Madrid survives itself and reaches the quarterfinals | Soccer | Sports


Real Madrid escaped its own nonsense and qualified for the quarterfinals after a misshapen night that ended with them reducing balls in their area, overwhelmed by Leipzig’s enthusiasm and disoriented by Carlo Ancelotti’s game plan. He was afloat thanks to a goal from Vinicius, who had almost been wrecked just a moment before, with a desperate push to a defender. It was one of the lack of lucidity shown by a team that closed the night immersed in chaos, with a play in which Valverde returned a ball to the rival that was going wide and Mendy gave it to him again with a bad pass when they recovered it. The culmination of confusion.


Andriy Lunin, Nacho, Dani Carvajal, Rüdiger, Ferland Mendy, Kroos (Modric, min. 77), Camavinga (Rodrygo, min. 45), Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde, Jude Bellingham (Joselu, min. 84) and Vinicius Junior


RB Leipzig

Gulacsi, Castello Lukeba, Benjamin Henrichs, David Raum, Willi Orban, Xavi Simons, Xavier Schlager (Elmas, min. 84), Dani Olmo, Amadou Haidara (Kevin Kampl, min. 89), Lois Openda (Yussuf Poulsen, min. 77 ) and Benjamin Sesko (Christoph Baumgartner, min. 84)

Goals 1-0 min. 65: Vinicius Junior. 1-1 min. 68: Willi Orban.

Referee Davide Massa

Yellow cards Xavier Schlager (min. 19), David Raum (min. 50), Vinicius Junior (min. 53), Willi Orban (min. 71), Aurelien Tchouameni (min. 72) and Kroos (min. 75)

After seeing Lunin subjected to a bombing in Germany from which he came out with nine stops, Ancelotti innovated on the plan he had brought there. He left Rodrygo on the bench, added a midfielder to the mix and arranged the team in a 4-3-3, with Kroos as a pivot accompanied by Tchouameni and Camavinga. Up front, Bellingham served as nine, with Valverde on the right wing and Vinicius on the left. The change turned off the light for Madrid.

It didn’t work backwards or forwards. With the ball, he seemed to be moving through a swamp, knee-deep in mud. Everything happened very slowly, with the footballers screwed in harmless places. In the face of that stagnation, Leipzig gave the impression of flying. Simons and Olmo are two extraordinary agitators between the lines, and Openda and Sesko found space behind Rüdiger and Nacho, again a center back pair.

The planned stopper for Ancelotti’s squad of athletes did not appear. While Madrid cradled the ball dry of ideas, Leipzig squeezed every recovery. Even Rose wasted energy on the wing, from where he pointed to Lunin’s goal with each charge. The Ukrainian got a scare that was very reminiscent of Leipzig when he found himself alone in front of Sesko, who was galloping in the open field. As in Germany, he deactivated the shot. It was later learned that the sequence had occurred offside, but Madrid once again looked vulnerable. In the first half alone, the Germans shot six times, one of them on goal, a slap from Lunin to a shot from Simons. Then they sharpened their aim.

On the other side, Gulacsi lived without half an acceleration of his heart rate. The most dangerous thing was a pass from Valverde that bounced off a defender and forced the Hungarian goalkeeper to bend down to pick up the ball. The performance was disappointing and the stands missed a couple of sets of whistles, the last when the team retired to the locker room.

Different things came out of there, but not much. Ancelotti withdrew Camavinga and brought in Rodrygo. Back to business as usual, after the failed experiment. Also back to what it was before: Leipzig continued doing its thing, that relentless effort to strike at full speed. Lunin got the second big scare when Openda outwitted him in the area and headed towards the goal. Carvajal stopped him and the goalkeeper had time to correct himself and jump to catch the ball.

Madrid was still stuck and desperation began to appear. Vinicius hooked up with Orbán with the ball very far from them and ended up knocking him over with a push that the referee left with a yellow card. That little brawl opened the spigot of Real’s slight tension that, so contained, had not even shown itself. The Brazilian completed the first clean run of a rather unproductive night, leaving a pass behind for a shot that ended up bouncing off Rodrygo. The Brazilian then found himself inside the area and shot into the side netting. The flood culminated with a pass to the area where Vinicius was running ahead, who beat Gulacsi and scored shortly after throwing himself into the center of the turbulence. He surfs the turmoil always on the verge of crashing while he also leaves behind some beautiful rides.

The goal did not appease Leipzig, who responded immediately with a skillful header from Orbán, Vinicius’ partner in the shoving dance. The Germans did not stop at a draw. Madrid continued to appear vulnerable to Sesko’s crosses and Olmo’s maneuvers. He was under siege against his area, and there he saw how the Spaniard hit the crossbar in the first minute of added time. And there he endured the end of the unpleasant downpour that led him, once again, to the quarterfinals of his favorite tournament.

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