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2022-23 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage
  • Federico Valverde (80')
  • Marco Asensio (90'+1')

Real Madrid top RB Leipzig with late Federico Valverde, Marco Asensio strikes

Real Madrid players celebrate after scoring a goal against RB Leipzig in the Champions League. Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde scored a superb second-half goal and Marco Asensio struck late to fire the holders to a 2-0 win at home to RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Uruguay international Valverde showed composure to calmly beat a defender with clever footwork on the edge of the area before picking his spot in the bottom corner of the net in the 80th minute.

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The 14-times winners gave an underwhelming performance and until Valverde's goal had only managed one shot on target, while Leipzig had created plenty of openings but were not clinical enough in the area.

Carlo Ancelotti's side wrapped up the victory with a goal in added time from substitute Asensio, the Spaniard slotting into the net after a lay off from Toni Kroos.

"It was a good game. We suffered a bit in the first half," Ancelotti said after the match. "We wanted to control the game and then push a bit more in the second half and that's what we did. We had to bring a bit more energy to the game.

"The first half was quite controlled. They're dangerous up front and we didn't want to take any risks. We've won the first two games, now we have another one [against Shakhtar] after the break."

Real lead Group F with six points after two games, while Leipzig are bottom with no points.

In their first Champions League match under new coach Marco Rose, Leipzig took the game to Real and were comfortably the better side in the first half, with forward Christopher Nkunku causing the hosts plenty of problems.

Nkunku fired an early shot at goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and later forced his way into the area before Real midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni made a crucial tackle. The France forward was then inches away from connecting with a Timo Werner cross from close range.

Real offered little going forward but felt they should have had a penalty when Luka Modric was smothered by Xaver Schlager shortly before half-time.

The same script was followed for much of the second half until Valverde, who had scored a sensational goal against Real Mallorca at the weekend with a run from his own half, provided the breakthrough moment.

"He's doing well. What he lacked was getting more into the box and he's doing that, he's scoring," Ancelotti said. "He's showing all his quality, which isn't just his dynamism, but his shooting too when he gets into the box."

Real defender Nacho of Valverde. "It was a tremendous goal, we have to make the most of him because he is in brilliant form. It was a really hard-fought game, we were a bit out of sync but we spoke about it at half-time and we have a lot of power and are always capable of scoring."