Leipzig made Madrid pay for ‘sleepy’ Champions League start

Thibaut Courtois slams Real Madrid’s ‘sleepy’ start in Champions League 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig, saying team’s ‘lack of intensity’ conceded two early goals that led to them First loss of the season.

Defender Josko Gvardiol gave Leipzig the lead in the 13th minute before striker Christopher Nkunku doubled the home side’s lead five minutes later before Vinicius Jr. pulled a goal back just before half-time.

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While Real tied the score, substitute Timo Werner added three points for Leipzig on an 81st-minute counterattack, with Rodrigo scoring a penalty in the 94th minute after being fouled in the penalty area.

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“It happens to us sometimes. We start out a little sleepy, not aggressive, not intense,” Courtois said. “Against a team like Leipzig, you pay for it. Boss [Carlo Ancelotti] It has been said to us that they have scored a lot of goals at home in the last five games. Even so, we got off to a bad start. You can’t do that.

“You can’t concede two from two corners. Once they get the first goal, they can’t score any more. We defended badly. We made it 2-1 before half-time, but it was still in the second half. Same. We missed a lot of passes. It wasn’t a good game.”

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The result puts Madrid at the top of Group F with 10 points and RB Leipzig second with nine, while Madrid need to win their final game against Celtic on November 2 to secure promotion as top group Round of 16.

“As a goalkeeper, you can see it. We didn’t play,” Courtois said. “We didn’t win the duel, it happened with two goals. We defended badly, we lacked intensity. We had to wake up.

“You can have a bad day, we played a lot in a short period of time, but you can’t lack intensity. We’re tired but there are players on the bench. We have to give 100 per cent every second.”

When the goalkeeper criticised the team in his post-match press conference, manager Carlo Ancelotti was reluctant to agree with Courtois, saying “everyone has their own opinion”.

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“I’m not angry,” Ancelotti said. “A loss that annoyed us, but the loss didn’t do much damage. We have another chance to finish first against Celtic. It has to happen at some point, today. Happened. You learn more from losing than from 10 wins in a row.”

Before losing to Germany on Tuesday, Madrid had won 14 games and drawn two so far this season. They are three points clear at the top of the La Liga table and host Girona on Sunday before Celtic’s final group game at the Santiago Bernabeu next week.


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