Jude Bellingham continues sublime form as Real Madrid edge past Napoli

England star scores superb individual goal as La Liga side secure 3-2 Champions League win

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Jude Bellingham continued his incredible goal-scoring form as he helped Real Madrid eke out a 3-2 win over Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Bellingham’s efforts produced a goal and an assist during an eight-minute stretch of the first half.

Madrid’s standout player first intercepted a pass from Napoli captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo and set up Vinicius Junior for an equaliser at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Then the England international cut through Napoli’s defence from near midfield before finding the back of the net.

Bellingham has now scored nine goals in eight games for Real Madrid, with three assists.

“What surprises me is that he’s only 20 years old. He has extraordinary qualities and he’s showing how much talent he has,” said Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Madrid’s winner was charged as an own goal by Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret following a powerful strike from Federico Valverde that deflected off Di Lorenzo before hitting the crossbar. A leaping Meret then had the last touch but couldn’t prevent it from going into his net.

That unlucky rebound maintained Madrid's perfect start to the group stage and moved them three points clear of both the Italian champions and Braga, 3-2 winners over bottom side Union Berlin earlier on Tuesday.

It was a welcome result for former Napoli coach Ancelotti on his return to southern Italy, where Leo Ostigard headed the hosts into a 19th-minute lead.

Piotr Zielinski had given Napoli hope that they could build on a recent burst of good form when he smashed in a 54th-minute penalty harshly given for a Nacho handball while challenging Victor Osimhen.

But in the end, the La Liga giants prevailed with some help from their opponents.

"It was a difficult match, very hard-fought right until the last minute," said Ancelotti to Sky Sports in Italy.

"It seems absurd to me that that goal is given as a Meret own goal... Valverde is a great player and a great midfielder, he creates a lot and that was a great strike."

Updated: October 03, 2023, 9:47 PM