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, as they played with a closed roof at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first time. 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 Madrid’s remodeled stadium.
Roof Closed, Spirits High
La Liga leaders Madrid started the season with their opening three games all away from home, while construction work 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.
“I think we were just winners, we did well in attack and made a lot of chances,” said Joselu. “Getafe makes it difficult for you, but the Bernabeu pushed us on — these fans are incredible, and Madrid never gives up.”
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 capitalized on a heavy Fran Garcia backward 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.
“It’s a shame to go behind on the scoreboard, but the team worked, and we came out with the mentality that we would turn it around,” added Joselu.
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. Bellingham joins a small group of players to have netted in each of their first four Liga matches, including Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo.
(This story has not been edited by Smartkhabrinews staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)