Manager of Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti said that no one expected new signing, Jude Bellingham to be so explosive in the attack after the midfielder scored a brace to help send Madrid back on top of La Liga with a win over Osasuna 4-0, on Saturday.
Girona also managed to get a 1-0 win over Cadiz to give them a one-point lead at the top but Madrid managed to get on top thanks to Vinicius Jr and Joselu also contributing in the scoreline.
England international Bellingham, the division’s top scorer with eight goals, was at his unstoppable best once more in the final third.
Ancelotti has shifted the former Borussia Dortmund player into a more attacking role, with the freedom to move behind two more central strikers and it has paid dividends.
After scoring a brilliant solo goal against Napoli in midweek in the Champions League and adding two more against Osasuna, the midfielder now has 10 goals across both competitions in 10 appearances.
“Bellingham is finding a lot of chances in attack, he’s very involved in the team’s attacking play and not having a fixed position gives him an advantage,” Ancelotti told reporters.
“It’s been a surprising start to the season for him in all aspects. Obviously, nobody expected this level, in terms of goals.”
Ancelotti deployed defensive midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni alongside Antonio Rudiger at the heart of defence, with David Alaba and Eder Militao injured, and Nacho suspended after his rash tackle last weekend against Girona.
However, Tchouameni enjoyed a quiet afternoon at the back as Madrid dominated to ensure they would stay on top over the international break.
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Luka Modric, afforded a rare start, helped create the opener by feeding Carvajal who laid the ball off neatly to Bellingham.
The midfielder, who had surged into the box, slammed the ball past goalkeeper Sergio Herrera.
Osasuna only carved out one good chance, shortly before half-time, with Ante Budimir slashing over the bar after being set up nicely by Ruben Pena.
Bellingham started and finished Madrid’s second goal in the 55th minute, darting forward and playing a one-two with Fede Valverde, before sweeping home.
“He’s in top form, he’s showing the player he is, I hope he keeps on like this,” Madrid defender Dani Carvajal told Real Madrid TV.
“He can win us titles.”
Ancelotti warned one day he may use Bellingham in a deeper role.
“Everyone knows he’s not a centre forward who scores goals, he’s an attacking midfielder or a central midfielder,” said Ancelotti.
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“When the moment comes, I think he can play with a different type of attitude and contribution, helping the team in terms of hard work, obviously, and with quality.”
Vinicius extended Madrid’s lead when Valverde sent him through on goal, with the Brazilian rounding goalkeeper Herrera and tapping home.
The winger turned provider for the fourth goal, setting up Joselu, who gleefully finished for his fifth league goal in his last six games.
Joselu’s sixth should have followed when David Garcia conceded a penalty for handball, but Herrera saved the forward’s effort down the middle.
Osasuna’s goalkeeper has a superb penalty-saving record, including stopping two from former Madrid forward Karim Benzema in one match.
Joselu’s miss did not take the shine off Madrid’s afternoon, as they celebrated their most emphatic win of the season to date.
“We achieved our objective of reaching the international break as leaders,” added Carvajal.
Aleix Garcia’s tidy strike earned Michel’s Girona, now two points behind Madrid, their narrow victory at Cadiz on Saturday.
Cadiz gave themselves an uphill struggle when Darwin Machis was sent off after 10 minutes for a high lunge.
The Yellow Submarine still managed to play their part in an end-to-end clash, ultimately decided by Garcia’s strike just before the hour mark.
Girona’s playmaker swept home brilliantly from outside the area to put his team ahead against their mid-table opponents.
Champions Barcelona, who are third, visit Granada on Sunday. Later Saturday Sevilla host Rayo Vallecano and Valencia visit Real Mallorca.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)