- Real Madrid won a tough battle away from Braga
- Rodrygo and Jude Bellingham scored the winning goals
- Madrid remains perfect in Group C
Real Madrid continued their unbeaten start in the Champions League Group Stage with a 2-1 victory away from Braga.
Rodrygo put Madrid in front in a first 45 that was end-to-end, but Jude Bellingham’s strike from the corner of the box gave Carlo Ancelotti a commanding position halfway through the second half.
Alvaro Djalo’s response halved the advantage almost instantly, but Madrid held on to secure its third European victory in a row.
The game’s unfolding
Braga started well, looking to find the ball over top of Madrid’s defensive wall. But, the game turned out differently than expected.
Rodrygo was determined to be credited for what could have easily been an “own goal” after Vinicius junior’s cross had fizzed through the box.
Bellingham was so used to scoring that he had to defend his team at the opposite end of the field this time. He threw himself in front of an Al-Musrati volley to stop an equaliser halfway through the first-half.
Vinicius, who looked dangerous on the opposite end but struggled to beat the offside trap, was also required by Madrid as Braga sought an equaliser. The Brazilian fed Jude Bellingham to score a goal on his third late run.
Madrid was always looking for the ball in the air, as their confidence grew. However, they were unable to make full use of this new found dominance.
Bellingham’s fierce shot was tipped away at the start of the second period, but on the hour he calmly slotted into the corner in the lower left hand side from the outside the box.
Braga responded in less than two minute. Djalo, born in Madrid but a Barcelona supporter, scored from a close distance after drifting unmarked into the penalty area.
Ricardo Horta’s low shot was blocked by Kepa Arizabalaga, and the ball dribbled agonizingly past the goalpost.
Madrid scored again eight minutes later when Vinicius ran onto a long-ball and slotted it home. But once again the offside flag went up and VAR proved that the Brazilian was too early on another run.
Visitors had to hold on for dear life as time ticked away, but they secured three crucial points and a foot into the knockout stage.
Real Madrid Player Ratings (4-1-2-1-2)
Rodrygo ends his goal drought/Quality Sport Images/GettyImages
Kepa Arrizabalaga, GK – 6/10 Kepa Arrizabalaga was rarely involved in the opening half despite Braga’s initial pressure. Horta made a poor save.
Dani Carvajal, RB – 6/10 Dani Carvajal played pretty much anywhere except right back when Madrid started to go. Regularly involved in the midfield and attacking.
CB Antonio Rudiger 7/10 –Led the way defensively by making a huge block during the first half.
Nacho Fernandez, CB – 6/10 A bit shaky in comparison to Rudiger. But got away after Madrid controlled the proceedings.
Fran Garcia, LB – 6/10 Showed improvement in defense as Madrid had to deal with an early storm but still switched off when Djalo scored.
DM Eduardo Camavinga – 7/10 –Consistently good at the midfield base. Madrid was under a lot of pressure, and Camavinga always appeared to be at the perfect position to stop any danger.
Luka Modric: 8/10 – Modric delivered a much-needed performance, rewinding the clock with an impressive display of playmaking. He never stopped looking for the next danger pass. In the second half, he played a role that was more advanced.
CM: Federico Valverde – 6/10 – Energetic but quiet. Carvajal was able to fly forward because Valverde played defensively.
AM : Jude Bellingham 7/10 – He spent a lot of time in the middle of the field, and was surprisingly quiet. However, he made some very dangerous runs and got himself involved. His goal came off well. Late on, it appeared that he tweaked his groin.
Vinicius Junior, 8/10 Although his timing wasn’t perfect all the time, Vinicius is a nightmare opponent. Vinicius Junior was always on the edges and wanted to race at his defender. Both Madrid goals were set up by him.
ST Rodrygo 6/10 – Put himself forward and scored well, but was not as active as Vinicius. He seemed to want to go wide, even though his central role was required.
Aurelien Tchouameni has been substituted for Rodrygo (71′) on 6/10
Ferland Mendy substitutes for Garcia (75′) 6/10
SUB: Lucas Vazquez (90′ for Bellingham) – N/A
Subs not used: Diego Pineiro (GK), Andriy Lunin (GK), David Alaba, Toni Kroos, Brahim Diaz
Carlo Ancelotti 7/10 – He is very intelligent in his substitutions. Each move was designed to neutralize a particular threat from Braga.