Jude Bellingham improved his record to 13 goals in 13 games for Real Madrid, as last season’s runners-up came back from a goal down to win away to Barcelona, the defending champions, in his El Clasico debut on Saturday.
Ilkay Gundogan staked the hosts, at Barcelona’s Olympic stadium, to an early lead after just six minutes. Aurelien Tchouameni’s back-pass found no one in white, instead Gundogan reacted quickest and beat Kepa Arrizabalaga with a fortuitous finish to the far post.
There was very little to separate the sides for the majority of the 90 minutes, as they battled for possession up and down the field and traded mostly half-chances throughout. Bellingham’s equalizer itself, in the 68th minute, was little more than a half-chance as he struck the ball from 30 yards out — no rise, no dip, virtually no movement on the ball whatsoever, as it evaded Marc-Andre ter Stegen and found the back of the net. A sensational goal on any occasion, let alone a Clasico debut.
Fortune and unpredictable bounces favored Real Madrid, and Bellingham, in stoppage time. Dani Carvajal hit a low, stinging cross to Luka Modric at the near post, but all the Croatian could do was get a foot to it and take some of the pace off the ball. It hit the ground and bounded high into the six-yard box painfully close and over the head of Iñigo Martinez, and onto the foot of Bellingham.
Player ratings – Barcelona vs Real Madrid
Jude Bellingham injury update
Bellingham, who has scored 11 goals in 11 appearances (all competitions) in his first season for Los Blancos, was forced off in the final minutes of Madrid’s 2-1 UEFA Champions League victory over Braga on Tuesday. Bellingham scored what turned out to be the winning goal in the 61st minute. Manager Carlo Ancelotti has since revealed that the 20-year-old English midfielder is expected to be fit for Saturday.
Real Madrid are already without goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Eder Militao for the season (torn ACLs) and prized summer recruit, 18-year-old Turkish winger Arda Guler, is yet to debut for the club after picking up two injuries since completing him transfer from Fenerbahce.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid, final score: 1-2
Goalscorers: Ilkay Gundogan (6′), Jude Bellingham (68′, 90’+1)