Jude Bellingham admitted that everybody was likely “battering” him for scoring another close-range goal for Real Madrid in El Clasico but it was another example of him making his own luck.
The 20-year-old enjoyed a memorable first game against Madrid’s arch-rivals Barcelona, scoring twice in the second half to help Carlo Ancelotti’s side come from a goal down to take home all three points with a 2-1 win.
Bellingham’s brace took him to 13 goals in 13 appearances all competitions this season, with his latest two-goal showing taking him into double digits in La Liga.
Madrid’s marquee signing scored the goal of the game with just over 20 minutes remaining, finally breaking free from the shackles of Gavi, who had kept him quiet up until that point, to arrow an unstoppable effort into the top corner of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s goal.
His winner was more in tune with many of Bellingham’s other goals this season, as he popped up late in the penalty area to divert the ball past the helpless Ter Stegen from six yards out.
With his stock higher than ever, Bellingham has earned widespread acclaim for the way he’s settled into life at Madrid. But in some quarters, mainly on social media, he has been criticised for the types of goals he’s been scoring – often arriving in the area late to bag efforts more akin to a poaching striker.
But joking after the game, Bellingham told Real Madrid TV of his efforts: “Which one was my favourite Clasico goal? Probably the first one. I can imagine everyone battering me for the second one, I know I get a lot of grief for scoring tap-ins! But I was on the move and you create your own luck and I’ve done it again.”
He added that he’d been keen to add different goals to his repertoire, saying: “I got the ball on the edge of the box. I’ve been saying for a few weeks that I need to try from outside.
“Maybe the opponents expect me to try to get into the box or combine with a teammate and I wanted to surprise them by hitting it from outside the box. I know I have the technique and it went into the top corner.”
Bellingham’s goals have filled the void left by Karim Benzema’s sudden departure for Saudi Arabia in the summer, firing Madrid to the top of La Liga ahead of surprise package Girona. Barcelona now trail the 14-time Champions League winners by four points having surrendered a lead given to them by Ilkay Gundogan, who was less than amused after the full-time whistle at how his teammates had responded to the loss.