Real Madrid 2-0 RB Leipzig: Ancelotti celebrates 100th win after late Los Blancos show

·3-min read

Real Madrid scored twice in the closing stages as they battled to a 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

The reigning European champions had endured a frustrating day at the Santiago Bernabeu until Federico Valverde broke the deadlock with 10 minutes to play.

Substitute Marco Asensio then wrapped up the points in stoppage time to move Los Blancos to the top of Group F and give Carlo Ancelotti his 100th win in Europe's premier club competition.

Despite a spirited display – at odds with their below-par showing against Shakhtar Donetsk – Leipzig remain pointless after a second consecutive defeat.

Leipzig created the better of the chances in the first half as Christopher Nkunku called Thibaut Courtois into action following an early counter, while Emil Forsberg was just off target with a first-time effort.

A sliding Nkunku then came within a whisker of breaking the deadlock in the 34th minute when Timo Werner's cross narrowly evaded him.

Although Luka Modric shot wide shortly before half-time, Madrid's first shot on target did not come until the 72nd minute as Peter Gulacsi denied Vinicius Junior and Asensio lifted the rebound over.

The breakthrough followed eight minutes later, however, with Valverde latching on to Vinicius' pass following a clever Rodrygo dummy, then cutting onto his left foot and slotting into the far corner.

And Asensio made the points safe, brilliantly sweeping a first-time effort into the top corner from Toni Kroos' lay-off.

Madrid 2-0 Leipzig
Madrid 2-0 Leipzig

What does it mean? Madrid steal the points with late if familiar flurry

The hosts left it late, but their quality eventually prevailed as they made it two wins from two in Group F.

Los Blancos are now unbeaten in their past 12 Champions League matches against German sides, scoring at least twice on each occasion.

Two in two for Valverde

You wait almost three years to score at the Bernabeu, and then two come along at once.

Having not found the net at Madrid's traditional home since a 3-1 win over Real Sociedad in November 2019, Valverde netted the equaliser during Sunday's 4-1 rout of Mallorca, then added his first Champions League strike.

Ton up for Carlo

Ancelotti notched up yet another milestone in a remarkable coaching career that has already seen him lift this trophy on four occasions.

The Italian becomes only the second coach to reach 100 victories in the Champions League, following in the footsteps of Alex Ferguson (102).

Key Opta Facts

– Madrid have won their past four games in the Champions League, with the last three coming without conceding a goal – it is the first time they have won three in a row in the competition without conceding since December 2015 to March 2016 (also three).
– For the second consecutive season, Leipzig have lost their opening two group-stage games in a Champions League campaign, while their total of one goal is their fewest after two games since 2017-18 (failed to progress).
– Asensio has scored eight goals as a substitute in the Champions League, now the most of any player in the history of the competition.
– Vinicius has made more assists than any other player in the Champions League since the start of last season (seven).

What's next?

All eyes turn towards the Madrid derby on Sunday as Ancelotti's men prepare to face rivals Atletico in a LaLiga blockbuster. Before that, Leipzig go to Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.