Real Madrid kicked off the Champions League campaign with a well-deserved victory over Union Berlin.
The Whites were rewarded for their persistence with a last-minute Bellingham goal, the Englishman’s sixth in six games, which earned Madrid all three points in their opening match of the competition.
The first half was one-way traffic as Madrid dominated, with the exception of a chance for the visitors requiring Rüdiger‘s intervention in the opening minutes.
Ancelotti‘s side won the ball back quickly, but they were unable to find a way through the resolute German backline, and only went close to grabbing the opening goal on two occasions.
First, when Bellingham found a way through the defence his strike went straight into the hands of Rønnow in the third minute. Soon after, Lucas Vázquez crossed from the right wing for Joselu and the Spain international forward missed the target by inches.
Chance after chance
In the second half, when Ancelotti’s side notched up eight of their 11 official goals, it was a very different story. Indeed, the Whites could have taken the lead with a couple of chances for Rodrygo in the 51st minute.
His first shot, after a scintillating run, crashed into Rønnow’s chest, the rebound fell to Lucas Vázquez, who crossed and the Brazilian’s acrobatic scissor kick crashed back off the post.
Four minutes later, Camavinga played the ball back and Joselu’s left-footed shot inside the box was diverted away firstly by the goalkeeper and then by Bonucci, who headed the ball out for a corner.
Off the post again
This was the best spell of the clash for the Madridistas, who went all-out attack in search of the opening goal.
In the 62nd minute, Rodrygo crossed and Joselu’s downward header was pushed onto the post by Rønnow.
Seven minutes later, Modrić hit a fierce left-footed strike from the edge of the area, but he was once again denied by the out-stretched German keeper.
As the minutes ticked away, Madrid pushed harder to get the breakthrough. The home side’s 15th corner was met by Rüdiger but the German defender was unable to keep the ball down.
Bellingham does it again
The chances kept coming. Bellingham crossed in the 83rd minute and Joselu’s awkward back-heeled shot missed the target by inches.
Three minutes later, Brahim played the ball into the box, Rodrygo latched onto it and drilled the ball into the hands of Rønnow.
And just when it seemed it wasn’t going to be Madrid’s night, Bellingham popped up in stoppage time to turn the ball into the net, after Valverde‘s strike from the edge of the area was parried by the keeper.
Ancelotti’s boy secured a thoroughly deserved victory.