“Best game since I met him” – Carlo Ancelotti salutes Real Madrid star as he matches club record in Champions League win over Leipzig

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has praised goalkeeper Andriy Lunin for his performance in the side’s narrow UEFA Champions League win over RB Leipzig. The Ukrainian goalkeeper had a record-equaling game for Los Blancos as they won the away leg of their Round of 16 tie in Germany.

A long-term injury to Thibaut Courtois at the start of the season caused apprehension among Real Madrid fans because of the Belgian’s importance. Over the course of the campaign, however, the duo of Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga have mitigated the effects of his absence.

Carlo Ancelotti has rotated both goalkeepers for much of the season but has opted to play Andriy Lunin in the recent past. The decision proved to be a smart one against Leipzig as well, as the 25-year-old had a busy day between the sticks opposite a determined attack led by Benjamin Sesko.

Lunin managed to make nine saves in the game, equaling a club record held by Thibaut Courtois in the UEFA Champions League. After the match, Ancelotti was full of praise for the Ukraine international, revealing that he thinks the Leipzig game is the best he has seen him play.

“It could have ended in a draw, let’s be honest. This was Lunin’s best game since I met him.”

Andriy Lunin has had to bide his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, finding himself behind arguably the world’s best in the pecking order. Following Courtois’ injury, he has been able to show what he is capable of.

Lunin has appeared 17 times for Los Blancos this season, keeping a clean sheet in eight of those games for the club. He has had to share minutes with Kepa, who joined the club on loan from Chelsea last summer.

Brahim Diaz guides Real Madrid to win in Leipzig

Facing RB Leipzig, Real Madrid met a tough adversary hell-bent on making a statement in front of their own fans. The German outfit more than matched the Spanish giants throughout the encounter, particularly in the first 45 minutes.

Spanish midfielder Brahim Diaz had to take matters into his own hands, and he scored a sensational solo goal within three minutes of the start of the second half. The goal proved to be decisive for the Spanish side as they held on for a vital away win.

Real Madrid were without Jude Bellingham, and their 24-year-old Spanish star turned up with a match-winning display. Los Blancos have a narrow advantage heading into the second leg against a fearless RB Leipzig side, as a result.

Edited by Sai Krishna

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