Sports Desk, Nov 9 ( EFE).- Real Madrid learned to live and score goals without Jude Bellingham, posting a 3-0 win over Sporting de Braga to secure their place in the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Real Madrid’s Rodrygo Goez (C) in action against Braga’s goalkeeper Matheus Lima (R) during the UEFA Champions League group C soccer match between Real Madrid and SC Braga at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, 08 November 2023. EFE-EPA/Javier Lizon
Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, and Real Sociedad joined the Madrid side in the knockout phase with wins in their respective fourth-round group matches on the same evening.
Napoli’s midfielder Frank Anguissa (L) and Union Berlin’s forward David Fofana in action during the UEFA Champions League group C soccer match between SSC Napoli and Union Berlin, in Naples, 08 November 2023. EFE-EPA/CIRO FUSCO
Real handed Brahim Díaz a rare start after in-form Bellingham missed the game due to a shoulder injury, and the Malaga-born midfielder vindicated the decision by scoring the opening goal for the former champions.
Munich’s Harry Kane (L) scores the 1-0 lead during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between FC Bayern Munich and Galatasaray SK, in Munich, Germany, 08 November 2023. EFE-EPA/ANNA SZILAGYI
Brazilian duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo added two others in the second half to ensure a comfortable win for Real, their fourth in as many matches.
(L-R) FC Copenhagen’s Kevin Diks, Roony Bardghji and Kamil Grabara reacts after the UEFA Champions League Group A soccer match between FC Copenhagen and Manchester United at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, 08 November 2023. EFE-EPA/Liselotte Sabroe DENMARK OUT
Goalkeeper Andriy Lunin earlier saved a penalty to give Real a real boost in the contest.
The defeat kept Braga behind Napoli in third place with four points.
The Italian side was held to a 1-1 draw by Union Berlin despite Matteo Politano’s first-half goal.
David Fofana scored the equalizer in the second half to help Berlin end their 12-match losing streak in all competitions.
Bayern maintained their status as favorites with a 2-0 win over Galatasaray thanks to two late goals from Harry Kane.
Kane’s flicked header and close-range finish from the cross extended Bayern’s record run to 17 successive group stage wins and fourth this season, making them the second German team to move to the next round this season after RB Leipzig.
Galatasaray, who had a first-half goal ruled out for off-side, momentarily threatened to end Bayern’s record run with Cedric Bakambu’s late strike.
But they could not find the equalizer and remained third in the group, behind FC Copenhagen, who sealed a dramatic 4-3 win over Manchester United.
Teenager Roony Bardghji struck a late winner to give Copenhagen a dramatic win over 10-man United.
Rasmus Højlund struck twice against his former side to put the visitors in control, but a red card for Marcus Rashford changed the complexion of the game.
Mohamed Elyounoussi’s goal and a Diogo Gonçalves penalty leveled things before the break before Bruno Fernandes restored the lead for United from the spot.
Lukas Lerager ensured Copenhagen’s comeback before 17-year-old Bardghji’s dramatic half-volley secured all three points for the hosts.
Real Sociedad scored three goals inside 21 minutes thanks to Mikel Merino, Mikel Oyarzabal, and Ander Barrenetxea before coming out 3-1 winners over Benfica in Lisbon.
Brais Méndez missed a penalty to allow Benfica a comeback through Rafa Silva in the second half.
But Sociedad defended firm to seal their third successive win in the group, which was enough to ensure their berth in the knockout phase.
Inter joined the Spanish side in the knockout phase from the group after Lautaro Martínez’s late penalty gave them a 1-0 win over Salzburg.
Arsenal tightened their grip on Group B with a 2-0 win over Sevilla, their third in four matches, as Leandro Trossard and Bukayo Saka scored in either side of the break.
PSV remained in contention for a top-two spot from the group as Luuk de Jong’s goal earned them a hard-fought 1-0 against the previously unbeaten Lens. EFE