First place in group F was up for grabs tonight. Group leaders, tonight Real Madrid absolutely had to win, otherwise they risk offering first place to Leipzig, a team that won the duel between the two sides last week. With a points difference between the two, everything was still open. Solo, the Spanish and the Germans faced two sides whose fate was already sealed, which slightly took the spice off this European evening. Carlo Ancelotti’s men, who had to settle for a draw against newly promoted Girona last weekend, welcomed Celtic, already condemned to last place. And despite the absence of Karim Benzema, the reigning European champion did his job. It didn’t take long to see the opening. After just five minutes of play, Jens touched the leather with his hand in his area, after a volley from Valverde. Frappart indicated the spot, and it was Luka Modric who converted, displacing the opposing goalkeeper (1-0, 6th).
Rather at ease, the Merengues continue to dominate, like this big opportunity wasted by Vinicius, who ruins a nice cross from Asensio (19th). The counterattack goal would also come from the penalty spot, and this time it was Rodrygo who catapulted the skin to the back, again on the wrong foot (2-0, 21st). Vinicius Junior was even close to folding the match in stride, without success (22nd). But little by little the Scots rebelled, via Furuhashi and Hatate in particular, the two Japanese forcing Courtois to work (26th, 29th). The Belgian even managed to stop the third penalty of the evening, kicked by Juranovic after a foul by Ferland Mendy on Abada (35′). Don’t worry, Real Madrid did most of the work at the break.
Two undisputed matches
Carlo Ancelotti could be particularly happy with Marco Asensio’s performance, interesting as it is every time he has the opportunity to step on the grass. The Spanish international was also about to score the third goal after a caviar from Dani Carvajal (3-0, 51st). What to definitively fold the meeting, if there was still a need. A little less lucky than usual tonight, Vinicius Junior would finally show off. The Canarinha player, like a real fox, showed up in front of Hart to take over a center from Fede Valverde and sign the fourth of the evening (62nd). The blue coach also took the opportunity to insert Karim Benzema, who has been sidelined since 19 October due to some small physical problems. Valverde, still brilliant this evening, offered himself a goal in turn, and with style, after a beautiful, powerful and unstoppable shot (5-0, 71st minute). Jota shortens the distance a few minutes from the end, on a good free-kick. Real Madrid closes with a bang and leads the group.
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In the other evening meeting, RB Leipzig therefore moved onto the lawn of Shakhtar Donetsk, even if the match was played in Poland for obvious reasons. If the Germans didn’t necessarily rush to attack and also depended on the outcome of the other game, they would quickly shake the net. Ten minutes into the game, the ever-present Christopher Nkunku pushed deep after Werner’s shot was cleared by Trubin. The Frenchman had no choice but to send the leather into the empty cages (0-1, 10th), with great celebration for his son, inflating a red balloon as he had promised him. After this first result, the two teams neutralized each other, with long sequences of rather sterile possession on one side or the other. It wasn’t until the second period that André Silva counterattacked after Simakan headed a cross from the left (2-0, 50th minute). The beginning of a small celebration, as Dominik Szoboszlai (3-0, 60th) will follow, soon accompanied by Dani Olmo (4-0, 68th). Thus ends a good first part of the European championship for the German team, which therefore ends one point behind Real Madrid.
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