Real Madrid player ratings vs Braga: There is life without Jude Bellingham! Brahim Diaz runs the show as Los Blancos ease into the Champions League knockouts

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The Spain international found the net and was impressive throughout while filling in for Real Madrid’s main man

Consistently denied a spot in the side by the brilliance of Jude Bellingham, Brahim Diaz has been waiting for his chance to impress. On Wednesday night, with Bellingham rested, he took it. The Spaniard bagged a goal, was unfortunate to see another ruled out, and pulled the strings in the Englishman’s usual role as Los Blancos cruised to a 3-0 win over Braga.

The visitors were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead early, when Lucas Vazquez dragged Cristian Borja down in the box — only for reserve goalkeeper Andriy Lunin to keep out the ensuing penalty.

Diaz thought he had opened the scoring shortly after, but saw his calm finish ruled out for a foul in the build up. There was nothing wrong with the next time he had the ball in the net, though. The attacking midfielder ghosted into the box to meet Rodrygo’s cutback, and handed his side a deserved 1-0 lead.

He should have made it two in the second half, but was brilliantly denied from close range by Matheus. Vinicius made no such mistake after 58 minutes, slotting home to complete a smooth counter-attack. Rodrygo added a third two minutes later, receiving Vinicius’ pass in stride and delightfully chipping over Matheus, sealing a comfortable win.

GOAL rates Real Madrid’s players from the Santiago Bernabeu…

Real Madrid have enjoyed a perfect start to the group stage this season, winning three out of three against NapoliBraga and Union Berlin. Should they take all three points tonight against the Portuguese side, they will book their place in the round of 16 with two games to spare.

There are quite a lot of injuries for Carlo Ancelotti to deal with at the moment with a handful of first-team players out of action, but they still have far more quality than a Braga side which sits fourth in Liga Portugal after 10 games.

Braga are on three points in the group and sit third before kick-off knowing that a loss here and a win for Napoli in Berlin would make it almost impossible for them to progress to the next round.

Real Madrid have eased into the Champions League Round of 16 after a dominant 3-0 home win over Braga at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Los Blancos secured their spot in the knockout stages with minimum fuss after Andriy Lunin kept out Alvaro Djalo’s early penalty.

Carlo Ancelotti rotated his starting team, following the 0-0 weekend La Liga draw with Rayo Vallecano, and his changes sparked the win in Madrid.

Brahim Diaz slammed home Rodrygo Goes’ pass — for his first Champions League goal for the club — to put Real Madrid in command before the break.

Lucas Vazquez teed up Vinicius Jr for a second on the hour mark before Real Madrid’s No.7 slipped in his Brazilian buddy Rodrygo to fire home the clincher.

MADRID, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Brahim Diaz, Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo scored as Real Madrid cruised into the last 16 of the Champions League with two group games remaining after a 3-0 victory over Portuguese side Braga on Wednesday.

Real manager Carlo Ancelotti rested several regular starters, including top scorer Jude Bellingham with a shoulder injury, but the 14-times champions maintained their 100% record to lead Group C with 12 points from four games.

Brahim Díaz, Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo scored to give Madrid its fourth win from four matches in Group C. Madrid moved five points clear of Napoli, which drew 1-1 with last-place Union Berlin at home in the other group match. Braga stayed third with three points, still in contention for a spot in the knockout rounds.

Kepa missed the game after sustaining an injury during warmups and had to be replaced by Lunin, who dived to his right to make the save on the penalty taken by Álvaro Djaló six minutes into the match with the game tied 0-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Lunin also made a great save off a header in stoppage time.

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