35-time Spanish La Liga winners Real Madrid showed why they are also the most successful team in the top European club football competition, when they successfully booked their places in the Champions League Last 16 last night. The 14-time champions of the competition crushed Liga Portugal’s S.C. Braga at Santiago Bernabéu on Matchday 4 of this year’s tournament with a resounding 3-0 score line, collecting 12 maximum points and advancing to the Champions League Last 16 with two group matches remaining in Group C.
Scroll down as we have prepared every bit of information you need to know about Real’s Champions League Last 16-clinching match below.
Los Blancos Back to Winning Ways
Ancelotti’s Real were left frustrated in their previous game in the league, since they were held to a goalless draw by Rayo Vallecano at home last time out. With that in mind, Los Blancos transferred their agonies over their opponents last night, and found the back of the net seconds before the half-hour mark, courtesy of Brahim Díaz. The player who replaced the injured Jude Bellingham scored his first ever Champions League goal for Real Madrid, when Ferland Mendy played a perfect throughout ball for Rodrygo and the Brazilian assisted him afterwards.
Los Blancos would go to score their next two goals around the hour mark, these two times via their Brazilian duo of Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo, who recently signed new Real Madrid contract extensions to June 2027 and 2028 respectively. In the 58th minute, Eduardo Camavinga intercepted a Braga pass and found fellow midfielder Federico Valverde, who then slid a pass for Lucas Vázquez. He set up Vinícius for his fourth goal of the season. Real then secured the three points and booked a place in the Champions League Last 16 with Rodrygo’s strike, after the young Brazilian forward ran across almost the entire field, before playing a one-two with Vinícius to fire in Los Blancos’s third goal.
Another team who also made into the Champions League Last 16 were defending champions Manchester City, after their 3-0 victory over BSC Young Boys a day earlier. Erling Haaland replicated his performance against the same team a fortnight ago in this match, scoring a brace to lead his side to the Champions League Last 16 as a result. Check here for the full match details right away!
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Real Madrid’s Post-Match Conference on Clinched Champions League Last 16 Spot
Ancelotti singled out a few players whom performed well in their Champions League Last 16-clinching game, including Brahim Díaz. He said: “He showed great quality and sacrificed defensively too. So, this means he might play more minutes. The thing is, his best position, where he played today, is where Bellingham was playing so well, but Brahim did really well.”
The Italian also admitted that he had worries on Vinícius Júnior early in the game, but was relieved to see the 23-year-old turned on his engine in the second half and complemented his compatriot Rodrygo, whom he gave a hug for after the Brazilian goal.
“In the first half there were some doubts about Vinícius as he could have been more effective, but his second half was spectacular. What he and Rodrygo did was spectacular, with their combinations. Their counter attack is a goal that few strike partnerships can achieve. It also helps make them feel more comfortable when you’re already up on the scoreboard. The players know I am a person who works as a coach, not just a coach, and they know what I’m like. It’s up to me to give the players confidence and support even when they’re not scoring.”
Ancelotti Has Now Won the Most European Cup Games Than the Rest
The 3-0 win that saw Real progress to the Champions League Last 16 was head coach Ancelotti’s 116th victory in the tournament during his managerial career, having also managed other teams such as Parma Calcio 1913, Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and SSC Napoli on his way to the unparalleled milestone of most wins as a coach in the top European club football competition.
Apart from complimenting his players for booking a place in the Champions League Last 16, Ancelotti did not forget to throw shades at former Barcelona, Real Zaragoza and Manchester United defender Gerard Piqué for his outrageous comments on Real Madrid over social media. The ex-player infamously said that no one will remember Real’s last Champions League win in the 2021/2022 Season, prompting 64-year-old Ancelotti to take a poke at the ex-Spain international.
“Piqué lives in his world, which isn’t the world of Madridismo. There is no Madridista who will forget the 14th, not one. Real Madrid has done well in this competition. We have to give credit to these four performances and we’re happy to make it to the next round in the Champions League once more. We won’t take it easy in the next two Champions League games, because every Champions League game requires us to give our all,” said Ancelotti after Real made it into the Champions League Last 16 last night.
🚨 Ancelotti: “Piqué said that our 14th UCL title will not be remembered? Piqué lives in his own world”.
“No one will ever forget our Champions League titles, including our 14th title. We will remember it for all our lives”. pic.twitter.com/xC01VnrBvN
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 8, 2023
Prior to their Matchday 5 fixture against Ancelotti’s former club of Napoli at Santiago Bernabéu, Real will be staying at home to host Valencia CF, before a trip to Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla to meet Cádiz CF in their 13th and 14th league games of the season. Be sure to catch these UEFA Champions League and Spanish La Liga matches live with AsiaSport.com, who are highly rated for their livestream channels and other exquisite football match perks since their inception.