Superb Diaz strike sees Real Madrid beat Leipzig

Superb Diaz strike sees Real Madrid beat Leipzig
Benjamin Sesko appeared to have headed RB Leipzig ahead after two minutes, but the goal was disallowed

A brilliant goal by Brahim Diaz handed Real Madrid the advantage following the first leg of their Champions League last-16 meeting with RB Leipzig.

Diaz curled a superb finish into the top corner three minutes after half-time to give Real the win in Germany.

The Spanish midfielder started in place of Jude Bellingham, who missed the game due to injury.

His goal puts Real in a good position to reach the quarter-finals for the 12th time in the past 14 seasons.

Leipzig frustrated Real until the 48th minute, when former Manchester City midfielder Diaz turned on the right touchline and beat two players, before dancing past several others and curling the ball into the top corner.

The Spaniards could not add to their score however, coming closest when Vinicius Jr struck the outside of the post having been set through by the impressive Diaz.

They were also grateful to goalkeeper Andriy Lunin – who kept a clean sheet despite Leipzig having nine shots on target – and for the decision to disallow Benjamin Sesko’s second-minute header.

Real host the second leg at Santiago Bernabeu on 6 March.

Diaz steps up in Bellingham absence

The 14-time European champions are packed full of world-class talent but they clearly miss Bellingham, who suffered a sprained ankle in their 4-0 La Liga victory over Girona on Saturday.

The England midfielder had either scored or assisted in all five of his Champions League appearances for Real so far and has been involved in seven goals, more than any other player in the group stage.

Without him, Real lacked fluency in attack in the first half although Diaz, who replaced Bellingham in the attacking midfield role, showed quality and industry throughout before brilliantly providing the breakthrough.

Diaz further replicated Bellingham with his celebration, copying his team-mate in standing with arms wide after scoring. It earned the approval of the England international too, who posted “oh my god Brahim!” on X in response.

There was late concern for Real however as Diaz was forced off in the final minutes with a serious-looking calf injury.

Diaz’s goal was a moment of magic in an uneven performance from Real – Leipzig created plenty of chances and could easily have taken at least a draw, while Sesko could have had a hat-trick in the opening 10 minutes.

Leipzig industrious but wasteful

After Dani Carvajal played a loose pass out for corner after two minutes, Sesko headed home the second ball but had his effort ruled out as Benjamin Henrichs was judged to be offside and impeding goalkeeper Lunin.

Immediately after, the tall Slovenian striker could not quite make contact with a lofted through ball, before he was denied one-on-one by the legs of Lunin.

Lunin was forced into action late on too, making a series of solid stops from Xavi Simons, Sesko and Amadou Haidara as the hosts pressed for an equaliser.

The Ukrainian started this season as Real’s third-choice keeper, but following Thibaut Courtois’ season-ending injury he has superseded Kepa Arrizabalaga and showed why he has the trust of manager Carlo Ancelotti with this display.

Real’s frustrations were summed up by Carvajal, who was lucky to escape a booking for scything down Simons in the first half before finally being carded in the second having almost constantly complained to the officials.

Leipzig had started as clear underdogs – they were beaten twice by Manchester City in the group stage and are 18 points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga – but came into this game with a plan.

They came into the game level with Real for the most scored goals on the break in the group stage as well as producing most shots from counter-attacks, and Leipzig looked to take the most of those circumstances here.

Leipzig’s deep defence mostly did a good job of restricting Real, but they could do nothing to keep out Diaz’s strike and were grateful to the woodwork for keeping the tie alive.


RB Leipzig

Formation 4-2-2-2

  • 1Gulácsi
  • 2SimakanBooked at 53mins
  • 16Klostermann
  • 4Orbán
  • 22Raum
  • 39HenrichsSubstituted forHaidaraat 75′minutes
  • 24SchlagerSubstituted forKamplat 90′minutes
  • 7OlmoSubstituted forElmasat 76′minutes
  • 20Simons
  • 17OpendaSubstituted forPoulsenat 75′minutesBooked at 77mins
  • 30SeskoBooked at 85mins


  • 3Lenz
  • 5Bitshiabu
  • 6Elmas
  • 8Haidara
  • 9Poulsen
  • 13Seiwald
  • 14Baumgartner
  • 21Blaswich
  • 23Lukeba
  • 25Zingerle
  • 38Jatta
  • 44Kampl

Real Madrid

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 13Lunin
  • 2CarvajalBooked at 66mins
  • 18Tchouaméni
  • 6Nacho
  • 23Mendy
  • 15Valverde
  • 8Kroos
  • 21DíazSubstituted forVázquezat 84′minutes
  • 12Camavinga
  • 11RodrygoSubstituted forJoseluat 84′minutes
  • 7Vinícius JúniorBooked at 85mins


  • 10Modric
  • 14Joselu
  • 17Vázquez
  • 19Ceballos
  • 20García
  • 24Güler
  • 25Arrizabalaga Revuelta
  • 28Martín
  • 30González
  • 32Paz
  • 34Carrillo
  • 41Ramón

Irfan Peljto


Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, RB Leipzig 0, Real Madrid 1.

  2. Second Half ends, RB Leipzig 0, Real Madrid 1.

  3. Attempt missed. Joselu (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Eduardo Camavinga with a cross.

  4. Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Amadou Haidara.

  5. Attempt blocked. Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Eduardo Camavinga.

  6. Substitution, RB Leipzig. Kevin Kampl replaces Xaver Schlager.

  7. Attempt missed. Amadou Haidara (RB Leipzig) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

  8. Foul by Federico Valverde (Real Madrid).

  9. Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  10. Foul by Eljif Elmas (RB Leipzig).

  11. Aurélien Tchouaméni (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Benjamin Sesko (RB Leipzig) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Foul by Benjamin Sesko (RB Leipzig).

  14. Aurélien Tchouaméni (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Corner, RB Leipzig. Conceded by Andriy Lunin.

  17. Attempt saved. Amadou Haidara (RB Leipzig) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

  18. Substitution, Real Madrid. Joselu replaces Rodrygo.

  19. Substitution, Real Madrid. Lucas Vázquez replaces Brahim Díaz because of an injury.

  20. Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Player of the match

KamplKevin Kampl

with an average of 7.71

  1. Squad number44Player nameKampl

  2. Squad number6Player nameElmas

  3. Squad number17Player nameOpenda

  4. Squad number9Player namePoulsen

  5. Squad number8Player nameHaidara

  6. Squad number7Player nameOlmo

  7. Squad number20Player nameSimons

  8. Squad number4Player nameOrbán

  9. Squad number30Player nameSesko

  10. Squad number24Player nameSchlager

  11. Squad number2Player nameSimakan

  12. Squad number39Player nameHenrichs

  13. Squad number16Player nameKlostermann

  14. Squad number1Player nameGulácsi

  15. Squad number22Player nameRaum

Real Madrid

  1. Squad number12Player nameCamavinga

  2. Squad number18Player nameTchouaméni

  3. Squad number7Player nameVinícius Júnior

  4. Squad number15Player nameValverde

  5. Squad number21Player nameDíaz

  6. Squad number11Player nameRodrygo

  7. Squad number8Player nameKroos

  8. Squad number13Player nameLunin

  9. Squad number2Player nameCarvajal

  10. Squad number6Player nameNacho

  11. Squad number23Player nameMendy

  12. Squad number14Player nameJoselu

  13. Squad number17Player nameLucas Vázquez

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