Bellingham pushes Real Madrid to win at Serie A champion Napoli
NAPLES, Italy (AP) — Jude Bellingham’s efforts produced two goals during an eight-minute stretch of the first half in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win at Serie A champion Napoli on Tuesday in the Champions League.
Madrid’s new standout first intercepted a pass from Napoli captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo and immediately set up Vinicius Junior for an equalizer at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Then the England international slalomed through Napoli’s defense from near midfield before slotting in a goal that was reminiscent of the way Maradona, also an attacking midfielder, used to perform in the stadium now named after him.
“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, who was facing one of his former clubs.
Bellingham now has two goals in two Champions League matches since joining Madrid in a 100 million euro ($105 million) transfer from Borussia Dortmund — to go with six in seven Spanish league matches.
Bellingham also scored in his Champions League debut for Madrid in a 1-0 win over Union Berlin to open the Spanish club’s campaign.
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.
Leo Ostigard had put Napoli ahead early on with a header by leaping over Dani Carvajal.
Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski scored a controversial penalty after the break to make it 2-2.
There was a long VAR review following a sliding tackle by Nacho on Victor Osimhen, as the ball appeared to first hit the defender’s shin and then his arm.
Zielinski’s spot kick ricocheted in off the left post.
Madrid, the record 14-time champion, tops Group C with six points, Napoli and Braga have three points each and Union Berlin is last with zero.
Braga beat Berlin 3-2 earlier.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/Soccer