German Sport

Champions League: Leipzig fails due to Real Madrid – and the referee

As of: March 7, 2024 12:01 a.m

RB Leipzig has been eliminated from the Champions League despite a good performance against Real Madrid. The Saxons are likely to be particularly angry with referee Davide Massa. The Italian made some very debatable decisions from Saxony’s point of view in the 1-1 draw in Madrid.

Real Madrid made the first statement when Vinicius Jr. took the lead after the break (65′), but Willi Orban equalized almost immediately (68′). But that was all that was achieved for the superior Germans.

Thanks to the Spaniards’ 1-0 first leg win, the draw was enough to secure their place in the quarter-finals. But RB Leipzig will have a sleepless night ahead of them because, from their point of view, a series of dubious refereeing decisions made the game go in the wrong direction. In the first leg, too, there were discussions about the referees’ decisions after the disallowed goal.

“We simply didn’t score enough goals”said Marco Rose fairly after the game, “But it’s certainly true: over 180 minutes – I’ll put it this way – the balance of decisions certainly didn’t swing in our direction, and we had one or two more resistance. Nevertheless, we congratulate Real Madrid – we don’t want any bad ones be a loser.” Benjamin Henrichs said on DAZN: “We just have to reward ourselves. As many chances to score as we had, we really shouldn’t let them go.” “Leipzig did well. They defended very, very well and found the way to play good counterattacks through defending”praised Kroos.

Leipzig misses the best chances

With the exception of a semi-dangerous header from Vinicius Jr., Leipzig on the one hand did not allow the hosts any chances to score in the first part of the game, but on the other hand they created a surprisingly large number of their own opportunities against a rather passive and defensive Madrid team. Lois Openda, who played from the start, failed because he shot the ball past the goal (13th, 16th, 42nd).

Toni Kroos, who was soon back in action for the German national team, controlled the home team’s game and had the greatest number of ball actions on the field, but hardly initiated any of Real Madrid’s offensive actions. Jude Bellingham also sank into obscurity due to Carlo Ancelotti’s team’s wait-and-see style of play.

Rodrygo comes in after the break

The Spaniards remained calm given their narrow 1-0 win in the first leg. Ancelotti brought on Rodrygo for the second half, who had to sit on the bench at the start of the game. But: Nothing changed in the game setup.

Then the pace of the game changed: First Vinicius Jr. fouled Willi Orban and then pushed the Leipzig player to the ground with both hands on his neck. Leipzig coach Marco Rose became enraged by the yellow card that the Italian referee Davide Massa showed the Brazilian. The red card not shown should have consequences.

Kroos also increased his normally reserved duel behavior and fouled Dani Olmo – here too, the referee chose the smaller penalty and did not show a card.

First Vini Jr. scores, then Willi Orban

Real then briefly increased the tempo, Leipzig came under pressure and briefly lost sight of Vinicius Jr.. Bellingham saw the lane that opened up in the Saxons’ defense and sent the ball and his Brazilian teammate there. He needed exactly one quick touch of the ball to put the “Royals” in front. Of all people, Vinicius Jr., who from the German perspective should not have been in the game.

But Leipzig’s answer was not long in coming. First, Xavi Simons failed with a long-range shot that German international Antonio Rüdiger clawed out of the corner with his foot. But when David Raum crossed from the left into the penalty area, Orban pushed the ball over the line with his head from halfway up.

Olmo only hits the crossbar

When Kroos saw the yellow card he had earned over the course of the game after a foul on Xavi Simons and left the field a short time later, the Spanish audience applauded with respect and satisfaction.

In the final phase, RB coach Rose went “all in” with personnel; Olmo still had a great chance of scoring the goal with a lob in stoppage time, which would have brought extra time. But Real saved their place in the quarter-finals with the help of the crossbar over time.

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