It touched the firecracker with which this Madrid had been threatening, which until now has not shed a tear. Suddenly came reluctance, the trauma of losing Benzema, the Vinicius blackout, a lesser version of Modric, the lack of precision that ended up leading to general disorder. That succession of calamities was put to an end by another great goal from Valverde. In the end, this team always finds someone to save them, even on their worst days. Then Asensio finished off the job, who was forgiven. Leipzig were better at the beginning and then fell into the trap of a team that enjoys playing dead.
The party threw a preliminary note: Ancelotti does not believe Hazard. Neither in the band, nor in the playmaker, nor in the tip. The Belgian is once again queuing up in the squad, even with Benzema down, because in Madrid he reviews every day and Hazard goes (little) and comes (a lot). Without him, without Mendy (the one closest to the bench of the Italian coach’s personal guard) and without Kroos, the team’s thermostat, and with Nacho as central defender, Alaba as left-back, Camavinga as interior and Rodrygo as interim nine, Madrid started in full bundespanic after the defeats of Barça and Atlético in Germany, a territory that forty years ago ate every Spanish team that fell there raw.
Leipzig is oblivious to that bad dream. It was born when the Germans had ceased to be, it was set up by an Austro-Slovenian who sells energy drinks on the back of a red bull and plays in a championship where Bayern wins the Bulgarian league, but it is a good team attacked by that virus that magnates contract : rush. In this you have to lose a lot before you gain something. It happens even to Madrid, which has lifted 14 European Cups. Five bad games ended with the coach who got him into this Champions League, Tedesco, and he arrived at the Bernabéu with Marco Rose in charge, in his second game. He has soon caught the air.
Leipzig came out bossy at the Bernabéu, aware that their disaster against Shakhtar leaves them little room for manoeuvre. He pressed hard and well, he stole early, took Madrid’s hand and had the first chance: a bad pass from Vinicius left Nkunku in front of Courtois. The Belgian won. The Frenchman then looked for a penalty that Nacho did not take and Mariani did not see.
The results, impeccable, do not say everything about Madrid, which in all its victories has spent minutes living on the limit. Even in games that he later resolved with goals. In this he felt annoyed, stuck, exposed to the cons of an opponent with many hares (Nkunku, Werner…) and with nothing to offer in attack. Valverde lacked a point of finesse on the right and Vinicius that some of his occurrences unraveled the team. Nor were the midfielders capable of bridging the clash, starting with Modric, the anticyclone of the Azores, the footballer whose hierarchy changes the team’s climate.
Everything happened in the middle of a routine that is not common in Madrid in the Champions League, where the team is shirtless. In short, a clash of very low activity under the permanent threat of the Germans: a shot from Forsberg outside, another from Werner caught by Courtois, a cross from him that Nkunku did not reach by an inch… On the other side, Gulacsi was unprecedented while Ancelotti raised an eyebrow of disapproval. His team, in the first half, was a listener, without game, without claw, without precision, without the ball, surpassed by the bands and by the center. Only near the break did he try to correct himself with a shoulder shot from Rüdiger, who was nine after a corner, and another from Modric, who later claimed a penalty. The draw at halftime seemed like great news to Madrid.
The start of the second half only improved one footballer, Nacho, captain for something, who stirred up the public with three robberies against Werner. They sign whoever they sign, none surpasses them in regularity and efficiency. The party was still without salt. Even Leipzig caught that laziness from Madrid and the areas ceased to exist.
Ancelotti looked for a certain ruckus with Asensio, whistled at the entrance. A change made with the left hand: the most angry can end up being the most motivated. Camavinga left and Valverde went to midfield, his natural luck. From there he created the best chance for Madrid. He came out with the same gallop as that of his goal against Mallorca and combined with Rodrygo, whose low center could not be successfully finished off by the Uruguayan, Vinicius, or Asensio.
It was the warning of the final blow. Vinicius, who had not gotten a pass from Simakan, went against his replacement, Henrichs, with that sick insistence on facing without fear of failure (which this time were many). He ended up taking a low pass, which Rodrygo let pass to Valverde and he cut it with his right and put it into the net with his left. Then Asensio put his silk zuda, with vindictive air, for 2-0. That cannon always had it whatever his mood. Final point to the match and a triumph that Madrid will have a hard time explaining. The feeling begins to be that he will win whatever he does, but he is tempting fate too much.
M. Asensio (63′, E. Camavinga), K. Kampl (74′, A.Haidara), B.Henrichs (74′, M. Simakan), Andre Silva (80′, T. Werner), Y. Poulsen (80′, E. Forsberg), F. Mendy (80′, D. Alaba), T Kroos (80′, L. Modric), Marian (84′, Rodrigo), D. Ceballos (84′, Vinicius Jr.)
1-0, 79′: Federico Valverde2-0, 90′: Marco Asensio
Referee: Maurizio Mariani
VAR Referee: Massimiliano Irrati, Marco Guida
Amadou Haidara (72′, Yellow) nkunku (81′, Yellow) Daniel Carvajal (83′, Yellow) Xavier Schlager (89′, Yellow)