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As RB Leipzig had a goal ruled out for offside in only the second minute of play, it seemed like Real Madrid were up against it, but behind a wondergoal from Brahim Diaz, Los Blancos were able to kick off leg one of their Champions Leauge round of 16 tie with a 1-0 victory over the German side. It took individual brilliance for Madrid to win a match where Leipzig were arguably the better team, but if it may seem like it was lucky that Real Madrid won the match when it comes to how they play under Carlo Ancelotti, it's by design. 

A team's shape is important in soccer but Ancelotti allows his talented players to lean into what makes them dangerous to the opposition and that's their unpredictability, dribbling, and range to shoot from anywhere on the pitch. All of those were on display in Diaz's goal as makeshift center back Dani Carvajal stepped up to make an interception, knowing that he might allow a goal if he mistimes the step before Diaz evaded not one, not two, but three defenders before unleashing an unstoppable shot to leave Peter Gulacsi helpless in net.

After Diaz's brilliance gave Madrid the lead, it was up to backup keeper Andriy Lunin to preserve it as RB Leipzig did find plenty of space via Benjamin Sesko. Lunin struggled in the first half of play but was able to make a critical decision to rush out of the box clearing out a Sesko chance in the 62nd minute of play before being called upon to make numerous saves in the match. It was one of Lunin's best performances in a Madrid shirt with nine saves and 2.19 goals prevented as Leipzig gave it their all at home at Red Bull Arena.

Leipzig created 1.29 xG compared to Madrid's 1.47 xG but that was due to a big Vinicius Junior chance that clattered off the post late to boost the stats but it was a game that on paper deserved to be at least a draw. But when a game of soccer isn't played on paper, moments like these matter. Without Jude Bellingham who was absent due to an ankle sprain, Diaz stepped up, but the match also leaves Ancelotti with an important question. Diaz pulled up in the 84th minute with a lower leg injury and was replaced by Lucas Vazques to close out the match. There is a chance that Bellingham could be fit for the second leg on March 6 at the Santiago Bernabeu but if he can't go, who will then replace Diaz? La Liga play may offer an idea as Madrid have to play Rayo Vallecano, Sevilla, and Valencia before Champions League but with Los Blancos leading the league by five points, there is more room for error than a narrow one-goal advantage against Leipzig.

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The German side already showed that they can cause Madrid some trouble but with the right attacking setup, Leipzig's defense can be undone. Now recovering from an injury and building up his minutes in league play, it could be a chance for talented youngster Arda Guler to be called on but the most likely way to ensure Madrid are as dynamic as possible is slotting Rodrygo in the middle.

Allowing Joselu to play up top for a more natural striker look, Rodrygo's directness can offer a similar threat to that of Diaz keeping Leipzig center backs occupied in order to move to the final eight of the tournament. Tuesday's match does raise the question of whether Madrid can win the Champions League without Bellingham in the lineup as teams like Manchester City won't be as wasteful with their chances as Leipzig were, but there's no need to think too long about that until they're in the Champions League final. Individual brilliance got Madrid here and it will keep moving them forward.