Real Madrid buys its ticket to the round of 16

Real Madrid regained its strength and with a 3-0 victory over Braga secured a place in the round of 16 of the Champions League.

MADRID — He learned to live, to score, the Real Madrid sin Jude Bellinghamreserved due to his shoulder injury by Carlo Ancelotti, who celebrated the early qualification for the round of 16 and the return of the punch against the Sporting de Braga (3-0), in a quote with vindication of Brahim that restored the lost confidence in the definition to Vinícius y Rodrygo.

Brahim changed the pace of Real Madrid with that impetus of a player who feels that an injustice is being committed against him. From a starter, from a star at Milan, to forgetting about Carlo Ancelotti, a few months have passed that he showed have not affected his football.

Starting for the second time this season, in a setting like the Champions League, he jumped ready to show that he deserves more. They annulled the first one, returning to Bellingham’s intuition to appear in the area where a playmaker scores a goal, and he defined the goal with quality that silenced, for the moment, the Madrid team’s lack of punch.

A Real Madrid that goes from playing with a positional midfielder like Tchouaméni, who never loses zone, to the mobility of Camavinga. As crazy as it is transcendental. As effective in continuous theft as in building play to the rhythm of his wide stride. Far from the control that Kroos imposes but compatible to increase the electricity in the game.

A Sporting de Braga with a love for the ball accepted it willingly. He didn’t initially burn him when he found a gift that he missed. The incomprehensible grip on Bruma by Lucas Vázquez, Carvajal’s starter in one of the six changes that Ancelotti opted for to change the face of his team. Lunin, an unexpected protagonist due to Kepa’s injury in the warm-up, avoided the goal with a great dive on Djalo’s shot. Football rewards when you least expect it and the Ukrainian goalkeeper showed he was prepared.

On the European stage, Vinícius slows down. It will be the competition, it will be the rivals with whom he has no pending accounts, he will suffer a minor provocation or will not have his registration taken by the referees, but the truth is that the Brazilian focuses solely on the match. Initially unsuccessful in his attempts. By dint of trying, recovering the decisive role that he always had until his injury.

Away from the band, from his natural position, he missed the first clear opportunity due to poor control that preceded a foul on Niakate. It caused Brahim’s goal to be disallowed in minutes of exchanges of blows. With Camavinga in the role of savior, diving to prevent the goal from Djalo’s shot, and Lucas determined to spoil his return to the team with a bad penalty assignment that ended up overwhelming Bruma again inside the area. If it wasn’t a penalty again, it seemed a lot like it.

And the one who brought clarity, after a high shot from Valverde in the run to ‘Vini’s outside pass, was Brahim who was not willing to let his long-awaited moment slip away. Mendy saw the action, who drew a pass to the unmarked Rodrygo. His pass behind him was a sweet treat for the goal that broke the game at 27 minutes.

Once again, Sporting Braga’s offensive joy was undermined by its defensive fragility. He did not recover from the blow while Real Madrid took off their chains, freed themselves from the pressure of so many arrivals without a goal and with hardly any shots in their last game against Rayo. The setting was perfect for the appearance of his Brazilian couple. Lethal on the counterattack. Punishing any mistake by the rival with the ball.

Matheus avoided Rodrygo’s first attempt, in the final stages of the first act, when Vinícius also forgave a two against two. But both were named with the goal after Brahim forgave his double. From a robbery by Camavinga to launch the counterattack against a team that he always liked to run. From Fede to Lucas and a center that Vinícius controlled with his right before defining a cross with his left foot. So easy what on other occasions seems impossible.

In three minutes, from 58 to 61, Real Madrid put the finishing touch to the match and their place in the round of 16 in four rounds. With an incontestable plenary session. There was no better way to regain confidence for a striker than with a goal full of quality.

Rodrygo signed it, after another transition that the Portuguese team was unable to stop. Vinícius’s pass, the double gesture of quality to let the ball pass behind his back and accommodate it with the inside of his boot before gently chipping the ball at the goalkeeper’s desperate exit.

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