LEIPZIG: Real Madrid’s Brahim Diaz scored a stunning goal after a mazy run as they won 1-0 at RB Leipzig to take a clear advantage into their Champions League last-16 second leg next month.

The 24-year-old, filling in for the injured Jude Bellingham, struck against the run of play in the 48th minute.

Real goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, replacing the injured Thibaut Courtois, then came to the rescue with a string of saves to protect the lead as the Spaniards made it seven straight wins in the competition this season.

“It was difficult for us, that’s how it is here,” Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “The start of the first half and second half were difficult. Lunin played a great game, the best game.

“We were dangerous in transitions, we could have scored more but we could also have tied. This is a small advantage,” said Ancelotti.

In a lively start the home side thought they had gone ahead when striker Benjamin Sesko headed in after three minutes. His effort though was disallowed following a VAR review.

The Slovenian had another chance before Real gradually brought some balance to the game and came close themselves through Rodrygo, making his 200th appearance for the club.

Leipzig were again more aggressive after halftime but the home crowd was silenced when Real struck on the break.

Diaz picked up the ball near the sideline, shook off three players, cut in towards the box and curled a superb shot past keeper Peter Gulacsi.

The hosts almost drew level two minutes later but Lunin stopped a Dani Olmo shot before blocking Sesko’s rebound effort.

With Leipzig taking more risks in search of an equaliser, Real, waiting to break, found openings and almost scored again when Vinicious Jr flicked the ball onto the post in the 72nd.

Lunin was kept busy throughout the second half and did well to deny Sesko and Olmo again before also keeping out substitute Amadou Haidara’s effort late in the game.

“In the end it was a great solo effort that decided the game,” said Leipzi’s Gulacsi. “It is frustrating for us because we played well and were not the worse team of the two. It was an open game in the second half and we had our chances.”

The return leg in Spain is on March 6.