Digimagaz.com  Real Madrid commenced their Champions League campaign with a dramatic 1-0 victory against Union Berlin at the iconic Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday night. The match proved to be a nail-biting affair, with both sides struggling to create clear-cut opportunities throughout the game. However, it was Jude Bellingham who delivered a last-gasp winner in injury time, securing the crucial three points for the Spanish giants.

 

The first half witnessed a tense battle, as neither team managed to produce any significant scoring chances. The closest opportunity came from Joselu, whose header narrowly missed the target. The second half saw Real Madrid intensify their offensive efforts, with Rodrygo and Joselu both hitting the woodwork. However, the breakthrough remained elusive until Jude Bellingham’s late heroics.

 

Real Madrid’s expected goals (xG) before Bellingham’s decisive strike stood at 2.49, highlighting their dominance in the match. Bellingham’s goal, worth 0.92 xG, proved to be essential in securing the victory, as the team struggled with poor finishing and bad luck earlier in the game.

Joselu emerged as the focal point of Real Madrid’s attack, tallying an impressive 11 shots with an xG of 1.02. Despite his efforts, he was unable to find the back of the net, hitting the post with one header. Meanwhile, Rodrygo Goes had a night to forget, missing three “big chances” with an xG of 0.84 from five shots.

 

Real Madrid’s struggles mirrored some of their pre-season performances, with Vinícius Júnior’s absence in the attack and a lack of support from the wide areas creating a challenge in breaking down Union Berlin’s deep defensive block.

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Despite the lack of fireworks in the attacking department, the match showcased the brilliance of Luka Modrić in the heart of Real Madrid’s midfield. Modrić, who started only his second game of the season, played for 80 minutes and demonstrated his passing and vision capabilities.

 

The Croatian maestro created a total of five chances, with an expected assists (xA) of 0.41, while also delivering 14 passes into the final third. Modrić’s passing accuracy reached an impressive 93%, and he came close to scoring with a well-placed shot, forcing a stretching save from Union Berlin’s goalkeeper Frederik Rønnow.

 

Lucas Vázquez, another player who had limited appearances this season, matched Modrić in chances created. Playing as a fill-in right-back, Vázquez provided an offensive threat without compromising the defensive stability. With doubts surrounding Dani Carvajal’s fitness, Vázquez’s performance may have staked his claim for more playing time.

 

Wednesday night’s encounter against Union Berlin marked a significant milestone for Real Madrid in European competitions. The match was the first-ever meeting between the two clubs, making Union Berlin the 150th different opponent to face Real Madrid in European competitions.

 

Union Berlin also made their debut in the Champions League, joining an exclusive group of teams that faced Real Madrid in their inaugural appearances in the competition. This list includes Inter Milan (1998), Roma (2001), BATE Borisov (2008), and FC Zürich (2009), with all four previous games ending in victories for Real Madrid.

 

Real Madrid’s participation in this match reflected their unparalleled longevity in European competition, as they played their 305th Champions League game and celebrated their 27th consecutive season in the competition.

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The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu witnessed an influx of 5,000 enthusiastic German fans, dominating the top tier of the Fondo Norte. The historic moment marked Union Berlin’s unforgettable debut in the Champions League, a testament to their remarkable journey in football.

 

In a night filled with tension and late drama, Real Madrid ultimately secured a vital victory, providing a strong start to their Champions League campaign and thrilling their dedicated fan base.

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