Real Madrid secured qualification for the knockout stage of the Champions League with a convincing 3-0 victory over Braga at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
After Andriy Lunin saved an early penalty, Brahim Diaz broke the deadlock, and Vinicius Junior and Rodrigo added two more goals in the second half to seal the win.
Here are three key stats that help understand the game:
In the Champions League, Vinicius Junior and Rodrigo scored one goal each.
Vinicius Junior and Rodrigo have both scored 17 goals in the Champions League, surpassing Roberto Carlos to become the club’s leading Brazilian goalscorers in the competition.
They are now tied with Emilian Butragueno in the standings for European Cup goals.
Their goals against Braga came in quick succession in the second half, with Vinicius scoring first and Rodrigo adding another just three minutes later.
Vinicius’ effort, with a 0.15xG shot, showcased excellent team play, while Rodrigo’s deep counter-attack, with a 0.51 xG chance, displayed individual brilliance.
This was also the first time the Brazilian duo scored and assisted in the same game, hinting at a promising partnership for Real Madrid in the future.
Brahim Diaz scored 2 goals for Real Madrid this season.
Despite starting only two games this season, Brahim Diaz has made an impact by scoring in both.
After being initially denied a goal, he found the net twice against Braga, demonstrating his ability to be in the right place at the right time.
His goal in the Champions League marked his 159th goal for the team in competitions, and he also scored in the previous La Liga game against Las Palmas, making it a memorable start to the season for the playmaker.
Brahim’s average of one goal every 96 minutes this season indicates a successful return to the team, providing Carlo Ancelotti with a valuable option in the attacking lineup.
Brahim Diaz created 2 chances and attempted 3 shots in the game.
Beyond his goal-scoring prowess, Brahim Diaz showcased his versatility by creating two chances and attempting three shots against Braga.
With 0.33 xA from two chances created, he forced Braga’s goalkeeper, Mathias, into making a crucial save early in the second half and won all his tackles.
These stats highlight Brahim’s impactful performance across various areas of the pitch, making a strong case for him to be considered in Ancelotti’s future plans.
So, Real Madrid’s victory not only secured their spot in the Champions League knockout stage but also showcased the emerging strengths of key players in the squad.
Fastest Penalty in Real Madrid’s Champions League History: A Look at the Record-Breaking Moment
In just 3 minutes and 37 seconds, the Champions League witnessed a historic moment as Real Madrid faced their earliest penalty against Shockwaves.
The Bernabeu witnessed a flurry of activity as Turkish referee Halil Umut Meler pointed to the penalty spot, indicating a foul by Lucas Vazquez on Colombian left-back Christian Borja as he sprinted into the box.
With this decision, Meler handed Real Madrid their first penalty in the Champions League against them, setting a new record. This was not the start the reshuffled team was hoping for, especially with more experienced players making uncharacteristic mistakes.
However, Andriy Lunin was ready for the task at hand and stepped up to make a crucial save, rejecting Alvaro Jalol’s weak penalty attempt. With this, the stand-in goalkeeper joined an impressive list of only four other men who have saved penalties for Real Madrid in competitions.
The list includes Iker Casillas (three), Thibaut Courtois (two), Sergio Sanchez, and Bodo Illgner (one each).
Lunin made a total of four saves, denying 2.03 xGOT, showcasing a remarkable achievement in his statistical performance for Real Madrid. The 24-year-old goalkeeper looked assured and composed throughout, easing any tension that might have arisen from the absence of the regular goalkeeper.
With this display, Lunin has certainly reduced any potential stress on the bench, proving his capability to handle the pressure of being the goalkeeper outside of regular scenarios.
Player Ratings: Real Madrid’s Standouts in the 3-0 Victory
Luka Modric – 7: Active after coming on at the 3-0 game state. Masterfully controlled the ball in the midfield, searching for opportunities to play his teammates and weaving through the Braga defense with ease.
Dani Carvajal – 6: Stepped in for Lucas Vazquez in the right-back position, making efforts to push forward whenever possible, contributing to the team’s overall performance.
Nacho Fernandez – 6: Finally called into action after being on the bench for six consecutive games. Started in the expected position of the number 10 role but shifted to the right, showcasing his skill by lifting the ball over the opposing defender’s head.