Bellingham scores in official debut as Real Madrid top Athletic Bilbao

Bilbao, Spain, Aug 12 (EFE).- Jude Bellingham scored in his official Real Madrid debut, leading the visiting Blancos to a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao in LaLiga Matchday 1 action here Saturday at San Mames.

The 20-year-old English international, who signed a six-year contract with the Spanish league giants in June, opened his account with his new club in the 36th minute, just eight minutes after teammate Rodrygo had scored the game’s first goal.

The match was played before a passionate crowd of nearly 50,000 spectators at one of Spain’s main soccer cathedrals.

But the home fans had little to cheer about on a day that belonged to Real Madrid.

Rodrygo’s goal came in the 28th minute on a give-and-go with Dani Carvajal that ended with the Brazilian firing a shot from a tight angle that goalie Unai Simon got a hand on but couldn’t stop.

He had room to chose his target in part because of some passive defending by Aitor Paredes, who appeared mainly concerned about avoiding a hand ball.

Real Madrid nearly added to their lead six minutes later on a header by David Alaba that clanked off the post and then a shot by Vinicius Junior that Simon deflected.

But the Athletic Bilbao goalie could do nothing to stop Bellingham’s strike, which came off a corner kick when the young phenom bounced a volley off the turf and just out of the reach of a diving Simon.

Athletic tried to hit back in the 38th minute on a run toward goal by Unai Gomez, who called for a penalty to no avail after being brought down in the area by Eder Militao.

The home side improved in the second half and nearly pulled one back with shots on goal by substitutes Oihan Sancet and Alejandro Berenguer Remiro in the 72nd and 76th minutes, respectively, that Real Madrid’s defenders deflected away.

Real Madrid got some bad news on the day, however, when Militao suffered an apparently serious knee injury. EFE


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