Jude Bellingham thought he had scored the most dramatic goal of Real Madrid’s recent goals against Valencia, but it was disallowed because the ball had crossed the line after referee Jesús Gil had blown full time.
The England midfielder protested and was sent off in chaotic scenes as Real Madrid players surrounded the referee and pushing and shoving occurred with Valencia players at the end of a dramatic 2-2 draw.
It was always going to be an emotional night. It was Valencia’s first home game since a fire in an apartment block in the city claimed 10 lives. The dead were mourned and the firefighters who attended the fire before the fire started were honored.
This was also Real Madrid’s first match at Mestalla since last season’s match was marred by racist abuse directed at Vinicius Jr and three Valencia fans were subsequently banned for life.
Jude Bellingham thought he had scored the winning goal, but his header was disallowed.
The England star pounced on the end of a flying cross as the whistle blew in added time.
Bellingham could not imagine that his goal – and Real Madrid’s three points – would disappear
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After the abuse, Carlo Ancelotti and Vinicius upset Valencia fans by claiming that the entire stadium had been responsible. Their names were booed when they were announced before kickoff.
‘Vinicius, how stupid you are’, the Valencia fans sang in the eighth minute. The abuse did nothing to stop him, but running towards his own goal was partly to blame for Madrid falling behind in the 23rd minute.
The first mistake was by Fede Valverde. His unnecessary cross ball in his own half went to Javi Guerra, who took the lead. He played with the overlapping Dimitri Foulquier, but the hardworking Vinicius followed him and got in front of him stealing possession.
The only problem was that he couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet and his momentum was still carrying him and him to the baseline. Foulquier took command again and crossed the ball to the far post, where Hugo Duro instinctively headed a cross shot from Fran Pérez that beat Lunin and made it 1-0.
Madrid did not respond well. They were slow at everything and even Tony Kroos gave the ball away. The next to lose possession was Dani Carvajal at half an hour and it cost his team another goal. He made a slow, long back pass to Lunin and Roman Yaremchuk ran towards him and rounded the Madrid goalkeeper to score.
Tempers had flared during the first half. Before the first goal, Vinicius had wanted a penalty when he fell after Foulquier challenged him and when José Gaya said something to him he reacted angrily and had to be stopped by Bellingham.
As Madrid tried to get back in, Vinicius pushed Pepelu and when Madrid continued playing while the midfielder was down, Valencia coach Rubén Baraja was furious on the touchline.
The Real Madrid superstar was quick to complain to Jesús Gil after he failed in attack.
He was later given a red card for his troubles in chaotic scenes at Valencia’s Mestalla pitch.
Hugo Duro opened the scoring for the locals just 28 minutes into the local tie
Roman Yaremchuk (right) doubled the home team’s lead less than three minutes after his goal.
Already at half-time Vinicius intervened again and Madrid closed the gap. Carvajal sent a deflected cross from the right that beat Rodrygo but was deflected by Vinicius who had gone ahead of Cristhian Mosquera.
It was a goal before the end where spectators had racially abused him last season and when he took the ball out of the back of the net he seemed to say something to the fans behind the goal. He trotted back to the halfway line from where he made the Black Power sign while looking towards the goal he had just scored on.
Rain fell after the restart and Bellingham left Mosquera sliding the wrong way on the wet grass as he changed direction with the ball in the area, but Giorgi Mamardashvili saved with his legs.
Real Madrid completed its two-goal comeback thanks to Vinicius Jr on its return to the stadium this season
After scoring his first goal, the Brazilian international raised his fist in a salute to the Black Power
He later increased the score in the second half when Real Madrid was going to look for an equalizer.
Vinicius then came on late on Hugo Guillamon and was booked to the delight of the Valencia fans. But they were not laughing in the 75th minute when Vinicius nodded to level his team.
Ancelotti had brought in Luka Modric and Brahim Díaz and they combined well on the right. Brahim crossed and Vinicius headed the ball to the far post past Mamardashvili.
This time he celebrated by touching his ear and almost turning around towards Mestalla – the message was whistle and boo all you want; You want to stop me from playing. With a yellow card he needed not to overdo the celebration and receive a card again. The replaced Eduardo Camavinga tried to calm him down.
The atmosphere of the match changed drastically after Mouctar Diakhaby’s terrible accident.
Players from both teams were shocked by the injury, which could be confirmed as a broken leg.
Christhian Mosquera could not witness how his partner was taken out on a stretcher
Real Madrid withstood a late penalty after Duro was brought down in the box at the end of regulation time.
As the match reached an intense climax, the mood changed drastically in the 88th minute, when Aurelien Tchouameni fell on Mouctar Diakhaby and fell. He was in the middle of a scrum of players from both sides, but the reaction of those players told it: he was seriously injured.
Tchouameni appeared on the verge of tears as the Valencia defender was carefully helped onto a stretcher by medical staff, who had been urged to get onto the pitch as quickly as possible as soon as the incident occurred. Others looked away from what looked like a broken leg.
The players were united by the horror of what they had seen, but the unity did not last. The story still had several more chapters to unfold. Duro fell dramatically when challenged by Nacho and Fran García. Referee Gil pointed out the spot but, upon checking it on the field, he saw that the striker had slipped and changed his mind.
Then, former Real Madrid winger Peter Federico, who had just come on, had two shots to win: the first was saved, the second he sent over. Madrid went the other way and scored the winning goal. Except he wasn’t the winner. Time sped up when Madrid won a corner but the referee allowed himself to be taken advantage of. From the shot, Brahim crossed and Bellingham headed beyond Mamardashvili. The celebrations were wild but they came after the final whistle.