Brahim Diaz
Brahim Diaz scored the only goal of the game in Real Madrid's win over RB Leipzig. Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Real Madrid emerged from its UEFA Champions League last 16 tie away to RB Leipzig on Tuesday evening with a 1-0 victory.

The first-leg triumph was secured thanks to a brilliant solo effort from Brahim Diaz early in the second half and leaves Carlo Ancelotti's side in a promising position for the return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Diaz was brought into the starting line-up for the match against the Bundesliga team after Jude Bellingham sustained an ankle injury during Real Madrid's dominant 4-0 win over Girona in La Liga this past weekend. Bellingham is set to be out of action for up to three weeks, with a possible return date being the second leg against RB Leipzig early next month.

Stepping into Bellingham's shoes was seen as a big responsibility for Diaz as the English midfielder is Real Madrid's top scorer so far this season with 20 goals in all competitions. This includes four goals he netted in the Champions League group stage.

Prior to starting against RB Leipzig, Diaz had some useful experience in the Champions League this season as he started and scored against Braga on match day four. He also started in the next group game against Napoli, contributing to the team's 4-2 win.

Real Madrid struggled to get going in the opening stages against RB Leipzig and were lucky to not be a goal down after just two minutes as Benjamin Sesko had a headed effort ruled out due to Benjamin Henrichs being flagged offside. However, replays showed the decision to be harsh as Henrichs had minimal interference in the build-up.

Sesko continued to be a threat for the home side and he could have put his team ahead on more than one occasion if he was more clinical in front of goal.

Midfielder, Aurelien Tchouameni, was filling in at centre-back for Real Madrid due to a current injury crisis and was often called into action to deal with Sesko. This included making a last-ditch clearance when the Slovenian striker looked to be through on goal just before half-time.

Real Madrid did have some bright moments in a goalless opening half, but they were well below the levels they demonstrated on the weekend against Girona and Ancelotti will have demanded much more from his stars at the break.

Three minutes into the second half, Real Madrid got the goal they were looking for as Diaz spun in behind David Raum, held off challenges by Xavi Simons and Xaver Schlager, before curling a superb left-footed strike into the far corner of the net.

The strike takes Diaz's tally to eight goals in all competitions this season, which is already a career-best.

Sesko looked to be in for another great scoring chance just past the hour mark as he made a great run in behind past Tchouameni but Andriy Lunin swiftly came off his line to deal with the danger and deny an equaliser.

Vinicius Junior came mightily close to extending the away side's lead on 72 minutes as he received a pass from Diaz out on the left wing and chopped back inside past Lukas Klostermann before seeing his effort come off the post.

As the game moved into the final 10 minutes, Diaz's evening came to an unfortunate end as he pulled up in the middle of the pitch with a calf injury after driving forward with the ball.

Diaz relinquishing the ball when he went down quickly led to Sesko having another good scoring opportunity but Lunin made a fine near-post stop to keep him out.

Shortly after, Lucas Vasquez was brought on to replace Diaz, as the 24-year-old was unable to continue in the game.

Lunin made another important save for the visitors as he pushed away a powerful volley from substitute, Amadou Haidara.

Real Madrid saw out the rest of the game and now take a narrow lead into the second leg which takes place on 6th March in the Spanish capital.

Diaz was handed the Player of the Match award for his display and the encouraging news about his injury is that it is not believed to be serious. The player is set for a scan on Thursday to determine the full extent of the injury.

It is unclear if Diaz will be ready in time for the La Liga leaders' match away to Rayo Vallecano this Sunday. This potential absence would be a blow to Ancelotti as Diaz demonstrated against RB Leipzig that he could step in for Bellingham and replicate the Englishman's impact.