Real Madrid 1-0 Union Berlin: Bellingham on the spot again in stoppage time

Real Madrid 1-0 Union Berlin: Bellingham on the spot again in stoppage time

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The England international continued his fine start to life in the Spanish capital

Real Madrid once again relied on Jude Bellingham to solve their problem in the last-minute of a game they had been struggling with.

The Englishman broke down the wall in the only lapse of concentration in the Union Berlin defence, which until that moment had withstood all Madrid's attacks thanks to the good work of their goalkeeper and the poor finishing of the home team's strikers at the Bernabeu.

But Bellingham stepped up and allowed his team to open their Champions League campaign with a narrow win.

Carlo Ancelotti's initial plan did not work. Los Blancos came out in high spirits and ready to win their first Champions League game in the fast lane, but the German team's resistance was more intense than expected.

The siege on the Union Berlin goal during this first half was limited to three headers by Joselu (3', 6' and 24') and an untimely slip by Bellingham (33') when he was in a great position. That was all there was to it. The home side's pressure was gradually diluted, although the ball was totally theirs and the game was played almost always in the visitors' half.

The technically inferior Germans were limited to showing signs of life in attack in the early stages, but they soon realised that the game required them to get out of their own way defensively and to show order and solidarity if they were to get anything positive out of their debut in the top continental competition. Rüdiger was on hand to keep out Behrens' shot early on and shortly afterward the same player tried his luck with a header that sailed over the crossbar.

Union Berlin were backtracking and backtracking until they settled in the immediate vicinity of their own area. The aim was to defend the 0-0 score tooth and nail, and they managed to hold on to it at half-time. The Berliners opted to close the spaces and the passing lines very well, and Madrid could not find the formula to create clear situations of danger, except for the aforementioned crosses into the box that Joselu finished off without success.


The half-time break woke Madrid from their lethargy and they came out ready to put an end to the uncertainty. Rodrygo had two great chances in quick succession in the 51st minute, but he was unsuccessful in his first one-on-one with the visitors' goalkeeper and his subsequent volley was denied by the post. 

Real Madrid came out with an extra gear and were soon looking to tickle their opponents' nerves, who continued to play their own game, leaving everything to their defence. The ball circulated with much more speed than in the first half and Union Berlin began to suffer.

Joselu had chances, but his first shot was denied by Ronnow and the second hit the post after being deflected by the Danish goalkeeper, who was again decisive a few minutes later after a spectacular left-footed shot from Modric from the edge of the area. Ronnow turned it behind for a corner with his fingertips.


Real Madrid were persistent and insistent, but they were unable to find the finishing touch. Kepa was a mere spectator, as the game was completely turned towards the visitors' goal. The siege was intensifying, but the inaccuracies caused by the rush were working against the interests of Los Blancos. Joselu again came close to scoring in the 83rd minute with a shot with his back to goal that went just wide of the post.

But once again the Bernabeu epic came to life. Bellingham found an unexpected gift in stoppage time after a double rebound from a Valverde shot to end the uncertainty. The corner was poorly defended by Union Berlin. It was their only blemish in this section, but it was enough for Madrid to take their first three points of the competition.

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