Unión Berlin experienced the Champions League, Real Madrid, the Bernabéu and the Jude Bellingham effect in the same afternoon that they thought they had deciphered, until they realized that that was precisely the trick: when you think you have reached the goal of endurance, there is still a little more. And there, at 93.20, 100 seconds from the limit, pure Real Madrid territory, with that new owner called Bellingham, he saw that everything had been an illusion, lasting more than 90 minutes, but equally fleeting. A long shot from Valverde, a rebound, a goal from the Englishman half a meter from the line and the chorus of Hey Jude in the stands.
Arrizabalaga, Alaba, Nacho (Fran Garcia, min. 73), Rüdiger, Lucas Vázquez, Jude Bellingham, Modric (Brahim Diaz, min. 80), Camavinga (Kroos, min. 65), Aurelien Tchouameni (Federico Valverde, min. 65 ), Rodrygo and Joselu
F. Ronnow, Danilho Doekhi, Diogo Leite, Bonucci (Paul Jäckel, min. 80), Alex Kral, Aissa Laidouni (Brenden Aaronson, min. 66), Juranovic, Robin Gosens, Lucas Tousart (Aljoscha Kemlein, min. 83), Kevin Behrens (Volland, min. 66) and Sheraldo Becker (David Datro Fofana, min. 80)
Goles 1-0 min. 93: Jude Bellingham.
Referee Espen Eskås
Yellow cards Lucas Tousart (min. 1) and Aurelien Tchouameni (min. 36)
In the first Champions League match of the season, Madrid shook off the scare like many other nights closer to the last one.
Until then, the Union, which went to the stadium of the 14 European Cups with the purpose of not letting itself be carried away by the legends, had set the tone of the clash under the soundtrack of 4,000 enthusiasts who sustained the song until 10 minutes after the start. disappointment. In the first act, Madrid succumbed more to Unión than the other way around.
The Germans qualified for the Champions League by finishing fourth in the Bundesliga with the least thrashed defense. They brought no surprises to the Bernabéu: their same defense of five. If anything, the novelty of the foreman, the old Leonardo Bonucci, who debuted at Unión the afternoon that Unión debuted in the European Cup. After 12 seasons at Juventus, he found himself isolated, outside the group, expelled from the place he had dominated for more than a decade. And at 36 years old, he was rescued by Urs Fischer’s team, which fishes in the fishing grounds of footballers driven by the desperation to prove that they have made a mistake by forgetting them elsewhere. They were even about to hire Isco.
There Bonucci was again at the Bernabéu, in the defense operations center of a newly arrived team that intended to hold on beyond the first-time lineup. They gathered far behind, supported by that line of five, with Juranovic extending the wall to the right and Goesens to the left. And Madrid choked.
He went from one side to the other, without hitting the crack, without surprising the center. Neither Modric, nor Camavinga, nor Tchouameni invented. Bonucci calmly contemplated the traffic jam from his lair, squabbling from time to time with Bellingham, who could not find a way to open space, either by racing forward or by exploring a little further back, away from the Italian. Madrid was a dull team that Joselu’s head was barely able to wake up to. He finished off crosses from Lucas, Bellingham and a corner from Modric, all wide. And he was a couple of centimeters away from connecting another. That was all. At that speed, only the height of the nine was surprising.
The passage through the locker room caused a small electric shock in Madrid. The German trench was the same, but Ancelotti had gotten his people to shake it with a little more vigor, with more speed. Rodrygo began to appear away from the wing, where many of his early efforts had vanished, and the ball ran more between him, Modric, Bellingham and Joselu. And they moved more, and with them the Bonucci line, in which some hope opened up for Madrid.
Lucas began the charge with a ball behind the defense, where until then they could not see anything. Rodrygo caught up with him at a run and smashed him against Ronnow’s body. The play returned to Lucas, and also to Rodrygo, who hit the post, and Camavinga immediately went out. It was not the night for Rodrygo, who tied the ball in a knot in the small area when another pass from Lucas fell to him and he found himself alone in front of the goalkeeper. And then another one that got tangled in his spur.
Ancelotti introduced Kroos and Valverde for Tchouameni and Camavinga and managed to clarify the game, with better head and more courage. By then, the Unión had already run out of air, watching the waves hit it. But he resisted. Especially Joselu.
The striker, who was making his debut in the Champions League at the age of 33, accumulated 11 shots without a reward, including those that ended up hitting the post, those that narrowly missed and those blocked by the defense and even by a teammate misplaced in a mess in the area. Nothing. Until Bellingham saw the light again. As usual.
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