Bellingham strikes again to earn Madrid derby win over Getafe

AFP , Saturday 2 Sep 2023

Jude Bellingham rescued Real Madrid with a 95th-minute strike to secure a 2-1 win over Getafe on Saturday and maintain Los Blancos' perfect start to La Liga.

Real Madrid's English midfielder #5 Jude Bellingham celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Spanish Liga football match between Real Madrid CF and Getafe CF at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on September 2, 2023. Photo: AFP


The England international netted his fifth goal in four games to snatch three points from the derby clash, Madrid's first game without injured forward Vinicius Junior.

Joselu, the Brazilian's replacement, had pulled Carlo Ancelotti's side level after former Madrid striker Borja Mayoral sent the visitors ahead in the first match under a roof at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid started the season with their opening three games all away from home, while remodelling work on their Santiago Bernabeu stadium continued.

It allowed for the retractable roof to be finished and it was closed on Saturday, with rain hitting the Spanish capital -- but not the players.

Getafe did not include on loan Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood in their squad, after his arrival on Friday.

The forward had been suspended by the Red Devils since January 2022 after facing allegations of abuse although prosecutors subsequently dropped the charges.

Mayoral started up front for the visitors and, looking to keep his place in the side, he quickly pounced to put the visitors ahead.

The striker capitalised on a heavy Fran Garcia backwards pass, nipping in to pick up the ball, round Kepa Arrizabalaga and slot home after 11 minutes.

Madrid thought Bellingham had won a penalty when he tumbled under pressure from Carles Alena, but the referee decided to cancel the spot kick after a VAR review.

The Englishman had started to fall before contact was made.

Luka Modric came close with a diving header, well saved by Getafe goalkeeper David Soria, ensuring his team's lead would remain into the second half -- but not much longer.

Joselu netted his first Madrid goal from close range when Getafe could not clear Modric's teasing cross with the outside of his boot.

The Spain international started in place of Vinicius, who suffered a hamstring injury last week and is set to miss over a month.

Veteran midfielder Toni Kroos stepped up a gear in the second half and nearly sent Madrid ahead, hitting the post with a low drive and then forcing a save from Soria with another effort from the rebound.

Madrid turned the screw, Dani Carvajal firing against the upright before the inspired Soria made another impressive one-handed save to thwart Joselu.

However the goalkeeper's only mistake ended up costing his team, when he could only parry Lucas Vazquez's long-range drive and Bellingham reacted quickest to turn the loose ball home.

The former Borussia Dortmund man has now scored five of Madrid's eight La Liga goals this season, helping to fill the void left by Ballon d'Or holder Karim Benzema's departure.

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