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Rodrygo, Real Madrid Beat Club Brugge 3-1 in Champions League

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

BRUGGE, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 11: Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring his team's second goal with Rodrygo of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Club Brugge KV and Real Madrid at Jan Breydel Stadium on December 11, 2019 in Brugge, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Real Madrid finished the group stages of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League with a 3-1 against Club Brugge. Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr. and Luka Modric got the goals for Los Blancos.

After a drab first half, the match exploded with two goals in two minutes. Rodrygo got the opener with a great half volley, but Hans Vanaken tied things up with an even better strike. Vinicius restored the lead and secured the win, and Modric added one more goal. 

Los Blancos had already secured second place in Group A, while Brugge were still battling for a spot in the UEFA Europa League. Paris Saint-Germain's win over Galatasaray meant they finished third, regardless of the result in Belgium.

The Champions League can often serve up some of the best football on offer between the top clubs in Europe, but Wednesday's outing wasn't an example of such a match.

Real had nothing left to play for, and Brugge were clearly not of the same calibre, opting for an aggressive approach and few risks. The result was a drab opening half, with virtually no chances to speak of.

Managing Madrid sent out this ironic tweet:

Managing Madrid @managingmadrid

Thrilling game this. Breathtaking. Real edge of the seat stuff.

Brugge did damage with pace on the counter in the reverse fixture, but with Madrid not needing to commit forward on Wednesday, there was no room to operate. The better chances fell to the visitors, with Eder Militao aiming an effort wide off a corner and Vinicius testing Simon Mignolet.

Percy Tau put Alphonse Areola to work, and Simon Deli headed a ball right at the stopper.

Isco fired narrowly wide after a good run, and the video assistant took away a late Brugge goal, with Tau offside in the buildup to Emmanuel Dennis' strike.

At half-time, sportswriter Kiyan Sobhani was more concerned with Brugge's aggressive approach than the lack of fireworks:

Kiyan Sobhani @KiyanSo

I am, unsurprisingly, worried about the physical health of our players against an agressive team fighting to keep their season alive.

The second half started in similar fashion, although Brugge showed a little more desire to get forward. 

It was Real who took the lead after 53 minutes, however, with Rodrygo blasting a half-volley past Mignolet.

Sobhani also praised Alvaro Odriozola's role in the build-up:

Kiyan Sobhani @KiyanSo

Rodrygo just pops up with ice in his veins. That's what Odriozola brings. He makes a blitzing run and within seconds gets behind the shoulder of the defensive line. Great pass from Luka.

The travelling fans hadn't finished celebrating when Vanaken pulled his side level, however, taking a good pass from Dennis and bending his shot past the reach of Areola. 

All of a sudden, the match came alive, with the home fans urging Brugge to attack and Real finding space on the counter. Less than 10 minutes after the equaliser, Rodrygo couldn't work the ball into goal, but Vinicius was there to pick up the pieces and restore the lead.

Dennis and Siebe Schrijvers combined well to set up a great chance for Brugge, but Militao made a fantastic block to keep the lead safe. Dennis also had a headed chance, but the cross proved too difficult, and his effort went wide.

Brugge deserved an equaliser for their second-half efforts and nearly got it via Dennis, but instead, the goal fell on the other end of the pitch, with Modric taking a pass from Casemiro and finishing well to put the final score on the board.

   

What's Next?

Real visit Valencia on Saturday. Brugge will host KV Mechelen.