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Reaction: SC Braga 1-2 Real Madrid

A clutch win in Portugal...

SC Braga v Real Madrid CF: Group C - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

SC Braga 1-2 Real Madrid (Rodrygo Goes and Bellingham). Three more points in Europe. Here the delayed reaction due to website maintenance works. Also keep an eye out for: Player ratings, post game press conferences and the post game podcast.

  • Once again, apologies for the delay of this and any other matchday content from ManagingMadrid authors. The website went down for maintenance at the worst possible time, but everything is back up and running now.

SC Braga v Real Madrid CF: Group C - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Europe has always been Real Madrid’s playground, and they were out to make it three wins out of three so far in this years Champions League group stage with a trip to Braga. The Portuguese side had impressed domestically to earn themselves a place in the competition, and their scenic ground was always going to be an interesting place to square off. The Madrid side was strong though, with Antonio Rüdiger and Nacho Fernández starting at the base of the defence. A midfield diamond including Eduardo Camavinga and star man Jude Bellingham set the tone for the visitors. The Brazilian duo Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo Goes started in attack. The bench was skinny for once, with Toni Kroos and David Alaba amongst the substitutes. Nacho Fernández captained the side this evening.

The game got off to a bright start when both teams had a penalty shout at each end within a matter of minutes. Madrid were superb on the ball, demonstrating fine chemistry with some one touch play moving the ball into different areas. They made this count when Rodrygo Goes managed to get himself a goal after some good link up play with Vinícius Júnior. Rodrygo could have had another in a very similar situation, but Vinícius was this time deemed to be offside before the goal was scored. Madrid were dominant, but Braga did have their chances. Their biggest effort was a very well blocked shot inside the area that looked goal bound. Half time, 1-0, and Real Madrid strolling.

Jude Bellingham kicked off the second half with a powerful volley that was parried over the target by the keeper. Eduardo Camavinga then had a go himself, again being denied by the Braga number one. Dani Carvajal headed wide from the corner as Madrid looked hungry for more, and who else to find that goal but Jude Bellingham? The Englishman picked the ball up off of Vinícius Júnior before finding the corner of the net to make it eleven in twelve. Pretty much straight from kick off, Braga made it a game after the ball was smashed past Kepa Arrizabalaga to spice things up. They could have equalised if not for Kepa pulling off a decent save to deny Ricardo Horta. Vinícius Júnior appeared to give Madrid a nice cushion after rounding the keeper to score, but he was pulled back for another offside. Braga could have had a penalty given late on, but VAR decided against the home side. They almost saved a point going into injury time, but Abel Ruiz blasted the ball over the target. The final whistle arrived to a sigh of relief from Real Madrid, who made it nine points from nine at the top of the group table.

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