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Brahim wonder goal gives Real Madrid slender advantage over RB Leipzig

Brahim celebrates his goa

It was by no means a classic European night for Real Madrid, yet so few of them are at this stage of the competition.

Taking a 1-0 lead away from a difficult first-leg against RB Leipzig was a more than satisfactory outcome for the Spanish giants, who were without Jude Bellingham.

Brahim Diaz came in for the English sensation, and would actually make the difference later on in the match.

Carlo Ancelotti is the master of course-and-distance. His teams never peak to early, but also rarely miss their moment when the time is right.

RB Leipzig, as you’d expect, made much of the running on Tuesday, buoyed by a surprisingly vociferous home crowd, yet they couldn’t find a way beyond Andriy Lunin and the Los Blancos defence.

Controversy reigned as Sesko had early goal disallowed

RB Leipzig started the brighter of the two sides, taking advantage of the atmosphere, yet they were left livid when an early Benjamin Sesko goal was ruled out for offside.

Initially the decision seemed correct, a shot bounced into the ground and fell to Sesko in what looked like a suspicious amount of space, however replays would show the decision was far tighter than originally thought.

Sesko himself was onside, however there was a Leipzig forward positioned just behind Lunin, touching his back, in an offside position.

Whether he was interfering with play or not remains a matter of opinion, but the decision to disallow the goal was once again an indictment of the sheer confusion that surrounds the offside rule in its current form.

Real Madrid, though, kept steady and eventually got a foothold in the game, utilizing the experience of Toni Kroos to keep the ball when necessary.

Sesko would miss multiple chances throughout the game, firing straight at Lunin with his next big moment after 10 minutes of play.

Whilst a number of fouls gave the game an edge, Real Madrid started the second-half well and took the lead through Brahim Diaz.

In an era where passing conservatively to avoid your defense ever being put under pressure is the standard, a goal like Diaz’s was a true throwback.

The Spaniard jinked with the ball, riding two fouls but maintaining his balance, before cutting inside on his left foot and curling a sumptuous shot into the far corner of the net.

It was a staggeringly beautiful goal and the sort of moment which has made the difference for Los Merengues on so many of their European runs.

Leipzig again settled into the ascendency as Madrid kept them at arms’ length, although Vinicius Jr. had the best chance of the game, hitting the post with a clever toe-poke beyond Peter Gulacsi.

Real Madrid have control of the tie after Tuesday’s 1-0 win and will hope to have Bellingham back for the second-leg, as they prepare to reach the quarter-final stage.