“He did a very mature job” – Fede Valverde thanks Real Madrid teammate for Champions League win against Leipzig

Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde picked out Andriy Lunin as one of their best performers against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, February 13.

Los Blancos narrowly edged past Leipzig with a 1-0 win at the Red Bull Arena in their Round of 16 first-leg clash. Brahim Diaz scored an exceptional solo goal in the 48th minute, which proved to be the match-winner.

Leipzig created plenty of chances themselves, making 14 attempts with nine being on target. However, they faced a formidable opponent in Andriy Lunin, who made nine saves on the night, made two punches and three high claims.

After the game, Real Madrid midfielder Valverde was asked by the reporters (via Madrid Xtra):

“Who do you thank for the win today?”

He answered:

“Lunin. He was magnificent. He did a very mature job.”

Lunin has been excellent this season in the absence of Thibaut Courtois, who suffered an ACL injury before the start of the campaign. He has kept eight clean sheets in 17 games across competitions this season, conceding just 13 goals.

Real Madrid signed Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan from Chelsea last summer but Lunin has made himself the first-choice at the club. He joined Los Blancos from Ukrainian side Zorya Lugansk and has made 34 appearances for them so far.

Carlo Ancelotti reflects on Real Madrid’s performance against RB Leipzig

Real Madrid resumed their 2023-24 UEFA Champions League campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Round of 16 first leg. They had 50% possession, made 15 attempts on goal with three being on target while Leipzig had 9/14 shots on target.

The German side put the Spanish giants under immense pressure and created a lot of chances but couldn’t find the equaliser. After the game, Carlo Ancelotti said he liked how his team defended and secured a 1-0 advantage. He said (via Managing Madrid):

“It seemed impossible to achieve this, and we are doing it with a good attitude, commitment, and quality. I really liked how we defended. Leipzig at home makes people suffer. We have suffered. It was possible to concede, and it was possible to score more.

“We left happy. The advantage is small. We must take advantage of the return to our stadium.”

The second leg of the tie will be played at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 6.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, will return to La Liga to face Rayo Vallecano away on Sunday, February 18. RB Leipzig will host Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Edited by Aditya Singh

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