Real Madrid ensured their Champions League group stage finished with a win after seeing off Club Brugge 2-1, with three second half goals securing victory at the
An entertaining first half failed to produce any goals, but saw chances fall for both sides alongside plenty of guts and fight in the pouring Belgian rain.
The visitors hit back once more though, as Vinicius’ neat finish in the box put Los Blancos in front after Rodrygo laid the Brazilian off with a backheel.
Zinedine Zidane’s side saw out the game with relative comfort as their midfield starved the Belgian side of possession, with Luka Modric adding gloss to the scoreline in added time to set themselves up for the round of 16 – finishing runners up to Paris Saint-Germain in Group A.
Starting XI: Mignolet (7); Kossounou (6), Mechele (6), Deli (5); Alvarez (6), Vlietinck (5), Sobol (7), Vormer (6), Vanaken (6); Dennis (7*), Tau (6)
Substitutes: Schrijvers (5), De Ketelaere (5)
Key Talking Point
A total dead-rubber, no matter what the outcome was on Wednesday night, Madrid were assured of a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League behind Group A leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
In a raucous atmosphere, the energy of the crowd rubbed off on the players, with hefty challenges flying in throughout the opening 45 minutes, with Los Blancos failing to find their rhythm against the fired up hosts. That said, the lively Isco posed a threat throughout with some intricate play, in the biggest positive for Zinedine Zidane’s side.
Clearly noticing where his side were going to be most effective, Zidane insisted on Isco seeing more of the ball, with the Spaniard playing a key role in both his side’s goals during the second half. Weaving in and out of challenges and drawing the opposition in, Vinicius and Rodrygo were allowed more space down the flanks from which Madrid caused their Belgian opponents multiple issues.
Who did it better? Modric outside of the boot defence-splitter 樂
Rodrygo outside of the boot volley
Real Madrid precision pic.twitter.com/RyZKTTsAaH
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 11, 2019
Not a full strength side by any means, there was still enough quality from the Spanish side to see off their plucky opponents, with the creative Isco presenting his manager with something to think about ahead of upcoming La Liga fixtures. The 27-year-old has barely had a sniff in domestic action until recently, but embodied the attacking intent Madrid showed on the night.
Starting XI: Areola (7), Odriozola (7), Varane (7), Militao (6), Mendy (6); Casemiro (6), Modric (7), Rodrygo (7), Isco (8*), Vinicius (7); Jovic (5).
Substitutes: Diaz (5), Benzema (6), Valverde (N/A).
The aforementioned Isco was Madrid’s best player by a country mile. Unable to get a regular run in the side under Zidane, on performances such as this, that is truly hard to believe. His ability to both spot danger in tight areas but equally drive at teams and unpick the tightest of defences is something most sides in Europe would benefit from.
If he doesn’t get more gametime soon, there will be plenty of suitors for the tricky Spanish international.
all in all our midfield 3 of Isco l, Casemiro and Modrić were ridiculously good tonight despite the high pressure from Brugge in a game it didn’t make a difference if we lost.
— W (@WaqarRMCF) December 11, 2019
lookin good out there
— José (@CasemiroIsGod) December 11, 2019
Madrid are back on their travels once more this Sunday, as they head to Valencia for their La Liga clash. Meanwhile, Club Brugge are also in action on Sunday, playing host to Mechelen as they bid to maintain their lead at the league summit.