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Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham Certifies ‘OK’ For Barcelona Game Saturday

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Following his substitution in the 89th minute of Real Madrid’s 2-1 Champions League victory over Braga on Tuesday, star midfielder Jude Bellingham was deemed “OK” by manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Ahead of Saturday’s La Liga Clasico against Barcelona, Madrid secured a perfect nine points atop Group C with a goal from Bellingham, their second goal of the evening.

“He is OK,” Ancelotti said when asked why Bellingham had been substituted. “His adductors are a bit charged because the pitch was a bit soft. But nothing special. He will recover. He is OK. He is a bit tired, like everybody else. But that’s normal.”

Following a run by Vinícius Júnior down the left flank, Rodrygo gave Madrid the lead in the 16th minute with a shot from inside the area, his first since August. Bellingham then increased the lead in the 61st minute with a low shot into the far corner.

“It’s normal to suffer a little in away matches,” said Vinícius, who assisted on Bellingham’s goal. “But we played well and scored the goals with the chances we created. And could’ve scored even more. We have to keep this run going after having won the first three matches.”

For Madrid, Bellingham, 20, has not gone without scoring in a row of games. The Englishman, who did the same with Borussia Dortmund in 2022–2023—has scored in each of the first three Champions League matchdays for the second season running.

At midfield, he managed the game’s tempo to aid Madrid in taking the lead early on. In the first half, Braga, who had won five straight matches across all competitions, failed to register a single effort on goal.

Now that 10 games have been played, Madrid leads Barcelona by one point in La Liga and will get ready for their first encounter with the Catalans this season.

“I have a clear idea,” Ancelotti said about Madrid’s approach for Saturday’s game. “After this game, it is pretty clear what we want to do. And that is to try to win. To do all we can to try to win. We have time to prepare. Today I changed the line-up a bit, because some players were a bit sore. [David] Alaba is back from an injury.

“The same for [Ferland] Mendy. It could have been risky, but the substitute players did very well. I liked a lot [Eduardo] Camavinga as a pivot. He played a great game. We will arrive in great spirits at this next important match.”

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