RMCF-RB Leipzig (match report)
Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde scored a superb second-half goal while Marco Asensio struck late to fire the holders to a 2-0 win at home to RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The Uruguayan showed composure to calmly beat a defender with clever footwork on the edge of the area before picking his spot in the far bottom corner of the net in the 80th minute.
The 14-times winners gave an underwhelming performance and until Valverde’s goal had only managed one shot on target, while Leipzig had created plenty of openings but were not clinical enough in the area. Real wrapped up the victory with a goal in added time from substitute Asensio, the Spaniard slotting into the net after a lay off from Toni Kroos.
Real Madrid lead Group F with six points after two games, while Leipzig are bottom with no points. (via Reuters)
– Valverde blasts Madrid ahead in the 80th minute, Asensio seals the game in time added on
– Leipzig with a better first 45′ against a flat Real Madrid
– First meeting ever between the clubs
Madrid top Group F
Madrid are in control of the group with two wins from two games… Next up at the Bernabeu is second placed Shakhtar at the beginning of October
All over at the Bernabeu… Madrid were made to work for their win but an improved second half was enough for Ancelotti’s side to turn things around and maintain the club’s incredible run.
Six points form six as Los Blancos top Group F
What a strike from the sub… perfectly worked from the training ground… Kroos to Asensio who glides the ball in with his trusty left boot !
Asensio makes it 2-0
4 minutes of time to be added as Schlager is carded.
We approach the 90 minute mark as Leipzig desperately look for a point with the German side the only of the four yet to register a point in Group F.
It is true that Real Madrid have been much improved in the second half.
Good chance from Nkunku as his effort is deflected wide for a corner.
Is 1-0 a fair result ? Possibly but a draw would not be beyond the realms of reality from what we’ve seen tonight at the Bernabeu.
On: Cebollas and Mariano
Off: Vini Jr and Rodrygo
Szoboszlai has an effort from long range but fails to get his sights trained and drills the ball well wide.
Carvajal carded as he hauls down a black shirted player
Nkunku carded as he clips Vini Jr
Modric off and Kroos his replacement. Alaba off too and Mendy his replacement.
Real Madrid break the deadlock with his second goal in two games.
Valverde strikes to make it 1-0.
Final ten minutes of the contest and one senses that the teams are tiring as the pitch seems to open up.
Now it’s Leipzig’s turn to apply some pressure as Nkunku goes close….
Off: Haidara and Simakan
On: Henrichs and Kampl
Haidara carded for a late challenge.
RBL poised to make their first changes of the night.
Great chance for Madrid as Valverde streaks forward and Vini sees his shot saved and Asensio looks to lob the ball but gets his distance and elevation wrong and lobs the ball onto the roof of the net.
Arguably the best chance of the evening for the home side.
Haidara is back on the pitch as the game continues. Looming towards the final 20′ of the contest and still nothing resembling like a clear-cut chance in this second half.
Madrid much better in this half but the Leipzig keeper has yet to be stretched.
A Leipzig man (Haidara) collides with Tchouaméni and immediately needs attention… Play temporarily held up.
A rare chance for Asensio to impress, the former RCD Mallorca has had limited time this season.
Asensio set to make an entrance as Camavinga makes way from the player from Mallorca.
The Brazilian shapes to shoot and sends the ball high and over the Leipzig bar… Nlot the finest effort from the Madrid striker.
Rodrygo fouled and a fine oportuinity for Madrid with the kick right on the edge of the RBL box…
The Marcos Rose effect? Solid against Dortmund at the weekend as they beat BVB 3-0 and very much at the races for almost an hour at the Bernabeu… This is a very different Leipzig from the team who were humbled at home last Tuesday by Shakhtar.
Vini Jr. too seems to have shaken from his slumber and is playing with added gusto making his trademark mazy runs … The home fans too sense an improvement from their team and do their bit to spur the side on.
Real Madrid subs warming up now…. Kroos, Asensio, Hazard and Mariano all being put through their paces.
Not sure what Ancelotti said at the break but Madrid showing far more drive in the opening minutes of the second half that we witnessed in the first 45′.
He was often criticised at Chelsea but Werner has been really good tonight and seems to have recovered a degree of self-confidence that was clearly absent at the Premier League side.
RB Leipzig too return to the pitch…. and Madrid will start the action.
The sides make their way back to the pitch… At present it looks like there has been no changes for the home side.
Plenty for Carlo Ancelotti to ponder at the break with his side outplayed for much of the contest. The ease in which Leipzig have managed to move the ball from defence to attack will alarm the Italian.
Modric and Valverde have looked good for the home side with Vini Jr yet to get into the groove.
Half time at the Bernabeu… whistles from the home fans not exactly over the moon with the fayre they have been served….
It’s been a game high on quality and intensity but low on clear-cut scoring chances.
Leipzig enjoying the better of the half but the contest beautifully poised.
Modric appeals for a spot kick and again the ref waves play on …. Again the Italian official seems to have got the decision spot on.
Madrid now starting to get more time on the ball as we head twoards the 45 minute mark.
Finally, Madrid goes close as Modric blazes a fine left footed effort which drifts inches wide.
The home fans find their voice and the whistles now transform to cheers.
We’ve seen little from Tchouaméni and Camavinga tonight with both French players seeing Leipzig comfortably zip the ball past them as they make transitions.
Madrid still ahead in terms of possession with the statistic being somewhat deceptive as it’s clear at this stage of the contest that the Bundesliga side are in control in the Spanish capital.
Leipzig go close again and that pair of Werner and Nkunku almost combine with the ball inches away from the Leipzig striker’s boot.
A volley of whistles ring out from the home fans as Leipzig move the ball around now with ease….
Ancelotti bellowing instructions to his team with the Italian coach far from happy with what he is watching.
Leipzig’s ability to carve through the Madrid midfield and find the feet of Werner will be of concern to Ancelotti. For the first time since his departure, a Casemiro type figure would be useful tonight…
Almost 0-1 as Werner chips the ball into Nkunku’s path and Courtois does a fine job in making himself big… Should have been a corner for the German side.
Difficult to pinpoint exactly why, but Madrid are not looking 100% comfortable so far this evening…
The home side yet to generate a shot on target and we’ve played more than 25 minutes of football.
It’s something of a ‘goal-shy’ evening so far in the Champions League with just one goal from the seven games currently on the go. Juve 1-0 Benfica is the only game with net bulging action so far…
Madrid do have ‘previous’ in slow starts to the UCL group stages at home with ‘Los Blancos’ losing last season to Sheriff. The previous year they lost their first home game to Shakhtar!
Madrid dominating possession but the best chance of the night falling to the visitors.
First 15′ of action and it’s a bright open contest. In theory, Leipzig should offer Madrid the sternest test in the group being the second seeded side in the pots.
Rudiger fouls Forsberg and the German is lucky to escape without a card as he stopped the Swedish player in full flow.
A half hearted appeal for a spot kick for RBL as Nkunku goes to ground and the Italian referee waves away the appeal… Good call from the matcgh official.
Leipzig seem to have shaken off any stage fright that the Bernabeu imposes on visiting sides and are now comfortable on the ball. We’ve yet to see Valverde and Vini Jr threaten on their respective flanks.
First chance of he night falls to RBL as Nkunku breaks and fires a fine right footed shot on target and Courtois is forced to push wide for the first corner of the night.
Neither side has really found their groove in the opening minutes…Madrid starting to dominate now moving the ball around with poise and purpose.
There were complaints about the state of the Bernabeu pitch over the weekend for the home game against Mallorca and its fair to see the surface doesn’t look to be in great shape !
Leipzig get the action underway…
Szoboszlai and Nkunku two RB Leipzig players worth keeping an eye on tonight…
The teams take to the pitch…. Madrid in their classic all white kit with Red Bull set to sport an all black kt tonight as the official UCL anthem belts out from the stadium PA system.
Five minutes to kick-off and a packed Bernabeu awaits the arrival of the two teams… The stadium will have a capacity of 82,000 when the work is finished but there’s approximately 60,000-65,000 fans in attendance tonight.
…the same can’t really be said for the German side who have shipped a total of 10 goals in their past four matches…
New manager effect last weekend maybe as they men from Leipzig were too strong for Borussia Dortmund in Rose’s first game as head coach …
Real Madrid’s recent results make intimidating reading for any opposition side ….
Fifteen minutes ahead of kick off with the Bernabeu opening its doors in the Champions League for the first time this season.
Madrid return here in their next contest as they face Shakhtar in the first week of October.
Group F table
Shakhtar and Celtic ends 1-1 in Warsaw and Celtic will be furious for not converting the number of chances that fell their way towards the end of the contest.
The side from Ukraine currently top the group and Leipzig prop up the table.
Real Madrid remain unbeaten this season in all official competitions with their last adverse result coming in July when they fell 1-0 to FC Barcelona with Raphina bagging the winner.
The other Group F contest (early kick-off) between Shakhtar and Celtic remains 1-1 with the game drifting towards the 90 minute mark
A reminder of the starting XI’s for those just joining us.
Timo Werner looking to find the target again at the Bernabeu
The German striker returns to the Bernabeu but not in the blue of Chelsea but in the red and white of RB Leipzig following his summer transfer back to his old side.
Werner was on target when Chelsea faced Madrid in the quarter final stage of the 2021-22 competition with ‘Los Blancos’ losing 2-3 on the night but advancing by virtue of their 1-3 win in London.
Real Madrid are odds on favourites to top Group F with the race for second place (and a place in the Round of 16) set to be a fascinating dog-fight between Leipzig, Shakhtar and Celtic.
Third place would secure Europa League football with the fourth placed side eliminated.
The other Group F game between Shakhtar and Celtic was one of the early kick-offs and after 55 minutes the score in Warsaw is 1-1.
The German side confirm their starting eleven to face Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight with the Bundesliga side anxious to avoid defeat, a result that would see them cut adrift in the group after two games.
Timo Werner offers the attacking threat for the Real Madrid reat guard with the German striker finding the net on his last visit to the Spanish capital with his former side Chelsea.
Real Madrid-RBL referee
Tonight’s referee is Italian, Maurizio Mariani who will be joined by compatriots Daniele Bindoni and Alberto Tegoni with Rosario Abisso as fourth official.
Tonight’s Video Assistant referee is Massimiliano Irrati, also from Italy.
Tonight’s clash in the Spanish capital marks the first meeting between the Spanish giants and the side from Leipzig, who are one of European football’s newcomers having just come into existence some 13 years ago.
The Bundesliga side are part of the Red Bull energy drink sporting empire that includes teams in the Austrian Bundesliga, MLS and Brazilian top flight.
Leipzig impressed by Bernabeu
The German side are impressed by the iconic central Madrid stadium, that, despite still undergoing renovation work is one of the finest arenas anywhere in the world.
Mid-table mediocrity for RBL
RB Leipzig go into the game third in Group F after losing 1-4 to Shakhtar on Matchday 1. Domestically, Marco Rose’s boys have had a mixed bag of results in the Bundesliga, winning two, drawing two and losing two – they are mid-table in tenth on eight points.
The German side arrived in Madrid without four first team players – Dani Olmo, Lukas Klostermann and Konrad Laimer all miss the game with ligament injuries while left-back Marcel Halstenberg is serving the last of a three-game suspension carried over from last season.
There will be one familiar face in the opposing line-up – Timo Werner, once linked to Real Madrid, joined Leipzig from Chelsea over the summer. This is the German club’s fifth appearance in the Champions League but the first time they have crossed paths with Real Madrid.
Real Madrid on ‘fire’
Ancelotti’s team have won all of their matches since the new season started. They top LaLiga after five games and are just behind Shakhtar Donetsk in their Champions League group, although with the same number of points, albeit after just one game.
The title holders had to be patient in their opening group game away at Celtic, but as always, once the first goal goes in, Madrid were pretty much home and dry and ended up winning comfortably 0-3. The only sore point of the evening was losing Karim Benzema to injury during the first half.
Real Madrid XI confirmed
Carlo Ancelotti confirms his starting line-up for tonight’s UCL clash against Leipzig with starts for both young French central players Camavinga and Tchouaméni.
Nacho captains the side in the absence of the injured Karim Benzema.
Benzema, Militão and Lucas Vázquez out for Madrid
Madrid welcome the Germans to the Spanish capital with three significant injury absentees: Karim Benzema, Éder Militão and Lucas Vázquez.
Having limped out of Los Blancos’ Champions League opener against Celtic with a knee issue last Tuesday, star striker Benzema missed Sunday’s LaLiga win over Real Mallorca and is pushing hard to return in time for this weekend’s derby against Atlético Madrid at the Cívitas Metropolitano.
Brazilian centre-back Militão is also in contention to face Atlético. The 24-year-old, who was withdrawn at half time in Glasgow with a thigh strain, was able to join the Madrid squad for part of Tuesday’s training session.
Winger-turned-full-back Vázquez, who is technically an understudy but is a regular starter, also misses the Leipzig game with a thigh injury. The Galician is expected to be fit for the club’s first game back after the September international break, against Osasuna on 2 October.
There was a contrast of fortunes for both teams in the opening day of Group F with Real Madrid running out 0-3 winners away to Glasgow Celtic with RB Leipzig falling at home losing at home to Shakhtar 1-4. The defeat was instrumental in leading to the dismissal of Domenico Tedesco. In the past few days, Marco Rose has been appointed as new coach of the Bundesliga side.
Madrid play their first home game of the 2022/23 Champions League with RB Leipzig as guests at the Santiago Bernabéu, which is still being refurbished but looking very different from when the last European game was played here back in May.
The Matchday 2 group game will kick off at 3 p.m. EDT/12 noon PDT at the Santiago Bernabéu, that’s 9 p.m. local time (CEST) or 8 p.m. in the UK (BST).
A warm welcome to our UEFA Champions League as out matchday 2 coverage takes us to the Santiago Bernabeu as Real Madrid face RB Leipzig.