Jude Bellingham’s impressive goal-scoring streak persisted against Celta, as he managed to exploit a chink in their defensive armor. This occurred as former Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez set up his team with a robust five-man defensive formation.
Maintaining his outstanding performance in La Liga, Jude Bellingham secured a last-minute header, securing a 1-0 victory for Real Madrid against Celta Vigo on Friday. The English star found the net for the fourth time in three matches in the Spanish top division, finally breaking down Celta Vigo’s determined resistance and casting a shadow over the hosts’ centenary celebrations.
During the match, Rodrygo squandered a penalty opportunity for Real Madrid, and Vinicius Junior had to leave the field in the first half due to a suspected thigh injury. Initial reports from Spain indicate that the injury won’t keep him sidelined for an extended period.
Making his debut in goal for Real Madrid on loan from Chelsea, Kepa Arrizabalaga stepped in for the injured Thibaut Courtois. Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti continued to deploy Bellingham in the No. 10 position, a role in which he has proven to be exceptionally lethal.
Celta’s early breakthrough appeared to materialize when Jorgen Strand Larsen netted, but his goal was disallowed due to a slight foul committed by the forward on Arrizabalaga.
Vinicius had to exit the game in the 17th minute, making way for Spanish international Joselu, as he nursed a thigh injury. This development raised concerns for Madrid, given their relatively thin attacking squad this season, with the departure of Ballon d’Or holder Karim Benzema and other forwards.
Oscar Mingueza, a former Barcelona defender, came close to scoring after half an hour with a stretched close-range attempt that narrowly missed the target. Additionally, Joselu had a goal disallowed for being in an offside position.
Madrid faced challenges in involving Bellingham in the game due to Celta’s suffocating defense. However, Rodrygo managed to break through and earned a penalty for his team. It was a stroke of luck for the Brazilian forward, as Celta Vigo’s goalkeeper Ivan Villar deflected the ball away before colliding with Rodrygo.
Nonetheless, Villar delivered an exceptional save from the ensuing penalty kick, maintaining a level score. It was then that Bellingham took matters into his own hands and made his mark.
Ancelotti’s frustration was evident as he directed his displeasure towards Rodrygo following the penalty miss. The Italian manager clarified that he had intended for Luka Modric to take the penalty, but the communication somehow fell short.
“There’s no room for personal choice… I’m uncertain about the miscommunication between them; it seems they opted for Rodrygo,” the coach explained.
In the 81st minute, Bellingham finally broke the deadlock. Positioned onside, he skillfully directed a close-range header into the net after Joselu had directed the ball towards the goal.
Ancelotti after the game spoke to the media: “Bellingham (was) good, he’s still scoring and adding to the team.”
“(Vinicius) wanted to continue, so I don’t think it was that serious, he tried, then it hurt a bit.”
Arrizabalaga told Madrid TV: “It was a game that we had to mature, we needed patience and I’m happy for the points.”
“I’m getting confidence bit by bit, linking into the team. I’m excited to help, I’m happy with the clean sheet, for the result that we take away and for the three points.”