Real Madrid 3-0 SC Braga (Brahim, Rodrygo & Vinícius Júnior,). Qualification for Madrid. Here is the reaction to the game. More on the way: Player ratings, post game quotes and the ManagingMadrid podcast.
There had been much talk about Brahim Díaz and his future over the week, with Carlo Ancelotti choosing to start him against Braga to perhaps take the edge off of the situation. A win in this game would see Real Madrid qualify for the knock out stages once again, and Madrid had already beaten the visitors at their place not long ago. Lucas Vázquez started at right-back, as Eduardo Camavinga was given a shot in his favoured position. Andriy Lunin was the only other surprise start in goal. Nacho Fernández captained the side for another night in Europe.
Things started off tasty when Braga were awarded a penalty early doors. Lucas Vázquez was at fault as he committed a silly foul allowing the visitors a big chance to go ahead. Andriy Lunin stepped up to make a dazzling low save to keep Braga out. Madrid could have had a penalty of their own a minute later after Rodrygo Goes went down, but the referee didn’t want to know about that one. Brahim Díaz seemingly had scored to put Madrid ahead but that goal was pulled back for a foul. It wouldn’t matter, as the Spaniard would have his goal after Rodrygo squared him the ball for an easy finish. Madrid had one final penalty shout denied before half time, and went into the break leading by a goal to none.
The second half is where things would get better for Los Blancos. Vinícius Júnior would enter the action with a simple enough finish after Lucas found him inside the area. They would score again in quick succession after both Brazilians decided to link up, with Rodrygo Goes bagging the goal after a very cheeky lob over the goalkeepers head. Madrid were cruising from here on out, and could have extended their lead if not for misses from Rodrygo and Fede Valverde. Castilla star man Nico Paz came on to make his debut, which was a rarer than normal win for the youth set-up these days. Andriy Lunin had one more excellent save to make before the game was done to keep his clean--sheet intact. Final score, 3-0, and Real Madrid will be in the round of 16 for the Champions League. Business as usual.