Despite a courageous performance, RB Leipzig missed a possible surprise win against Real Madrid’s star ensemble. In the second group game of the Champions League, the DFB Cup winners put the defending champions under serious pressure, but in the end had to admit defeat 0:2 (0:0) unnecessarily.
Nevertheless, Leipzig confirmed the trend reversal initiated under the new coach Marco Rose. At the bottom of Group F, the Saxons are under massive pressure in the fight to survive the winter in the European Cup. At the start, Leipzig lost against Schachtor Donetsk (1: 4), it was the last game in Domenico Tedesco’s tenure.
Next opponent is Celtic Glasgow (October 5), who played 1-1 (1-1) at Donetsk. Federico Valverde (80th) and Marco Asensio (90th + 1) scored for the long disappointing royal team. Substitute ex-national player Toni Kroos prepared the 2-0.
RB was aware of the underdog role in Madrid. Real is a team that consists of “a lot of world stars and top footballers,” Rose had said in advance. In the absence of the injured “key player” Konrad Laimer, you still have to appear “without fear” at the historic Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Amadou Haidara played in the center for Laimer. Former world champion Kroos only came off the bench at Real in the 81st minute, national player Antonio Rüdiger was in the starting XI – and repeatedly wobbled against brave guests.
RB Leipzig posed problems for Real Madrid
As requested by Rose, RB showed no reverence for the crowd and the Spanish champions. In a confused initial phase, both sides initially lacked the pace. Leipzig quickly gained security through possession and duels won.
Technical mistakes by Madrid were conspicuously often favored in the Leipzig game. RB used the unusual weakness for their own offensive actions. Playmaker Emil Forsberg sent Christopher Nkunku steeply after a miss at Real Madrid, but the Frenchman was denied by Thibaut Courtois (5′).
Leipzig also posed problems for the favorites afterwards – commitment, mentality and intensity were right, as was the case with Rose’s debut against Borussia Dortmund (3-0) in the Bundesliga. Leipzig narrowed the spaces in the center, and RB also didn’t allow anything on the outside.
Real Madrid frustrated
The switching game also worked. The fast duo Timo Werner and Nkunku had a lot of space after winning the ball, which they used and created chances. Forsberg (21st), Werner (30th) and Nkunku (34th), who narrowly missed a sharp cross from the national striker, had the lead on the foot.
Real didn’t get RB goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi into any significant difficulties in the first round. Rüdiger (38′) with a header and playmaker Luka Modric (41′) missed the goal. The audience sent Real into the break with a whistling concert.
Leipzig didn’t change their style of play even after the change of sides and kept the frustration factor high at Madrid. A lot happened in midfield, the pace flattened out. Both teams appeared less and less in front of the gates. The strong Vinicius Junior failed at Real’s best chance to date at Gulacsi from close range (72′).
Real Madrid – RB Leipzig: The data of the game
Real Madrid: Courtois – Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba (Mendy 81), Nacho – Modric (Kroos 81), Tchouameni, Camavinga (Marco Asensio 64) – Valverde, Rodrygo (Mariano 85), Vinicius Junior (Ceballos 85). – Coach: Ancelotti
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Simakan (75th Henrichs), Orban, Diallo, Raum – Haidara (75th Kampl), Schlager – Nkunku, Forsberg (81st Poulsen), Szoboszlai – Werner (81st Silva). – Coach: Rose
referee: Maurizio Mariani (Italy)
Gates: 1-0 Valverde (80′), 2-0 2-0 Asensio (90’+1′)
yellow cards: Carvajal – Haidara, Nkunku, Schlager