Braga 1-2 Real Madrid: Jude Bellingham scores AGAIN to help Carlo Ancelotti’s side to victory in Portugal ahead of weekend Clasico clash against Barcelona
- Jude Bellingham found the net yet again to help Real Madrid to win vs Braga
- Rodrygo scored the opener before Carlo Ancelotti’s side saw off a comeback
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Jude Bellingham warmed up for Saturday’s Clasico with the goal that saw Real Madrid beat Braga 2-1. It means he is the first player to score in his first three European Cup games for the club since Christian Karembeu did it 1998.
Bellingham has 11 goals in 12 starts in all competitions and this was perhaps his best to date.
There were 61 minutes up when Fede Valverde played the ball out to Rodrygo. His cross ran long but when Vinicius retrieved it and spotted Bellingham criminally unmarked on the edge of the area, the Brazilian rolled the ball to Bellingham and he passed it into the back of the net with a low curling finish.
He looked exhausted as the clock ran down and Carlo Ancelotti took him off with two minutes of normal time left. Madrid will have the ice baths and the masseurs ready for him when he gets back to Spain.
They have a day more than Barcelona to recover for Saturday’s showdown. They looked like they need it. They are tired, but thanks to their talisman they are top after their third straight win.
Jude Bellingham scored his 11th goal in 12 Real Madrid starts to secure victory against Braga
Rodrygo opened the scoring after getting on the end of a cross from fellow Brazilian Vinicius
Carlo Ancelotti took Bellingham off in the closing stages to give him some rest ahead of Saturday’s mouthwatering game against Barcelona
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Bellingham’s goal doubled a Madrid lead that came on 16 minutes.
Nacho played a long ball out from the back, over the head of Braga right centre back Serdar Saatci, and into the path of Vinicius.
One Brazilian crossed from the left and another arrived in the six-yard box to score.
Rodrygo has not scored since August 12 on the opening day of the season. His second comes with perfect timing, just four days from the Clasico and with his competition for a starting berth Joselu out with a virus.
Madrid tried to repeat the trick various times in the first half with long balls for Vini and for Fede Valverde to chase. Rodrygo had the ball in the net again but it was ruled out for offside.
At the other end Alvaro Djalo was also the wrong side of the last defender when he shot wide with Braga’s last attack of the first half.
With that chance and two shots blocked by Bellingham and Antonio Rudiger the home side finished the half without an effort on target for Kepa Arrizabalaga to save.
Braga pulled a goal back in the second half through Alvaro Djalo but they were unable to deny Madrid a third straight win in the group stage
The Portuguese side thought they had scored a late equaliser – but English referee Michael Oliver had already blown his whistle after the ball had hit him
At the restart Bellingham drew the save of the game from Matheus Lima. The Braga keeper tipped over his rocket from Fran Garcia’s cross.
When Bellingham put Madrid further ahead on 61 minutes it looked as if they could relax but within two minutes Braga had pulled a goal back. Simon Banza laid the ball off to Djalo and he beat Kepa at his near post.
Rodrigo Zalazar lashed the ball past Kepa but the ball had hit referee Michael Oliver and he had long blown his whistle to stop the game for all that Braga’s Uruguayan midfielder pleaded for the goal to count.
Vinicius then scored from Eduardo Camavinga’s pass but the flag was raised for the tightest of offsides. It didn’t matter Madrid had the three points.
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