UEFA Champions League 2019-20: Club Brugge 1-3 Real Madrid - Hits and Flops as Los Blancos cruised to a routine victory
Real Madrid travelled to the Jan Breydei Stadium with their involvement in the knockout stages confirmed. Los Blancos were second in Group A after 5 games, 5 points behind Paris Saint-Germain, who were guaranteed a first-place finish irrespective of their result against Galatasaray. Their opponents on Wednesday, Club Brugge, were a further 5 points behind them, so the fate of the group was effectively sealed ahead of the game.
However, the Belgian side needed a win to confirm their involvement in the Europa League. The Spanish giants, on the other hand, were looking to end their group stage on a high, to gain momentum ahead of the El Clasico, which is around the corner.
On the night, Real Madrid finished their group stage campaign on a high, as a spirited second-half showing earned them a well deserved 3-1 victory against their Belgian opponents.
Zinedine Zidane’s men were unbeaten in their last 3 games in the Champions League and continued to be without at least 5 first team members, who were still missing due to injury. While Eden Hazard and Marcelo had not recovered in time to travel to Belgium, the Frenchman had also elected to rest Sergio Ramos and Toni Kroos for the trip.
However, Zidane still had enough depth in his squad to secure a positive result on the night and he named his team accordingly. Both clubs had chances to score in the first half but lacked precision in front of goal. As such, the game went into the break with the scoreline evenly poised at 0-0. After the break, the away side picked up the pace and took the lead through Rodrygo in the 53rd minute.
However, the home side responded almost immediately, scoring the equalizer through Hans Vanaken 2 minutes later. Vinicius Jr then restored Real’s lead in the 64th minute. Modric scored Real’s third of the night in the 91st minute to seal all 3 points.
As Los Blancos finished second in their group and comfortably sealed qualification to the knockout stages, here are the hits and flops from the game.
Hit: Hans Vanaken
The 27-year-old midfielder was the pick of the Club Brugge players on the night. Hans Vanaken had 70 touches on the ball and attempted 55 passes with an 85% passing completion rate. His drive and urgency in midfield kept the home side in the game for the majority of the night. The Belgian also completed both of his dribbles, the joint highest in his team.
Right after Real Madrid scored the first goal, the home side were in the danger of facing an onslaught from the La Liga giants. However, Vanaken ensured that this team were right back in the game after he scored the goal of the game in the 55th minute.
Receiving the ball just inside the box, the Belgian opened up his body and unleashed a curling effort that crept in beautifully into the far post. It was a goal that gave Club Brugge a glimmer of hope and also ensured that they fought on right until the last minute.