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UCL: Real Madrid beat Braga to remain undefeated

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Real Madrid beat Braga 2-1 to extend their lead in the group. Photo/Real Madrid
  • Real Madrid maintained their perfect streak in this year’s competition with a tense 2-1 victory against Braga at Estadio Municipal.
  • Los Blancos also increased their advantage at the top of Group C.

Real Madrid maintained their perfect streak in this year’s competition with a tense 2-1 victory against Braga at Estadio Municipal. Los Blancos also increased their advantage at the top of Group C.

In the first half, Rodrygo quickly answered those who had criticized his propensity for scoring goals by giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. Later, Jude Bellingham carried on an excellent string of attacking contributions to give Carlo Ancelotti’s team a definite edge after 60 minutes.

How the game unfolded

Rodrygo was on the scoresheet. Photo/Sporting News

The La Liga front-runners have a total of nine points after three group-stage games, and they know that a win in the return at the Bernabeu on November 8 will be enough to guarantee Los Blancos’ advancement to the knockout round.

Real Madrid began the game in a less-than-exciting manner, plainly lacking the driving force at the top of their attack which Karim Benzema supplied for so many seasons before his move to Al Ittihad in the summer. This was the first time the club had ever faced the Portuguese team.

Los Blancos’ improvised front line collaborated to give the visitors an early advantage in Northern Portugal, although center-back Nacho Fernandez supplied a magnificent ball to open the assault. Since the departure of the Frenchman, Ancelotti has been forced to change his strategy.

Vinicius Jr. was set up by the Spanish center-back’s long ball, who sprinted past Serdar Saatci on the left flank before shooting a low cross into Rodrygo’s path. The Brazilian advanced past Sikou Niakate and poked home to score his first Champions League goal of the season.

READ: Champions League: What to expect this week

In the middle of the field, Eduardo Camavinga was able to find plenty of space. One of the youngster’s sprinting runs led to a through pass to Vinicius, who then supplied a tap-in for goal scorer Rodrygo, although the former was offside during the opening phase of play.

Bellingham quickly transformed Estadio Municipal de Braga into his playground in the second half after a first half that was rather lacking in clear-cut opportunities. The England international scored his third Champions League goal of the season in the manner he is known for.

The former Borussia Dortmund player was given the ball by Vinicius on the left wing, who then feigned an effort to pass his defender on the byline before passing the ball to him. The former Borussia Dortmund player then produced a curled shot into the bottom-right corner, past the extended Matheus in the Braga goal.

Jude Bellingham celebrating his goal. Photo/BBC

It appeared as though the game and the ensuing points were over when Bellingham conducted his signature celebration in front of the traveling Madrid fans, but Jorge’s team was back in the game just two minutes later.

Josafat Mendes sprinted down the flank and whipped in a looping cross that found target man Simon Banza. The 27-year-old did an outstanding job of controlling the ball and finding the run of Djalo, a Spaniard, who scored past Kepa Arrizabalaga at his near post.

After scoring, the Primeira Liga team substantially improved and had chances to tie the score. Captain Ricardo Horta’s close-range drive was deflected by the Los Blancos goalkeeper, fortunately for the Madridistas, the ball dribbled out for a corner.

Braga’s five-game winning streak in all competitions came to an abrupt end following their defeat to Madrid in front of their home supporters. However, Jorge’s team will have the chance to recover from their setback on the continent when they go to Gil Vicente on Saturday.

With this weekend’s El Classico match against title rivals Barcelona at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Los Blancos will have gone six games without a loss in La Liga and the Champions League.

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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