Tuesday, May 28, 2024

RB Leipzig 0-1 Real Madrid: What Were The Key Talking Points As Los Blancos Claim A Champions League Advantage On Foreign Soil?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 14 Feb 2024

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Claiming what was a gritty first-leg advantage on foreign soil, Real Madrid clinched a 1-0 victory away at RB Leipzig on Tuesday night.

Left frustrated throughout the first-half and missing a string of promising opportunities, Carlo Ancelotti’s side certainly came flying out of the traps when returning from the break.

Taking just three minutes to notch a second Champions League strike of the season, one-time Manchester City starlet Brahim Diaz proved to be Tuesday’s hero.

Always fancying their chances of making a first-leg statement in Germany, Los Blancos now sit firmly in the driving seat to punch their quarter-final ticket when Leipzig arrive at the Bernabeu for their reverse showdown on March 6th.

Although Leipzig might have put in a largely rugged performance on home soil, the German outfit have recorded just a single victory from any of their previous six appearances across all competitions and they face a real uphill battle heading into the second-leg.

Tipped as a leading Champions League contender in 2024, we have taken a look at the main talking points from the Red Bull Arena.

Los Blancos have their sights set on more history in 2024

Eventually finishing 10 points adrift of defending their La Liga crown last season, it appeared that Ancelotti had some increasing pressure on his shoulders in the Spanish capital.

However, breezing their way to a Champions League knockout stage ticket last year after winning all of their six Group C appearances by an aggregate score of 16-7, Tuesday’s guests are riding an extended wave of momentum.

Picking up some perfect momentum over the weekend as they secured a stellar 4-0 romp against La Liga title rivals Girona, Madrid find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high.

Picking up what could turn out to be a crucial first-leg advantage here, Ancelotti’s superstar squad are rightfully tipped as a standout contender to make more Champions League history in 2024.

Remarkably suffering just a single defeat from any of their previous 26 straight appearances across all competitions – a run that stems all the way back to September 24 – Los Blancos will be looking to make a statement of intent when Leipzig arrive in the capital in a fortnight.

Leipzig face a monumental second-leg showdown

Signing off their Group G adventure with a 2-1 victory against Swiss outfit Young Boys on December 13th, RB Leipzig certainly sprung a real Champions League upset last year.

Following defending champions Manchester City to the knockout stage, Marco Rose’s side always knew that they faced a heavyweight challenge over the next fortnight.

However, despite enjoying an eye-catching flurry prior to heading into Germany’s festive break, the former Bayer Leverkusen boss has largely seen his squad come crashing back down to earth.

More than aware that they they had to claim a first-leg advantage ahead of their reverse trip to Madrid on March 6th, Leipzig have recorded just a single victory from any of their previous six appearances across all competitions.

Gaining a reputation for their extended defensive issues on either side of opening the New Year, Rose’s side have claimed just a single clean sheet across any format since way back on October 28th.

Ancelotti’s side can shine without Bellingham

While Real Madrid might have made a stellar domestic statement over the weekend as they stormed their way to that 4-0 romp against Girona, Los Blancos were left worried by the site of Jude Bellingham hobbling off with an ankle issue.

With Ancelotti’s side confirming that the English icon has sustained a minor high ankle sprain, some were wondering how Madrid would cope without their poster boy here.

Enjoying what has been a record-breaking start to life in the Spanish capital after completing a £100million move from Borussia Dortmund, Bellingham has continued to take world football by storm.

Already notching a staggering 20 goals while both in La Liga and Champions League action this season, the 20-year-old has the world at his feet and is desperate to claim a maiden European crown in 2024.

Hoping that the former Birmingham starlet can make a full return when Leipzig arrive in Madrid on March 6th, Bellingham certainly has a leading role to play in Ancelotti’s charge for the history books.

Match Report

RB Leipzig: Gulasci, Simakan, Klostermann, Orban, Raum, Olmo, Henrichs, Schlager, Simons, Seiko, Openda

Subs: Poulsen, Kampl, Elmas, Haidara

Real Madrid: Lunin, Carvajal, Fernandez, Tchouameni, Mendy, Diaz, Camavinga, Kroos, Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior

Subs: Lucas, Joselu

Goals: Diaz (48’)

Yellow Cards: RB Leipzig: Poulsen, Seiko, Silkman – Real Madrid: Carvajal, Vinicius Junior

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Irfan Peljto

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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