Josko Gvardiol, Christopher Nkunku and Timo Werner all scored in the UEFA Champions League as RB Leipzig inflicted a first defeat of the season on record winners Real Madrid.
RB Leipzig 3-2 Real Madrid
Goals: 1-0 Gvardiol (13’), 2-0 Nkunku (18’), 2-1 Vinicius (44’), 3-1 Werner (81’), 3-2 Rodrygo (pen. 90'+4)
Knowing a victory against Real could guarantee them a place in the knockout stage if Shakhtar Donetsk also lost their game away at Celtic, Leipzig showed no fear against the record Champions League winners and holders. As they did in the reverse fixture, Marco Rose’s men created a string of first-half chances. The difference here was that they took them. Gvardiol was quickest to react after Thibaut Courtois produced an excellent save to deny Andre Silva at a corner, but the Croatian defender nodded in the rebound to put Die Roten Bullen ahead. The lead was doubled five minutes later when a David Raum shot was blocked into the path of Nkunku and he fired a shot off the underside of the crossbar from 10 yards. Carlo Ancelotti’s side saw more of the ball but failed to create much. Janis Blaswich made a comfortable save off a Rodrygo shot but was beaten on the stroke of half-time when Vinicius Junior powered home a header from a Marco Asensio cross.
Los Blancos came out with greater intent after the restart but failed to muster up any clear-cut chances, with Willi Orban and Gvardiol keeping things tight at the back. The introduction of Werner added more pace to the Leipzig attack as space opened up and the Germany international fired an effort just wide on the angle moments after coming on. There was no mistake from the substitute with eight minutes to go when Leipzig countered through Mohamed Simakan and he squared for Werner to turn in at the far post. The visitors got one more back when Rodrygo converted a penalty deep into added time. Shakhtar’s draw at Celtic means Leipzig aren’t quite through yet – RB will simply need to avoid defeat when they face the Ukrainians next week. But the DFB Cup holders do become the first team to beat the reigning European champions in any competition this season.
- Leipzig became the first team ever to score two goals in the first 18 minutes of a Champions League group game against Real Madrid.
- Gvardiol got his first Champions League goal in his eighth game and his third in 60 appearances for Leipzig.
- Nkunku is Leipzig’s 12-goal top scorer this season from 18 appearances – four more than Real’s best scorer, Vinicius.
- His 10 Champions League goals ties him with Emil Forsberg as Leipzig’s all-time top scorer in the competition.
- Leipzig have won nine of their last 15 European home games (D4, L2).
- Die Roten Bullen’s record against Spanish clubs reads W3, D1, L1. Real have now lost 20 of their 35 visits to Germany (W7, D8).
Leipzig: Blaswich - Simakan (Henrichs 89’), Orban (c), Gvardiol, Raum (Diallo 69’) - Haidara (Kampl 84’), Schlager - Szoboszlai, Nkunku, Forsberg (Olmo 69’) - Silva (Werner 69’)
Unused subs: Nickisch, Poulsen, Novoa, Henrichs
Out: Gulacsi (knee), Halstenberg (illness), Klostermann (ankle), Laimer (ankle)
Coach: Marco Rose
Madrid: Courtois - Vasquez (Carvajal 69’), Militao, Rüdiger, Nacho (Alaba 69’) - Camavinga, Tchouameni, Kroos (Hazard 76’) - Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius
Unused subs: Lunin, Lopez, Vallejo, Odriozola, Mendy, Dotor, Arribas, Rodriguez
Out: Benzema (muscular), Ceballos (muscular), Modric (adductor), Valverde (knock)
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti
As it happened!
Blaswich goes to his left, the ball goes to his right as Real get another back.
Nkunku trips Rodrygo in the box and the referee points to the spot.
Three additional minutes as the Red Bull Arena cheers on its heroes.
WERNER RESTORES THE TWO-GOAL ADVANTAGE!
Werner's introduction was always going to be to stretch Real and hit them on the break. And that's exactly what's happened. Simakan has the freedom of the right flank before getting into the box and squaring for Werner to slot home from close range.
So close to an equaliser from Real as they carve their way through the Leipzig defence. Vinicius out to Hazard on the left. He returns the ball low in front of goal, but the Brazilian turns it just the wrong (or right, in Leipzig's case) side of the post.
Olmo rolls the ball out to Nkunku on the left of the box. He's got time to wind up and go for the big booming curler, but he doesn't really wrap his foot around it.
Turbo Timo's immediately in the game as he runs onto a through ball. He gets a yard of space in front of Alaba and goes across goal, but drags it just wide of the far post.
Leipzig make a triple change as they freshen things up, especially up front with the pace of Werner. Real send on two former Bundesliga players in Alaba and Carvajal in defence.
The stadium announcer has just confirmed that tonight's attendance is 45,228. Timo Werner is also preparing to come on.
NEWS FROM SCOTLAND
Shakhtar have equalised, meaning Leipzig can't qualify tonight as it stands.
MORE FROM REAL NOW
The holders have come out with far more intent this half and kept Leipzig on their toes. They've now overtaken on shots but it's RB who still hold the advantage on the scoreboard.
Real pour forward through the middle. The ball goes out left to Vinicius before back inside to Tchouameni, but Gvardiol gets in a telling block on the edge of the area.
Although Leipzig have conceded one, so have Shakhtar in Scotland. It means that RB will be through to the knockout stage as it stands.
REAL GET ONE BACK
Worst possible moment for Leipzig to concede, right on the stroke of half-time. Asensio cuts a lofted ball back from the right towards the penalty spot, where Vinicius pings his header past Blaswich and in off his left-hand post.
Leipzig are the first team to score two goals in the first 18 minutes of a Champions League group game against Real Madrid.
© Maja Hitij/Getty Images
Now the holders force a save out of back-up Leipzig goalkeeper Blaswich, but he gets good hands behind Rodrygo's shot at his right-hand post.
SO FAR, SO GOOD
Leipzig are doing their bit so far and winning the game. But it's still goalless in Glasgow, where RB need Shakhtar to lose if they're to secure a top-two berth tonight.
RARE MOVE FORWARD
Real are seeing more of the ball without threatening too much. Camavinga drives forward now but is stopped by a combination of Raum and Orban.
© Maja Hitij/Getty Images
It's been impressive stuff so far from Leipzig. They've had far more chances, including four on target to none from Rea. Plus two of those have gone in, which is what really matters.
Leipzig conceded three goals from set pieces against Augsburg on Saturday. They've scored both theirs today from corners. Football...
NO MISTAKE THIS TIME!
A corner from the left this time is played short. It comes out to the edge of the area, where the shot is blocked but it falls kindly to Nkunku inside the box and he rifles it in off the underside of the crossbar from 10 yards.
GOAL! 2 : 0
An effort from deeper this time from the Malian midfielder. It's going into the far corner until Courtois sticks out a hand on the dive.
Rapid break from the hosts with a long ball up to Nkunku. Courtois comes rushing out but gets nowhere near. He does force Nkunku wide, but he still backs himself on his left foot wide of the penalty area. But he can only find the side netting. Shame.
GVARDIOL HEADS LEIPZIG AHEAD!
A Szoboszlai corner from the right is met by Silva, who sees recent Yashin Trophy winner Courtois pull out an excellent diving save, but he only pops the ball straight back up, where the Leipzig defender reacts quickest to head home.
GOAL! 1 : 0
Schlager and Rüdiger go for a 50-50. The ex-Stuttgart man gets the ball but follows through hard on the Leipzig midfielder's leg.
RB fly out of the traps and Nkunku forces a save out of Courtois at his near post. The danger isn't cleared, but Leipzig fail to get another telling shot away.
Before we get going, there's a minute's applause for Dietrich Mateschitz, the man who helped create RB Leipzig and who passed away last week.
TEAMS IN THE TUNNEL
Not long to go now as a packed Red Bull Arena...
WHAT'S NEEDED HERE?
Leipzig can book their place in the knockout stage tonight but need two things to happen. They must win here and hope that Shakhtar Donetsk lose at still winless Celtic. Madrid are one of six teams already through and will be confirmed as winners of Group F if they avoid defeat.
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Leipzig showed tremendous spirit to fight back from 3-0 down in Augsburg on Saturday.
MORE ON THOSE TEAMS
Werner's only fit for enough for a place on the Leipzig bench, but Nkunku starts after scoring as a second-half substitute in the 3-3 draw with Augsburg at the weekend. With Real already through, Ancelotti - minus the services of Benzema - rings the changes. Modric isn't involved, while Alaba and Carvajal are among the subs.
"Real Madrid are a team that prefer having the ball than not," warned Leipzig head coach Marco Rose at his pre-match press conference. "It’s a lot of hard work to match them, both on and off the ball. Given their quality, winning the ball high up the pitch will be difficult. They’ll try to play in a way that creates spaces and drag us out of position to try and get their pacey wingers into the game. That means that we have to remain compact, while being active at the same time. When we get the opportunities to hit them on the counter, we have to take them."
To build up their self-confidence, perhaps the Leipzig team could watch back the majority of the duo’s first meeting in Madrid on 14 September. “We defended brilliantly for 80 minutes against a fantastic side in the reverse fixture. We have to pick up from there,” declared Willi Orban pre-match, referring to September’s 2-0 defeat in the Spanish capital. The game, which was Rose’s first in charge of the club, was still goalless ten minutes from time before Federico Valverde and Marco Asensio found the net for the hosts. “If we can be dangerous going forward like we were in Madrid, with a bit more efficiency, we have a chance to win,” added Orban.
DESTINATION LAST 16!
Back-to-back wins over Celtic have put RB Leipzig a step closer to the UEFA Champions League last 16. They begin the penultimate round of fixtures second in Group F, four points behind Real Madrid and one clear of Shakhtar Donetsk. Die Roten Bullen will be through, if they beat the holders and Shakhtar lose to Celtic.