Real Madrid see off Leipzig in UEFA Champions League

February 14, 2024
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Brahim Diaz's sole goal was enough for clinical Real Madrid to secure a 1-0 away victory over a resilient RB Leipzig in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie.

Berlin, Feb 14 (IANS) Brahim Diaz’s sole goal was enough for clinical Real Madrid to secure a 1-0 away victory over a resilient RB Leipzig in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie.

Leipzig started brightly on home soil and thought they had opened the scoring with just two minutes played, but Benjamin Sesko’s goal was ruled offside.

Courageous Leipzig continued to be offensively-minded and came close in the 10th minute when Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin had to save a shot from Sesko, reports Xinhua.

The Slovenia international kept Real Madrid’s defense busy after hitting the side netting from a tight angle 10 minutes later. Meanwhile, the uninspired visitors from Madrid lacked in accuracy in the final third in the first half.

Things changes after the restart as Real broke the deadlock against the run of play on 49 minutes, after Diaz shrugged off two Leipzig defenders before curling the ball past keeper Peter Gulacsi into the top-left corner.

Leipzig tried to respond but Sesko couldn’t overcome Lunin with a rebound from very close range two minutes later.

With a narrow lead, Real Madrid focused on counterattacks and almost made it 2-0 in the 72nd minute when Vinicius Junior rattled the right post following a one-on-one with Gulacsi.

The hosts remained in search for an equalizer, but Lunin stood firm and defused another effort from Sesko with a diving save in the 81st minute. Lunin was again on guard and secured Real a clean sheet three minutes later after parrying Amandou Haidara’s volley from close range.

Leipzig will travel to Madrid for the second leg on March 6.

“A solo action decided the game today. Frankly, the game could have gone in both directions as Leipzig started powerfully while we improved after the restart,” said Real veteran Toni Kroos.

“We staged a good performance on home soil, but we must make the most of our chances. Real scores one goal out of thin air, but we can’t complain, we just must turn our chances into a tangible reward,” said Leipzig’s David Raum.

–IANS

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