RB Leipzig 0-1 Real Madrid: Díaz brilliance gives Los Blancos first leg advantage in Germany

The knockout round of the UEFA Champions League commenced at the Red Bull Arena on Tuesday evening. RB Leipzig were held to a 2-2 draw in the Bundesliga on Saturday, while Real Madrid stormed past surprise title rivals Girona in La Liga; defeating their opponents 4-0.

RBL: Gulacsi; Simakan, Klostermann, Orban, Raum; Olmo, Henrichs, Schlager, Simons; Openda, Sesko

RMA: Lunin; Carvajal; Fernandez, Tchouameni; Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Camavinga, Diaz; Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr.

Marco Rose’s side thought they had the perfect start when Benjamin Sesko headed home from an early cross back in from a corner by Xaver Schlager. However, the RB Leipzig striker was ruled offside.

Regardless of that, Sesko was involved in another early chance for the hosts as he burst into the box and was through on goal; only for Andriy Lunin to save the Slovenian’s tame effort comfortably.

Down the other end came Real Madrid’s first chance of the game, as Eduardo Camavinga ran onto a loose pass inside the box and drilled a shot towards the bottom corner. However, Peter Gulacsi made an excellent save to keep the ball out. 

RB Leipzig’s bright start to the game continued as Benjamin Henrichs was the latest to test his luck against Andriy Lunin, but the Real Madrid goalkeeper was alert and made the save comfortably.

With the second half just minutes old, Real Madrid punished their hosts for not taking their chances, as Carlo Ancelotti’s side took the lead. Brahim Diaz, who stepped in for the injured Jude Bellingham, weaved his way past his opponents. A brilliant run by the former Manchester City youngster then ended with Diaz firing home a superb effort into the top corner to give the away side the advantage.

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Marco Rose’s side almost replied in kind, with Dani Olmo’s close-range strike saved well by Andriy Lunin before the Ukrainian was forced into further action by Benjamin Sesko’s strike on the rebound. Dani Olmo also had a sight of goal with just over 20 minutes to go, but his strike from long range forced an excellent save out of Lunin yet again. 

Vinicius Junior had a glorious chance to double Real Madrid’s lead as the game ticked past the 70th minute, but the Brazilian’s low shot agonisingly came back off the post when it was destined to trickle into the back of the net. 

The hosts had two successive chances to find that equaliser that eluded them, only for Xavi Simons’ excellent half-volley and Benjamin Sesko’s fierce strike from close-range to both be kept out by Andriy Lunin. 

Both sides return to league action this weekend, as RB Leipzig welcome Borussia Monchengladbach to the Red Bull Arena on Saturday at 5:30pm GMT, and Real Madrid head to manager-less Rayo Vallecano on Sunday at 1pm GMT.