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Despite superiority: RB Leipzig fails to beat Real Madrid

Estadio Santiago Bernabeu / Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu / Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa

RB Leipzig is the better team in the round of 16 second leg at Real Madrid. However, the team failed to take its chances. That's why the Champions League is now over.

A courageous performance was not enough for RB Leipzig to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League against a ripped-off Real Madrid. A 1:1 (0:0) draw on Wednesday evening was enough for the royals led by their chief strategist Toni Kroos to progress to the round of the top eight teams. Real had won the first leg in Saxony 1-0.

Leipzig were better and more courageous for long stretches, but Vinicius Junior (65th minute) put the hosts ahead with their first great chance. Shortly afterwards, RB captain Willi Orban (68) equalized with a header. But that was as good as it got for the Bundesliga club.

After their success in the first leg, Real did no more than they had to. Led by Kroos, the Whites controlled the ball most of the time, but did not make much of an effort to get into the dangerous areas. Instead, Leipzig were the better team, they just couldn't convert their superiority into the goals they desperately needed.

The Saxons did try to play for the necessary opening goal early on. However, they did not launch an unconditional attack at first. Benjamin Sesko (10') failed to score in front of Real goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, but had previously been offside. Lois Openda had a better chance shortly afterwards (16'), but his shot from an acute angle went just wide after good preparatory work from Dani Olmo.

Thus, a game developed as the Madrilenians had probably planned it beforehand. Leipzig made an effort, but Real largely controlled proceedings. The hosts defended cleverly and hardly gave the Saxons any space. Leipzig's wait-and-see approach led to repeated chances to score, such as from Xavi Simons (41) and Openda (42), but the visitors were unable to capitalize on them.

Real played casually, Real relied on their experience. The hosts were probably not bothered by the first whistles at half-time for their restrained style of play. Real did their thing, while Leipzig continued to attack. The Spaniards were slow to push forward. And it was somehow fitting that they were successful with their first big chance of the game.

Bellingham drove the ball on in midfield and waited patiently for the right moment. It came when Vinicius Junior suddenly changed his route too quickly for Orban. Bellingham passed to the Brazilian, who shot the lead from close range. That was it, you might have thought - but RB didn't give up. On the contrary. RB continued to attack. After a cross from David Raum, Orban equalized with a diving header.

The visitors continued to dominate after that, as Real suddenly revealed far too many gaps in the defense around international Antonio Rüdiger. Despite this, Leipzig were unable to exploit the weaknesses of the favorites. Although coach Marco Rose also gave his all on the touchline and repeatedly encouraged his team with wild gesticulations. Olmo hit the crossbar in stoppage time.

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