December 4, 2023
Champions League: Bellingham's last-minute strike propels Real Madrid to triumph

Real Madrid secured a hard-fought victory over Union Berlin in the Champions League on Wednesday, thanks to a dramatic 94th-minute goal from Jude Bellingham. 

The final score stood at 1-0 in favor of the Spanish giants.

Madrid, a 14-time champion in this prestigious competition, encountered a resolute Union Berlin side that had earned their Bundesliga stripes just four years ago. The match saw Madrid relentlessly pressing their opponents, but they faced solid resistance from Union Berlin’s goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow. In a twist of fate, Rodrygo and Joselu both found the woodwork, adding to Madrid’s frustration.

However, Bellingham emerged as Madrid’s saviour in the dying moments of the game. The English international, who has been in dazzling goalscoring form since joining Madrid, capitalised on a rebound and netted the crucial goal.

Madrid’s head coach, Carlo Ancelotti, lauded Bellingham’s contribution, praising his alertness and quality. Ancelotti said, “Scoring in the last minute is the spirit of this shirt—of not giving up.”

This victory maintained Madrid’s remarkable record of scoring in all but one of their last 68 home matches in the Champions League. Still, their first-half performance at the Santiago Bernabeu left much to be desired, with the absence of injured forward Vinicius Junior affecting their attacking prowess.

Jude Bellingham, who moved to Madrid from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, has quickly become a crucial figure in their midfield. His Champions League debut for Madrid showcased his potential to be a game-changer, a role Madrid desperately needs to win their coveted competition.

Union Berlin, managed by Urs Fischer, displayed discipline and defensive resilience, with Italian veteran Leonardo Bonucci making his debut for the visitors. They frustrated Madrid by sitting deep and surrendering possession.

Madrid’s attacking efforts intensified in the second half, but Ronnow made crucial saves, denying Rodrygo and Joselu, and the woodwork came to Berlin’s rescue once again. It wasn’t until the final moments that Bellingham’s intervention secured Madrid’s victory.

In the aftermath of the match, Berlin coach Fischer expressed disappointment but also pride in his team’s performance. “Football is fair,” he said, “but it hurts if they take your point away in the last minute.”

For Madrid, Jude Bellingham’s goal marked him as a worthy successor to the legendary Karim Benzema. The young midfielder’s impressive form and composure have made him an indispensable asset for the team.

Defender Nacho summed up Madrid’s sentiments, saying, “We have the luck that he’s here playing with us, and I hope he keeps scoring a lot of goals. It was a complete game, we’re very happy.”

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