Barcelona (AFP)- Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said no one expected Jude Bellingham to be so aggressive in front of goal after the midfielder scored twice to send Madrid top of La Liga with a 4-0 win over Osasuna on Saturday. Sent back.
Verona’s 1–0 win in Cadiz temporarily gave the Catalan minnows a one-point lead, but Madrid regained first place with a win at the Santiago Bernabéu, with Vinicius Junior and Joselu also scoring.
England international Bellingham, the division’s top scorer with eight goals, was once again at his unstoppable best in the final third.
Ancelotti has moved the former Borussia Dortmund player into a more attacking role, with the freedom to drop in behind two more central strikers, and it has paid off.
After scoring a spectacular solo goal against Napoli in midweek in the Champions League and two more against Osasuna, the midfielder now has 10 goals in 10 matches in both competitions.
“Bellingham is getting a lot of chances in attack, he is very involved in the team’s attacking play and not having a fixed position gives him an advantage,” Ancelotti told reporters.
“It’s been an amazing start to the season for them in all aspects. Obviously nobody expected this level in terms of goals.”
Ancelotti deployed defensive midfielder Aurelien Tchoumeni alongside Antonio Rudiger in the center of defence, with David Alaba and Eder Militao injured, and Nacho suspended after a careless tackle against Verona last weekend.
However, Tchoumeni enjoyed a quiet afternoon at the back as Madrid dominated to ensure they remain on top heading into the international break.
Luka Modric made a rare start, helping to create the opener by feeding Carvajal, who laid the ball neatly to Bellingham.
The midfielder, who had broken into the box, slotted the ball past goalkeeper Sergio Herrera.
Osasuna created only one good chance shortly before half-time, with Ante Budimir slashing over the bar after being well set up by Rubén Pena.
Bellingham started and finished the second goal for Madrid in the 55th minute, playing a one-two with Fede Valverde before heading forward and sweeping home.
“He’s in top form, he’s showing what kind of player he is, I hope he continues like that,” Madrid defender Dani Carvajal told Real Madrid TV.
“He can get us the title.”
Ancelotti warned that one day he could use Bellingham in a deeper role.
“Everyone knows he is not a center forward who scores goals, he is an attacking midfielder or a central midfielder,” Ancelotti said.
“When the time comes, I think he can play with a different type of attitude and contribute, obviously help the team in terms of hard work and quality.”
Vinicius extended Madrid’s lead when Valverde headed it past Brazilian goalkeeper Herrera to tap home.
The winger turned provider for the fourth goal, setting up Joselu, who happily netted his fifth league goal in his last six games.
David Garcia should have been awarded a penalty for handball after Joselu’s sixth effort, but Herrera saved the forward’s effort.
The Osasuna goalkeeper has an excellent penalty saving record, including stopping former Madrid forward Karim Benzema twice in one match.
Joselu’s miss didn’t take the shine off Madrid’s afternoon as they celebrated their most emphatic win of the season so far.
“We have achieved our objective of reaching the international level as leaders,” Carvajal said.
short term leadership
Alex Garcia’s composed strike gave Michel’s Verona, now two points behind Madrid, their narrowest win in Cadiz on Saturday.
Cadiz were left with an uphill battle when Darwin Matches was sent off for a high lunge after 10 minutes.
The Yellow Submarine nevertheless managed to play their part in an end-to-end clash, ultimately decided by Garcia’s strike just before the hour mark.
The Verona playmaker scored a brilliant strike from outside the area to put his side ahead against their mid-table rivals.
Champions Barcelona, who are third, visit Granada on Sunday. Later on Saturday, Sevilla host Rayo Vallecano and Valencia visit Real Mallorca.
© 2023 AFP