Real Madrid 1-1 RB Leipzig (2-1 agg): Player ratings as Vinicius goal enough to squeeze through in Champions League

  • Real Madrid beat RB Leipzig 2-1 on aggregate in the Champions League last 16
  • Vinicius Junior scored what ended up being the crucial goal for the hosts
  • The Bundesliga side will rue some wasteful finishing
Real squeezed past Leipzig
Real squeezed past Leipzig / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Real Madrid booked their spot in the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday evening following their unconvincing 1-1 draw with RB Leipzig.

To say it was a cagey first half in the Spanish capital would be a gross understatement, with the visitors shading an opening 45 minutes in which there was just the one shot on target.

But a one-goal advantage from the first leg meant that Real simply needed to avoid defeat, something they did following Vinicius Junior's second-half strike. Willi Orban pulled one back for the visitors, but the 14-time European champions held on to progress to the last eight.

How the game unfolded

With a one-goal advantage from the first leg, Real Madrid were in no rush at the Santiago Bernabeu. It was a pedestrian start to proceedings from La Liga's leaders, who were keen not to commit too many bodies forward into the final third.

Leipzig were far more aggressive in their approach from the first kick and Lois Openda was guilty of spurning an early opportunity as the Bundesliga side looked to counter with pace. The Belgian came close to breaking the deadlock just several minutes later, but fired another promising opportunity wide of Andriy Lunin's left post.

Real had been dealt several warning signs throughout a tame first half and Xavi Simons was the man that came closest to opening the scoring for Leipzig five minutes before the break, with the Dutchman seeing his curled effort rebuffed by Lunin. Openda's powerful shot just a minute later whistled past the post, with neither side able to open the scoring prior to the half-time whistle.

Openda gave Real yet another scare shortly after the restart, rounding Lunin before wasting an opportunity to shoot as the Ukrainian goalkeeper dived at his feet to reclaim possession.

Leipzig's profligacy was punished with 25 minutes left, and it was the familiar combination of Jude Bellingham and Vinicius that put the hosts in front. The Englishman slid a wonderful through ball into the path of the latter, who fired brilliantly beyond Peter Gulacsi from 12 yards out.

However, the German side showed great resilience to level just four minutes after Vini's opener, and it was the unlikely Orban who produced the equaliser. David Raum's enticing cross from the left-hand side was met excellently by the Hungarian centre-back, who redirected his effort beyond Lunin.

The equaliser galvanised the visitors heading into the final 20 minutes, with Openda wasting another chance from a free kick before Benjamin Sesko fired an effort straight at Lunin. Orban was next up to send an effort goalward, but the defender planted his header a foot wide on this occasion.

Leipzig continued to push for a goal to take the game to extra-time, with Dani Olmo's effort clipping the top of the crossbar in stoppage time, but Madrid managed to hold on to book their spot in the Champions League quarter-finals again.

Real Madrid player ratings (4-3-3)

Toni Kroos, Benjamin Sesko
Kroos shone at the Bernabeu / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

GK: Andriy Lunin - 6/10 - One moment of indecision almost proved costly early in the second period, but the goalkeeper wasn't tested too often due to Leipzig's wasteful forward line.

RB: Dani Carvajal - 5/10 - Some incredibly sloppy moments from the experienced defender in possession and he often played Real into trouble.

CB: Antonio Rudiger - 7/10 - Threw his body in front of everything in the box, making a particularly important block from Simons' close range shot in the second half. The hosts' strongest defensive performer.

CB: Nacho - 6/10 - Couldn't get tight enough to Orban for Leipzig's leveller and sometimes struggled to deal with the dual threat of Openda and Sesko.

LB: Ferland Mendy - 6/10 - Had the tricky task of dealing with Dani Olmo and was given little support by Vinicius Junior down the left flank.

CM: Aurelien Tchouameni - 5/10 - Didn't offer the Real backline too much protection and was frequently a second or two late to the challenge.

CM: Toni Kroos - 8/10 - A masterclass in distribution from the 34-year-old, who was at the heart of everything positive from a Real perspective. Misplaced just five of his 73 passes.

CM: Eduardo Camavinga - 6/10 - Sacrificed at half-time as Real looked to conjure up some more chances. The Frenchman put in a perfectly decent individual display before his tactical withdrawal.

RW: Federico Valverde - 6/10 - Worked hard down the right flank and was often left incredibly isolated. Looked more comfortable moving into midfield in the second half.

ST: Jude Bellingham - 7/10 - Assisted Vinicius Junior with a delicate and inch-perfect through ball in what was a generally quiet game by his lofty standards.

LW: Vinicius Junior - 7/10 - Took a risk ten minutes after the break by pushing Orban around the throat, even if the defender went down somewhat theatrically. On the ball, the Brazilian was energetic, eventually finding his ruthless touch in the second half.


SUB: Rodrygo (46' for Camavinga) - 7/10 - Injected some pace into proceedings after the break, even if he wasn't too involved in the Leipzig penalty area.

SUB: Luka Modric (78' for Kroos) - 6/10

SUB: Joselu (85' for Bellingham) - N/A

Subs not used: Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK), Fran Gonzalez (GK), Lucas Vazquez, Fran Garcia, Dani Ceballos, Arda Guler, Brahim Diaz.


Carlo Ancelotti - 5/10 - Not a convincing or comfortable performance from his side, who were well off the pace at the Bernabeu. However, they limped over the line in the end, which is all that matters in knockout football.

Player of the match: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)