Real Madrid 2-0 RB Leipzig
There was a distinctly familiar feeling about Real Madrid’s victory over RB Leipzig, as they failed to put on an exhibition of their talents, yet showed once again why they are Champions of Europe.
Without Karim Benzema, Carlo Ancelotti elected for a front three of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes and Fede Valverde, leaving Eden Hazard on the bench. It wasn’t entirely vindicated either, as Los Blancos barely generated any danger in the opening hour of the match. That was left to Leipzig.
Under recently appointed Marco Rose, Christopher Nkunku found his way in behind the Real Madrid defence repeatedly, but a combination of Thibaut Courtois, some recovery defending and the linesman prevented it from becoming a serious issue for Los Blancos.
It wasn’t until gone the hour mark when Real Madrid started to cause problems. A clear chance opened up for Valverde after nice play with Rodrygo, but Vinicius failed to bet Peter Gulacsi when it fell to him.
It was Vinicius who switched the play to Valverde for the first goal though, the Urugayan once again scoring the opener for Ancelotti with his wrong foot.
The German side struggled to respond thereafter and at that point, Real Madrid were managing the game well. Toni Kroos came on for the final few minutes and his free-kick from out wide was cut back to Marco Asensio in stoppage time. The Mallorca native caught it beautifully, scoring with the help of the post.
Once again Real Madrid allowed the opposition sights of their goal. The total lack of doubt combined with the incredible attitude of Vinicius and Valverde once again drove Real Madrid to a victory here though. Their quality is sustaining Los Blancos without Benzema, ensuring they remain the most clutch side in the Champions League when an opportunity falls their way. Tonight they had two good chances and scored one of them – in other words, they were decisive where Leipzig were not.