- Real Madrid struggle without Jude Bellingham as they lose points in title race
- Carlo Ancelotti’s men could only draw 1-1 with Rayo Vallecano on Sunday
- Watching you train while injured in the gym is like watching your lady walking down the street with another guy. Listen to the podcast Everything is Beginning
Real Madrid missed Jude Bellingham at Rayo Vallecano as they dropped two points in a 1-1 draw with their lowly neighbours.
The England midfielder is not expected to return until early next month and his absence was felt as Carlo Ancelotti’s leaders put in a tired and below-par performance despite taking an early lead.
Bellingham celebrated the first goal by posting ‘Seluuuu’ on social media as Joselu scored the first goal and then celebrated in the style of La Liga’s top scorer.
The goal came a few seconds after Rayo had the first chance of the game. Raúl de Tomás took a long time to shoot outside the Real Madrid area and Madrid broke through to score.
Brahim Díaz passed it to Fede Valverde and the Uruguayan galloped down the right and crossed for Joselu to pass the ball over the line. The flag was raised but the tall striker was level with Aridane and that’s how the goal stood.
Joselu scored Madrid’s first goal and celebrated by paying tribute to Jude Bellingham
The Real Vallecano players celebrate that Raúl de Tomás has equalized them again
Jude Bellingham thanked his teammates for shouting after Madrid’s goal
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Rayo tied in the 27th minute from the penalty spot and De Tomás made up for his previous mistake. Eduardo Camavinga blocked a shot by Oscar Trejo with his hand and from the penalty spot the Rayo forward scored his first of the season with a direct shot down the middle that beat Andriy Lunin.
The first player to celebrate was Isi Palazón, who is the nominal taker of the shot and had let the striker miss the season mark.
Ten minutes before the break, Madrid was about to regain the lead when Valverde’s long-range shot hit the post. Lunin saved Álvaro García at his near post just before the break.
García almost scored after the restart when he robbed Aurelien Tchouameni in the penalty area. Madrid once again had the midfielder playing in the center of the defense in the continued absence of Antonio Rudiger and he had complicated things by losing the ball despite being the last man. He recovered well enough to block Garcia’s shot.
Dani Carvajal received a late expulsion from Real Madrid after receiving a second yellow card
Carlo Ancelotti was a frustrated figure as his team dropped two points in the La Liga title race.
Ancelotti brought on Toni Kroos with 20 minutes remaining and his free kick would have been inside the post if Stole Dimitrievski had crossed well to push the shot into the corner. Rodrygo and Dani Carvajal also entered for Real Madrid.
Rayo’s new coach, Íñigo Pérez, turned to veteran Radamel Falcao, but the 38-year-old forward was unable to score the winning goal for his team. Real Madrid’s last card was 18-year-old Arda Guler, but he too was left blank when the match ended 1-1.
The result means Barcelona are now eight points behind them in the table and Girona will reduce the gap to three tomorrow if they beat Athletic Club.
Perhaps the title race is not completely over. When Carvajal received a second yellow card late in the match for hitting Kike Pérez with his arm, he was sent off, increasing Ancelotti’s defensive deficit.