash at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, only for Madrid substitute Rodrygo to score with 10 minutes remaining to snatch the win.

Conte's Inter are bottom of Group B on two points from three matches and face Madrid again at San Siro in their next European outing on November 25.

Despite Inter winning only one of their last seven games in all competitions, Conte remains upbeat on the back of the narrow loss in the Spanish capital.

"Of course the final result leaves a bad taste in the mouth for me and my players," he told Sport Mediaset. "Games like these show that there is still room for growth.

"But I don't know how many teams come to Madrid and play this type of game. We went down by two goals and managed to pull it back, and then missed chances to go in front.

"In my opinion my side took more steps today. I really liked the mentality and desire we showed. This team is growing but the results are not rewarding our performances."

Karim Benzema profited from a terrible Achraf Hakimi backpass for Madrid's opening goal and Sergio Ramos nodded in a second after getting away from his marker at a corner.

Hakimi appeared to be fouled by Ferland Mendy in the build-up to the opener, but Conte did not want to make excuses and instead criticised his side's defending.

"There is little explanation behind the backpass, even if there was a slight foul on Hakimi," he said. "The second goal is similar - we have to improve. 

"There is work to be done and at the moment the little details are costing us in games."

Lautaro Martinez – who became the only player born after 1996 to have scored against both Madrid and Barcelona in the Champions League – and Ivan Perisic dragged Inter back on level terms with well-taken strikes either side of half-time, but Rodrygo's winner now leaves Inter in a perilous position.

"There are still three games to go," Conte said. "That means nine points are up for grabs. We knew this was the most difficult group and we will do everything to get through."

Inter matched Madrid in terms of shots (12) but only managed to get three of those on target, compared to seven for their opponents – who have conceded two-plus goals in five consecutive Champions League games for just the second time after 2001.

And Samir Handanovic accepted Inter can have few complaints about the scoreline after failing to make more of the chances that fell their way at 2-2.

"There is a lot of bitterness about this result," the Inter captain told Sky Sport Italia. 

"We had got it back on track and wanted to win - that was the sensation we got on the pitch.

"We had two chances and didn't take them, whereas Real Madrid did, and those incidents made the difference. Ultimately, they were more determined.

"In wins and defeats, there is always something positive to take, but we have to become more determined, because we really felt that we could've won it and that is not the first time we've experienced this situation.

"I think we were on a par with Real Madrid, even superior for long periods, but the difference was they were more determined."

Rodrygo struck 10 minutes from time to earn Real Madrid a 3-2 win and deny Inter after the visitors had battled back from two goals down in Tuesday's Champions League clash.

Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane labelled the Group B match a "final" and his side made a bright start thanks to Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos – the latter scoring his 100th goal for the club.

Inter, who entered the contest one point better off than their opponents, battled back through well-taken strikes from Lautaro Martinez and Ivan Perisic either side of half-time.

But Madrid regained their lead late on when substitutes Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo combined on the counter, making it five games without a win for Inter and under-pressure boss Antonio Conte.

Marco Asensio was denied by a smart Samir Handanovic save and Nicolo Barella scraped the top of the crossbar with a header in a lively and end-to-end start to the showdown.

That set the tone for what was to follow as Benzema pounced on Hakimi's underhit backpass, rounded Inter goalkeeper Handanovic and tucked the ball into an empty net for the 25th-minute opener.

Ramos added a second for Madrid eight minutes later by getting away from his marker to meet Toni Kroos' corner and head in from the edge of the six-yard box.

Inter gave themselves an instant lifeline as Barella superbly flicked the ball into the path of Martinez to pick out the bottom-left corner 10 minutes before the interval.

Conte's Inter, once again without injured striker Romelu Lukaku, initially struggled to get at their opponents in a quieter second half in the Spanish capital.

However, against the run of play, Martinez nodded the ball into the path of Perisic and the makeshift striker held off Lucas Vazquez before rifling across Thibaut Courtois.

Both teams went in search of a winner and it was Madrid who found it – Vinicius leading a break down the left and feeding the ball to fellow Brazilian Rodrygo, who took a touch to set himself and then found the top-right corner to win the match during the closing stages.

Sergio Ramos scored his 100th goal for Real Madrid during their Champions League game against Inter on Tuesday.

Club captain Ramos reached the milestone by rising highest to connect with Toni Kroos' corner and steer a header into the bottom-right corner in the 33rd minute at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

It was the centre-back's 13th goal in the Champions League and put Madrid 2-0 up after Karim Benzema's opener, though Lautaro Martinez reduced the arrears before half-time.

Ramos became the highest-scoring defender in LaLiga history last July and made his 500th appearance in the competition at the weekend.

Darwin Nunez only joined Benfica in September, but his future is already making headlines.

Nunez has hit the ground running at Benfica, where head coach Jorge Jesus has tipped the 21-year-old forward to surpass Joao Felix as the club's most expensive sale following the latter's €126million transfer to Atletico Madrid last year.

Barcelona are reportedly targeting the Uruguay international.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA STEP UP NUNEZ INTEREST

Barcelona are eyeing Benfica star Darwin Nunez as a replacement for Luis Suarez, according to ESPN.

Nunez became Benfica's most expensive signing when he arrived from Almeria in a €24m deal in September, and the 21-year-old has scored four goals since moving to Portugal.

Barca wanted to sign Nunez from Almeria and the LaLiga giants are prepared to rekindle their interest.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport1 claims Bayern Munich are considering RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano as a replacement for David Alaba. Bayern withdrew their offer of a new contract for Alaba, who is in the final year of his deal with the Bundesliga and Champions League holders. He has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, BarcaJuventusParis Saint-Germain and Manchester City. Premier League pair United and Liverpool are believed to be interested in Upamecano.

Atletico are battling Bayern for Brighton and Hove Albion sensation Tariq Lamptey, reports the Daily Mail. Sevilla are also reportedly interested in the former Chelsea full-back.

- Barca are preparing a January bid for City centre-back Eric Garcia following their unsuccessful attempt to re-sign the Spaniard during the previous transfer window, says Sport.

- MilanNews claims Milan will offer Franck Kessie a new contract. Kessie's current deal expires in 2022 as the Rossoneri also look to re-sign Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu, who has been linked to Manchester United.

- Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai is at the top of Inter's wish list as they eye youth, according to Calciomercato. Szoboszlai reportedly has a €25m release clause. The 20-year-old has previously been linked to Arsenal and Napoli.

Chelsea are not courting Juventus star Paulo Dybala as owner Roman Abramovich looks to protect new investments Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech, says Calciomercato. Contract negotiations are ongoing between Dybala and Juve as the likes of PSG, Madrid, Tottenham and United reportedly monitor the situation.

Squads are being stretched, injuries are piling up and managers are moaning, but there is no let up as the Champions League group stage rolls around for a third straight week.

There were hard-fought wins, thrilling draws and a few teams on the end of thrashings on matchday two.

Real Madrid's European form continues to cause concern after they followed their loss to Shakhtar Donetsk with a draw at Borussia Monchengladbach; Inter, who are also yet to win, are next up on Tuesday.

Holders Bayern Munich are away to Salzburg, Liverpool head to Atalanta, and Manchester City host Olympiacos with all three clubs aiming to maintain 100 per cent starts.

Salzburg v Bayern Munich: Bavarians brilliant on the road

The defending champions have maximum points from the first two games of their Group A campaign and the omens are good for them as they go to Austria next, with Die Roten unbeaten in 14 away matches in the competition – two shy of the record set by Manchester United between 2007 and 2010.

Whatever the outcome, there is a strong possibility this contest will be a thriller. Since the start of last season, Bayern (58) and Salzburg (38) are among the top three teams in terms of the number of goals their Champions League matches have seen.

Salzburg's Dominik Szoboszlai has found the net in each of his past two appearances in the competition and could become the first Hungarian player to find the net in three consecutive Champions League matches.

Real Madrid v Inter: Zidane keen to avoid unwanted record

Madrid are winless in their past four Champions League matches (D1 L3), which is their worst run in the competition since September 2006 when they went five without a victory. Zinedine Zidane made his last appearance in the competition as a player during that run, and will be out to avoid equalling that record as coach.

Inter have lost eight of their previous 10 Champions League away games in Spain (W1 D1). Although in the history of Europe's premier club competition, only against Lyon (30 per cent) do Madrid have a lower win percentage than they do against Inter (33 per cent, three wins in nine games) among teams they have faced at least five times.

Arturo Vidal could be a lucky charm for the Nerazzurri as he bids to become the first player to score against Madrid in the Champions League for three different clubs, having previously done so during his time at Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Atalanta v Liverpool: Klopp eyes first Italian away success

Jurgen Klopp has lost all five of his away Champions League matches in Italy, losing to Napoli three times plus defeats to Juventus and Roma during his managerial career with Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund. Only former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson (6) has lost more away Champions League games on Italian soil than Klopp.

The Reds will have to keep an eye on Atalanta's Duvan Zapata, who has been directly involved in six goals in five starts in the competition for the club (four goals and two assists), in the first competitive meeting between the two clubs.

Liverpool's Diogo Jota will attempt to follow his Premier League goalscoring feats in the Champions League. Jota can become only the second player to score in his first two starts in the competition for the Reds, following Robbie Keane back in 2008.

Manchester City v Olympiacos: Torres can match Mbappe and Haaland

City are unbeaten in their past 13 games in the group stage of the Champions League (W10 D3), winning five of the six games at the Etihad Stadium in this run (D1).

Pep Guardiola won has his two previous Champions League matches against Olympiacos, winning 3-0 away and 4-0 at home as Bayern Munich boss in the 2015-16 group stage.

City winger Ferran Torres is looking to become the third-youngest player in competition's history to score in four consecutive appearances (20 years, 248 days), behind only Kylian Mbappe (18 years, 120 days) and Erling Haaland (19 years, 107 days).

Other fixtures:

Lokomotiv Moscow v Atletico Madrid

5 - Should Atletico win they will have beaten Lokomotiv more often than any other side in major European competition, having defeated them four times already.

3Joao Felix scored in both Champions League matches against Lokomotiv last season - no Atleti player has ever scored in three consecutive games against an opponent in the competition.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Monchengladbach

7 - Shakhtar’s two Champions League starting line-ups this season have featured seven players aged 21 or younger – they could become the first team to do so three times in the competition.

9 - The last nine German teams to visit Ukraine in the Champions League have all failed to win (D6 L3). Bayern's victory over Dynamo Kiev in December 1994 is the most recent.

Midtjylland v Ajax

14 - Ajax will be without Dusan Tadic in Denmark. Since making his debut in the competition for Ajax in September 2018, he has been directly involved in more goals than any other player for the club with 14 (seven goals and seven assists).

14 - The number is also the total shots the Danish side have had on goal in this season's competition; they have the highest expected goals total (2.08) of any of the three teams yet to score.

Porto v Marseille

12 - A defeat in this match for Marseille would see them become only the third team in history to lose 12 consecutive matches in Europe's premier club competition, after Anderlecht (12 between 2003 and 2005) and Jeunesse Esch (16 between 1973 and 1987).

5 - Porto have won five of their past six home games in the Champions League, with their only defeat in this run coming in April 2019 against Liverpool; the team who went on to win the competition that season.

Inter midfielder Arturo Vidal will use his Barcelona past as added incentive to triumph over Real Madrid in Tuesday's Champions League clash.

Vidal spent two seasons with LaLiga giants Barca at Camp Nou before joining Serie A side Inter for a nominal fee in September.

The Chile international has made eight appearances for the Nerazzurri and is expected to start against Madrid in the Group B blockbuster in the Spanish capital.

Should Vidal guide Inter to three points at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, he plans to celebrate the victory with supporters of both his old club and new.

"All the matches are decisive for us at this point," he said at Monday's pre-match news conference.

"It will be a good match, important for the table. I will face them as if I were still a Barcelona player.

"I spent two great years at Barcelona, so I hope to be able to celebrate a win with Inter and Barcelona fans."

Vidal is aiming to become the first player to score against Madrid with three separate teams in the Champions League, having previously done so with Serie A powerhouse Juventus and Bundesliga holders Bayern Munich.

The 33-year-old has yet to get off the mark with his first goal for Inter but scored eight times in the league in his final season with Barca, a tally bettered only by Antoine Griezmann (9), Luis Suarez (16) and Lionel Messi (25).

"I used to score many goals but now I have to just give my best and do what the coach tells me," he said. "I always put the team first.

"I'm happy to be playing here and I'll continue doing what the coach asks me to do."

Madrid have won six of their seven home major European matches against Inter, although this is the first time the Spanish side have hosted the fixture since September 1998 – a 2-0 win.

Inter head coach Antonio Conte claimed he has previously turned down offers to manage Real Madrid.

Conte, 51, made the admission at a media conference on the eve of crunch Champions League clash between the clubs.

Zinedine Zidane is in his second spell in charge of Madrid having returned in March 2019 after Julen Lopetegui was sacked and an interim stint by Santiago Solari.

"Of course, there have been a couple of moments in the past when I was very close to coaching Real Madrid," Conte said on Monday.

"The season had already started, it would have been difficult to take over, the club had already made a schedule and in a very sincere way I preferred to postpone it

"In the past, it's true, there was the opportunity to become the Real Madrid coach, but perhaps it wasn’t the right time."

Asked if he could envisage himself as Madrid coach in the future, former Juventus, Italy and Chelsea boss Conte insisted he was happy at Inter for the time being.

He added: "I want to continue the project here at Inter. Right now, I am really very focused on Inter.

"I started a project here with a very strong ownership and I am happy. We are creating something important."

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is backing Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio to "define an era" for Los Blancos.

In the eyes of many, Madrid have regressed as an attacking force in the years since their much-revered 'BBC' triumvirate of Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo was disbanded.

While Benzema has arguably found another level to his game with 45 LaLiga goals since the start of 2018-19, Bale fell out of favour before leaving and Hazard has struggled for form and fitness since essentially being brought in as Ronaldo's replacement last year.

But Hazard made his first appearance of the season in Saturday's 4-1 win over Huesca, scoring for the first time in 392 days, while Asensio is expected to have a big future at the club after recovering from a serious knee injury last term.

While Zidane stopped short of comparing the two trios, he is optimistic the three still at the club can achieve great success in the coming years.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Inter, Zidane said: "The players who are here always want to make history.

"Those three you just said are important and I'm sure they can define an era in Madrid. Those three are important and are going to do important things.

"I know there is talk about us needing to change things in the squad, but what I see inside is that everyone wants to win and compete, and that is very good for the coach, who is me at the moment.

"I enjoy all of my players and we are going to try with everyone to achieve the objectives."

Nevertheless, the Madrid squad has shown evidence of tension of late, with Benzema caught on camera slating team-mate Vinicius Junior to Ferland Mendy in the tunnel during half-time of their previous Champions League outing against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Zidane recently said the pair have spoken and the situation is fine, and Raphael Varane is calling for the team to remain united in the face of uncomfortable reports surrounding the club.

"The Real Madrid dressing room is very close," he said. "We know that there is a lot of pressure here and many things are said outside the club, especially when we lose.

"We have to help each other. We have to be calm with things [coming from] outside the club."

Madrid have failed to win either of their two opening group games for the second season in a row, having previously not done so for 23 years.

Similarly, they are winless in four games in the competition ahead of Inter's visit, their worst run since September 2006.

Real Madrid's shock Champions League defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk could be partly to blame for Los Blancos' recent in-house issues involving Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior, according to Miners star Tete.

Shakhtar recorded a remarkable 3-2 win at Madrid last month in their Champions League Group B opener, beating the Spanish title-holders despite being without 10 first-team players due to coronavirus.

Madrid were trailing 3-0 at half-time, as exciting Brazilian winger Tete opened the scoring with a neat finish in the 29th minute, before the 20-year-old had a hand in two more goals.

Zinedine Zidane's men attempted to fight back but could only get two goals in the second half, and they followed that defeat with another disappointing result on matchday two, barely salvaging a 2-2 draw away to Borussia Monchengladbach after going 2-0 down.

It was at half-time against Gladbach when Benzema was caught on camera slating team-mate Vinicius to Ferland Mendy in the tunnel, telling his compatriot not to pass to the Brazilian.

In the second half, Benzema failed to play a single pass to Vinicius, while Mendy looked for him on only two occasions, and Tete believes the tension behind such a situation may well have initially been brought on by their loss to Shakhtar.

"I think so," Tete told Stats Perform News when asked if losing to Shakhtar caused something of a crisis for Madrid.

"I believe they suffered some impact from that defeat. We were facing some issues in the squad due to COVID-19, but the most important thing was that we proved the strength of our squad.

"Many people expected us to lose by at least three goals in Madrid, they thought we weren't capable of dealing with the situation, but we surprised everyone. We beat Madrid in Madrid, the most successful club in the Champions League.

"So, I believe it was a shock for them, so if that problem between Benzema and Vinicius really happened, which I don't know if is true or not, but I do think Madrid were impacted after that defeat to us."

Shakhtar then held Inter to a 0-0 draw in their second group outing and Tete believes Shakhtar's performances across the two matches prove they are capable of potentially mounting a surprise challenge for the title.

"I personally always have high ambitions," he said, with Monchengladbach up next on Tuesday. "I think of reaching the final. The team has quality for it, we've shown that our squad has a lot of personality.

"So, we can go further and must keep working hard. On Tuesday there's another crucial game and hopefully it will go well.

"There's always a surprise package in the competition every year and we do think to be the one [this season]. It would be very important for Shakhtar as a club to reach the semi-final or the final, and we do have other surprises as an inspiration."

Barcelona are reportedly considering letting goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen leave to join Bayern Munich.

Ter Stegen, 28, only re-signed with the LaLiga giants last month, but the star shot-stopper's future appears far from certain.

Could he join Manuel Neuer at Bayern?

 

TOP STORY – BARCA CONSIDER SELLING TER STEGEN TO BAYERN

Barcelona are considering selling Ter Stegen to Bayern Munich to help their financial position, according to TodoFichajes.

The report says the European champions consider Ter Stegen a perfect replacement for Neuer, 34, and could make an €80million move at season's end.

Ter Stegen, who is contracted until 2025, and Neuer have been widely considered two of the world's best goalkeepers in recent seasons.

In last season's Champions League, Neuer had a save percentage of 77.1 – which was ranked behind only Andre Onana (80) and Alex Meret (79) of goalkeepers who played at least five games. Ter Stegen (67.5) ranked 16th.

Neuer made 28 saves and Ter Stegen 27, which ranked fifth and sixth respectively.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Bayern and David Alaba looks set for an exit when his contract expires at the end of the season. CalcioMercato reports Juventus and Inter are monitoring the defender, who has reportedly been offered to Real Madrid.

- As expected, Barcelona appear ready to make another move for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia. Sport claims the LaLiga giants are prepared to offer €8m (£7.2m) for Garcia in January.

- Radja Nainggolan could leave Inter in January. The Serie A giants are prepared to sell the midfielder to Cagliari, where he was on loan last season, for around €10m, according to CalcioMercato.

- Fiorentina suffered another Serie A loss, beaten 2-0 by Roma on Sunday, and head coach Giuseppe Iachini remains under pressure. CalcioMercato says former Chelsea and Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri is the number one candidate for the job at Fiorentina, who are 11th in the table.

Jose Mourinho hailed Gareth Bale's "personality" after his winning goal against Brighton and Hove Albion and said he is looking forward to hearing Real Madrid's take on his match-winning display for Tottenham.

Bale's first Tottenham goal since re-joining Spurs on loan from LaLiga champions Madrid in September sealed a 2-1 victory over Brighton on Sunday to move them up to second in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Liverpool. 

Harry Kane had earlier scored his 149th top-flight goal from the penalty spot to move level with Les Ferdinand in 10th position on the all-time Premier League goals list, before Tariq Lamptey drew Graham Potter's side level shortly before the hour mark. 

Bale sealed maximum points in the 73rd minute, though, heading home from eight yards just three minutes after replacing Erik Lamela in London.

Spurs head coach Mourinho was delighted with the Wales international's all-round contribution and could not resist a dig at his parent club, whose boss Zinedine Zidane had a public falling out with Bale. 

"For a week or so now, he's been improving," Mourinho told a media conference. "It's not just from watching him, the data supports that as well. We knew, Gareth knew. We share ideas and feelings.

"He deserves that [the goal]. When I have five minutes I'm going to look at the Real Madrid website to see what they say about him.

"He showed great personality and had a great impact, scoring a very important goal for us. He also joined Harry in a very experienced way to play the last 15 minutes for us.

"They were very clever, very intelligent, especially at holding the ball up and bringing it into zones where they couldn't hurt us. 

"He knows that we care about him and he cares about the club. I think he's a perfect fit. He's very calm, very intelligent. I'm very pleased for him to score the winning goal."

Bale has started just one game and made three substitute appearances since his return to north London as he slowly works his way back to full fitness. 

Mourinho revealed he would start Thursday's Europa League game against Ludogorets, although he said the club will not rush him.

"He doesn't have 90 minutes in his legs yet," he added. "We are using the Europa League to get him minutes and when we can in the Premier League. 

"He is, of course, getting better and better and better. He will start again on Thursday but he will not play 90 minutes. I will use him in the right way."

Lamptey's goal was given after referee Graham Scott undertook a lengthy pitch-side video review to assess if there had been a foul on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the build-up.

Mourinho would not be drawn on whether he thought it was a foul, but believes referees should have to explain their decisions after a match.

"There are decisions that I think they should explain and not leave us in front of you [journalists] explaining things we don't have any explanations to," he said. 

"I prefer not to talk about it. I see Scott as a good referee. He went to the screen and he saw what we saw on the bench. He should explain it but I know that is not going to happen."

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