RB Leipzig defeated Real Madrid 3-2 in the fifth UEFA Champions League (UCL) group matchday, inflicting Los Blancos’ first defeat of the season, ending a run of 17 unbeaten games.
Having booked their place in the last 16 for a 26th consecutive season, Real Madrid knew a win would secure top spot in the group. Leipzig got off to an incredible start, scoring two goals inside the first 20 minutes. First Joško Gvardiol latched onto a rebound, smashing home a header to send the home crowd berserk, before Christopher Nkunku banged a belter in off the crossbar just five minutes later to further unsettle the visitors.
It was all about the visitors thereafter, as they tried to assert their dominance in the face of a stern Die Roten Bullen outfit. Fired by the pace of Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo on either wing, Real Madrid pushed on – with the former coming the closest by hammering the ball directed towards the roof of the net, only to see Janis Blaswich brilliantly deny him with a terrific save. However, Blaswich was left helpless right before HT when Vini Jr met Marco Asensio’s lofted cross to send a header in off the right post to halve the hosts’ lead.
Marco Rose’s side looked confident enough to keep the ball and mount attacks, but they had to be wary of an outfit notorious in terms of late comebacks, especially on the continental stage. Real Madrid tried to hit the hosts on the counter attack in search of an equaliser but struggled to break through a relentless Leipzig side. As the final minutes dawned, Timo Werner flashed a shot wide of the left post, before scoring his side’s third of the evening, thanks to a simple tap-in from Mohamed Simakan’s low cross on the back of a counter attack – Leipzig’s eight consecutive UCL game scoring after the 75th minute.
Rodrygo added a second Real Madrid goal in stoppage-time from a penalty but it was nothing but a consolation. The reigning European champions’ finally fell for the first time this season, tasting a first defeat this campaign and their first in the UCL in seven games. It also marks their first loss in 14 games against German opposition, as the East Germans register a sixth consecutive home win across all competitions.