Jude Bellingham scores again but Real Madrid suffer Vinicius Junior injury blow

England midfielder makes it four goals in three games while Brazil attacker is set to miss next match for Los Blancos

Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham, centre, celebrates after scoring the winner against Celta Vigo on August 25, 2023.   EPA
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Jude Bellingham continued his “insane” start to life at Real Madrid by grabbing the only goal of the game at Celta Vigo on Friday.

But Real's third win out of three La Liga games so far this season came with a scare when attacker Vinicius Junior limped off with a leg-muscle problem after just 18 minutes.

That took the shine off what had been another Bellingham masterclass with the England midfielder scoring his fourth goal in three games since is summer move from Borussia Dortmund.

“Bellingham is insane. I don’t know what to say, I’m speechless,” said veteran Real defender David Alaba. “He is a good boy, he is very talented and works very hard in training. He has many qualities and he proves it every week.

“We feel very good after winning like this,” added the Austrian. “It wasn’t easy but these victories are very important for the group. It strengthens us. Sometimes winning like this is better than winning 4-0.”

As for Vinicius, Ancelotti believes the injury “wasn't very serious”, unlike those suffered by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Eder Militao in recent weeks, and he was confident Vinicius would recover in time to return after the international break.

“Vinicius has had some muscle discomfort in his leg. It wasn't a very serious thing. He tried to play but it was bothering him and we preferred to sub him,” the Italian said of Vinicius, who looks set to miss Real's next game and be out for the start of Brazil's World Cup qualifying campaign.

Real face Getafe on September 2 while Brazil host Bolivia six days later before travelling to Peru on September 12.

Kepa Arrizabalaga made his debut in goal for Real on loan from Chelsea as a replacement for the injured Courtois, while Ancelotti continued with Bellingham in the No 10 position, where he has proven lethal so far.

Celta thought they had gone ahead early on but Jorgen Strand Larsen's goal was ruled out for a soft-looking foul by the forward on Kepa.

Rodrygo had a golden chance to put Real into the lead in the 68th minute with a penalty after keeper Ivan Villar tripped him in the box. However, Villar redeemed himself as he dived to his right to keep out the Brazilian forward's spot kick.

“I told [Real midfielder Fede] Valverde that Luka [Modric] had to take the penalty, I don't know what happened between them that they chose Rodrygo,” Ancelotti said.

Bellingham, meanwhile continued his fine goalscoring form against Celta, eventually finding a gap in their five-man defensive line set-up by former Madrid manager Rafa Benitez.

The 20-year-old broke the deadlock in the 81st minute when he stayed onside and nodded home from close range after Joselu headed the ball towards goal.

“Bellingham is doing very well, he keeps scoring. He's doing it because he's moving very well without the ball” Ancelotti added. “He's intelligent, he arrives at the right moment.”

The goal meant another three points for Real and a clean-sheet on his debut for Kepa. “I’ve tried to take things as calmly as possible,” said keeper. “I’m gradually getting to know my teammates and what the coach expects of me.

“I’ve been with my teammates for a week and a few days now. I’m happy to contribute to the pitch.”

Updated: August 26, 2023, 11:39 AM