Dazzling Brahim Diaz Sends Real Madrid To Victory In Leipzig


Brahim Diaz's incredible solo goal gave Real Madrid a 1-0 win over RB Leipzig in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday. Leipzig were energetic but wasted early on, while Madrid goalkeeper Andrey Lunin made several saves after the hosts controversially had a goal disallowed for offside. The German club were made to pay early in the second half when Diaz opened the scoring. Diaz, who was brought into the team in place of the injured Jude Bellingham, beat three Leipzig defenders before firing an inch-perfect shot inside the far post.

“I'm comfortable,” Diaz said of the goal. “I saw Vinny (Vinicius Jr.) and wanted to give it to him, but in the end I took the shot.

“It was a good goal.”

Real midfielder Toni Kroos praised his teammate, telling Amazon Prime: “A piece of individual skill that decided the game.

“If we're honest, it could have gone either way.”

The win was Real Madrid's seventh win in seven matches in this Champions League campaign and put them in prime position to make the last 16 for the fourth consecutive season.

“It was an open match,” said Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulac, “a lucky punch decided the game”.

Madrid traveled to Saxony without England midfielder Bellingham, who injured his ankle in Saturday's 4-0 win over Verona.

With first-choice centre-backs Antonio Ruediger, David Alaba and Eder Militao all out, coach Carlo Ancelotti opted to continue midfielder Aurelien Tchoumeni's tenure in central defence.

Despite their injury problems, Real are fifth in the league and have lost only twice in all competitions this season, both times to derby rivals Atlético Madrid.

Leipzig coach Marco Rose said on Tuesday his team is “not afraid” of Real Madrid, who beat the 14-time European champions 3-2 at the same venue in October 2022.

controversial decision

The hosts came out of the blocks and put the ball in the net inside three minutes, but the goal was ruled out due to a controversial offside call in which Benjamin Henriques was deemed to have obstructed the goalkeeper.

Cruz said that a wrong decision has been taken.

“The goalkeeper couldn't reach the ball, so it was a goal.”

Gulac told reporters that he was “disappointed” with the decision, pointing out that “after a few minutes at 1–0 it could have changed the whole game.”

Leipzig created a few half-chances but the visitors suffered from poor control at crucial moments, particularly from striker Benjamin Cesco.

Apart from Toni Cruz's trademark long-range effort, which was swallowed up by Gulac, Real created very little early.

Their best chance came late in the first half when Vinicius' looping cross went just over the head of the onrushing Rodrigo.

Just three minutes into the second half, Díaz was fouled while collecting the ball near the sideline, but refused to go to ground, dribbling through the Leipzig defense and placing a curling shot past Gulací to score. .

“We didn't dominate, but we played a good game,” Diaz said.

“I'm happy to be able to help the team – we continue to show that we are a great team.”

The goal electrified the home side, with Barcelona youth product Dani Olmo coming close to equalising, twice hitting Lunin's palms.

Madrid should have scored another goal with 20 minutes remaining after going on the counter, but Vinicius hit the post.

After Diaz was injured, Lunin shrugged off Cesco's strong blow, and Leipzig's decision to play Madrid infuriated him. The Ukrainian stopper also parried an effort from substitute Amadou Haidara.

The real host Leipzig in the Spanish capital on 6 March.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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