Real Madrid 3-0 Braga : Los Blancos progress to Round of 16

Real Madrid impress at home

Real Madrid players celebrate after Vinicius Junior scored his team’s second goal during their UEFA Champions League match against SC Braga at the Bernabeu. “Los Merengues” won 3-0. (Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Real Madrid maintain UCL supremacy

Real Madrid have waltzed their way through to the Round of 16 in the Champions League after securing a 3-0 win over Sporting Braga.

The 14-time European Cup champions confidently entered the showdown as the favorites, with high expectations of securing a full 3 points. And they did so.

On home turf, Real Madrid started on an optimistic note after Brahim Diaz and Rodrygo created decent opportunities up front. Their Portuguese counterparts, Braga, showed good spirits in their attacking third and were keeping the Merengues‘ backline under constant threat.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side almost suffered their first setback after a sloppy pull by Lucas Vasquez on Borja saw the referee award a penalty. Replacing Kepa between the sticks, Andriy Lunin stepped up for Los Blancos, making a brilliant dive to deny Alvaro Djalo from the spot.

Having thwarted the visitors’ attempts to take the lead, it was Madrid’s moment to unveil their attacking brilliance, Brahim Diaz broke the deadlock for his side as he was neatly assisted by Rodrygo.

After going 1-0 up, Carlo Ancelotti’s men methodically seized control, gradually asserting their dominance. The Whites closed the first half as the superior team.

Real Madrid’s narrow 1-0 lead was insufficient, but the second half witnessed a barrage of goals from the hosts. Vinicius Junior added himself to the scoresheet after he calmly slotted a low shot past Matheus.

In the blink of an eye, Rodrygo added Madrid’s third as he classily dinked a shot over Matheus and into the net. A truly exquisite goal, gracefully executed by the Brazilian striker.

Real Madrid kept their search on for a possible fourth goal as both Vinicius Junior and Federico Valverde made some well-timed runs inside the Braga box. On a night, when everything went according to the plan for Carlo Ancelotti, the Italian would only rue the opportunity to secure a fourth goal.

Nevertheless, Los Blancos have now proved that they could well be a force to reckon with without after having been so reliant on Jude Bellingham. It was one of those days, where the likes of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo simply had to step up to prove their attacking mettle.

A rare start for Brahim Diaz was somehow the highlight of this epic win at the Bernabeu. The Spaniard has spent a lot of time lurking on the bench and hence this dazzling display would do him a world of good.

Real Madrid will once again return to the Bernabeu to host Valencia in a LaLiga match on Saturday. After a minor blip against Rayo Vallecano last weekend, the team would be looking to clinch all 3 points against the Bats.