MADRID (AP) — Jude Bellingham keeps delivering for Real Madrid. This time, the heroics came in his Champions League debut with the Spanish powerhouse.
Bellingham helped extend Madrid’s perfect start to the season by scoring a stoppage-time goal in the team’s 1-0 win over newcomer Union Berlin in Group C on Wednesday. It was Madrid’s sixth consecutive victory, with the other five coming in the Spanish league.
The newly signed Bellingham scored his sixth goal in as many matches with Madrid by picking up a loose ball inside the area and firing it into the open net four minutes into stoppage time at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
“I’m not going to lie, I hope I keep on scoring goals in minutes 94 or 95. Although it might do my heart, and the club, good to score earlier,” said the 20-year-old Bellingham, who joined from Borussia Dortmund in the offseason and has been Madrid’s hottest player early on.
His winner against Getafe in the Spanish league had come five minutes into stoppage time, and against Celta Vigo it came in the 81st.
“I’m just so grateful to my teammates and the staff here who’ve done such a good job of integrating me,” Bellingham said. “Now we’re on the right path, and I’m just interested in continuing my form. We’re on a good run, but you don’t win anything at this stage of the season.”
Bellingham has scored in all but one of his appearances with Madrid.
“I’m a confident lad, but I really couldn’t have hoped for things to start as well as this in terms of goals,” he said. “We’ve played five in La Liga, one in the Champions League, and won all six, so we can’t really complain about that.”
Madrid had missed chance after chance and was denied by the woodwork a couple of times as the Spanish powerhouse appeared to be headed to a disappointing group-stage debut in the European competition.
Madrid had more than 70% of ball possession and a total of 30 attempts, while Union had only three—none on target.
Both Rodrygo and Joselu hit the post before Bellingham came through with the winner from close range after Federico Valverde’s shot from outside the area bounced off a couple of Union defenders and went toward the England midfielder for an easy goal.
“We hope that he will continue like this, that he will keep scoring many goals for us,” Rodrygo said of Bellingham.
The record 14-time European champion was making its 27th straight appearance in the tournament’s group stage, while Union was playing its first-ever Champions League match. The German club qualified by finishing fourth in the Bundesliga last season, its highest league result. It is enjoying its third consecutive season in a UEFA competition and fourth overall.
Madrid has advanced past the group stage every season since 1996–97, when it didn’t play in the Champions League. It has reached at least the semifinals in the past three seasons.
Madrid was still without forward Vinícius Júnior and also couldn’t count on defender Dani Carvajal because of injuries.
The other Group C teams are Napoli and Braga, which play in Portugal later Wednesday.