Real Madrid secured a comfortable passage to the Champions League Round of 16 with a convincing 3-0 victory over Braga at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Andriy Lunin’s early penalty save set the tone, as Carlo Ancelotti’s tactical changes, following a weekend draw with Rayo Vallecano, proved effective.
Brahim Diaz marked his first Champions League goal for Real Madrid, capitalizing on Rodrygo Goes’ pass before halftime. In the second half, Lucas Vazquez set up Vinicius Jr for the second goal, and Vinicius Jr returned the favor, assisting Rodrygo for the third.
Ancelotti’s decision to bench Jude Bellingham, despite passing a fitness test, paid off, demonstrating his cautious approach in crucial moments.
Real Madrid, now comfortably positioned in Group C, can afford to rest key players, including Bellingham, for the upcoming La Liga title charge.
With six games left in La Liga, Real Madrid, currently second, two points behind Girona, benefits from Ancelotti’s strategic management of player rotation, ensuring a well-rested squad for the challenges ahead in both domestic and Champions League competitions.