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Bellingham, the Clasico winner, puts Madrid on the verge of victory.

The top of La Liga

By SamarPublished 26 days ago 3 min read
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On April 21, 2024, during the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, English midfielder Jude Bellingham, #5, of Real Madrid, celebrates scoring his team's third goal.

With a "fundamental" goal on Sunday, Jude Bellingham gave Real Madrid a thrilling 3-2 Clasico victory over champions Barcelona, giving them an 11-point lead in La Liga.

The England midfielder's decisive intervention to move Los Blancos to the verge of the Spanish championship was praised by Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

After Andreas Christensen and Fermin Lopez goals were equalized by goals from Vinicius Junior and Lucas Vazquez, Madrid twice overcame a deficit to win, with Bellingham crashing home the winning goal in stoppage time.

"He arrived at just the right time, he worked so hard in the game, it's been a while since he scored and today he scored a goal that could be fundamental in winning the league," Ancelotti said.

Barcelona, on the other hand, recovered admirably from their Champions League elimination at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain, but Bellingham destroyed their final stand.

Prior to Bellingham's game-winning strike that delighted the Santiago Bernabeu crowd, Madrid displayed the same perseverance to stay in the game as they did against Manchester City midweek on their route to the European semifinals.

At just 20 years old, the former Borussia Dortmund player is scoring more goals than anyone else in Madrid, having scored 21 goals in all competitions. He scored twice in Madrid's October Clasico victory over Barcelona.

Vazquez, who was instrumental in each of Madrid's three goals, told Real Madrid TV, "We took a huge step towards La Liga."

"We've had a very good season, we're on a very good path, now we just have to polish it off and we'll go for everything."

Goalie Andriy Lunin of Madrid, who saved a penalty against City, made an error early on that gave Barcelona the advantage.

In an attempt to handle a corner, the Ukrainian departed from his line, but he was unable to get close to the ball, and Christensen nodded into the empty net.

But Vinicius quickly tied the score for Madrid after missing a great opportunity and tying it from the penalty spot.

The remarkable Vazquez got away from Joao Cancelo far too easily, and Pau Cubarsi, a 17-year-old center back for Barcelona, tripped over him nearby.

Unfazed, Barcelona advanced down their right flank, with Lamine Yamal putting Eduardo Camavinga through a rough patch.

"Disgrace"

The 16-year-old sensation believed he had scored with a deft flick from a corner, but Lunin stopped the ball from going in after Barcelona claimed it had crossed the line.

The Catalans were frustrated because La Liga does not have goal-line technology, and even with VAR, the officials were unable to determine if the ball had entered the goal completely.

"We deserved much more given the way we played but there's not much we can do," Xavi stated.

"(Not having goal-line technology) is a disgrace."

Midfielder Frenkie de Jong was taken off on a stretcher at the stroke of halftime, dealing a blow to Barcelona after he injured his ankle in a challenge by Fede Valverde.

After the second half got off to a slower start, Xavi made the wise decision to substitute Lopez for Christensen at the half.

When Lunin could only parry Yamal's weak attempt back into danger after 69 minutes, the midfield player was in the right place at the right time to finish.

But Madrid quickly responded, hoping to win both the Champions League and the league, as Vinicius crossed to the back post and Vazquez came in to finish.

With Madrid searching for a winner to all but secure their La Liga championship, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen produced a masterful save to deny Vinicius.

Despite being mostly ignored by the Catalans until he seemed to definitively decide the match in stoppage time from Vazquez's cross, Bellingham delivered the decisive blow.

"Xavi, stay," the Barcelona coach, who is expected to depart at the end of the season, taunted the Real Madrid supporters.

After losing to Alaves 2-0 earlier in the week, Atletico Madrid's hopes of finishing in the top four were severely damaged. This was on top of their humiliating Champions League exit.

Fourth-place Diego Simeone's team now leads fifth-place Athletic by three points following goals from Carlos Benavidez and Luis Rioja that condemned them to loss.

"We're in a terrible dynamic,"Jan Oblak, the goalie for Atletico, told DAZN.

"We have to improve and if we don't, this end to the season will be very tough."

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