In Marco Rose's second game in charge of the Red Bull club, Real Madrid bested Leipzig 2-0 in the Spanish capital.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Christopher Nkunku had the best chance of the opening minutes, as Thibaut Courtois was forced into an important save. Shortly thereafter, last season's Bundesliga Player of the Year got behind Nacho right in front of goal, but there wasn't enough contact for a penalty.
Madrid continued to boss possession and became more dangerous offensively as the half wore on, with Leipzig trying to cause trouble on the counter. Nkunku nearly scored off a couple passes from Timo Werner, but the Frenchman couldn't get a touch on either one to seriously challenge Courtois.
Leipzig were the more creative side going forward, as Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti looked puzzled heading into halftime 0-0. Other than one clumsy Xaver Schlager challenge on Luka Modric, Rose must've been pleased with RB's well-organized performance. The Spanish club were clearly missing the injured Karim Benzema and couldn't convert their best chances coming from set-pieces.
To begin the second period, both teams lacked the final punch to really make something happen in the final third. It was starting to look like Leipzig luckily signed up to play against a shockingly dull Madrid side on the day.
Madrid pressed more intensively in the late stages of the contest, but struggled finding a goal to secure three points. Vinicius Jr.'s effort was saved by Peter Gulacsi, as he couldn't finish off Valverde's excellent run with twenty or so minutes left to play.
Valverde finally opened the scoring with his left-footed strike in the 80th minute. Asensio's curling effort from a corner in extra time closed out the match, as the necessary quality that had been lacking all game came through in the end for Madrid.
Real take charge of the group ahead of Shakhtar, but Leipzig shouldn't be too displeased with their performance, holding the Spanish giants scoreless for most of the game. They stay in 4th without a point recorded and will move their focus to face Rose's former club, Gladbach, this weekend.