Football

Jude Bellingham injured in starring role as Real Madrid thrash title rivals Girona

Jude Bellingham played a starring role in Real Madrid’s most important victory of the season so far, but their joy was dampened when he hobbled off the field injured after an hour.

Bellingham had by that point scored twice, assisted by the equally brilliant Vinicius Jr who had also scored a stunning opener after only six minutes, and Rodrygo added the final touch to a 4-0 thrashing over title rivals Girona.

The win leaves Madrid five points clear of Girona and 11 ahead of Barcelona, who have played one game fewer. But it might also leave them without their 20-year-old English superstar for a crucial period with the Champions League knockout stages on the horizon.

Bellingham appeared to twist his left ankle after it was stepped on by Girona’s Pablo Torre early in the second half. He was briefly treated by team doctors before returning to the field, but after he tapped in a second goal in the 55th minute, he soon sat down on the turf and asked to come off. He walked off the field gingerly but on his own power.

Girona had been unbeaten in 15 league games since their last loss to Real in September, and victory would have moved them to the top of the standings. But they remain firmly in second place, while Carlo Ancelotti’s men are on 61 points after 24 games.

The hosts opened the scoring six minutes into the game as Vinicius picked up Fede Valverde’s pass to curl a superb long-range shot in for his seventh league goal of the season.

Bellingham doubled the lead after Vinicius’s through ball set him up for an easy finish past Girona goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga in the 36th minute. He made it two, knocking in a loose ball in the six-yard box after more good work by the Brazilian winger.

Rodrygo sealed the rout, firing a rocket into the far corner in the 61st minute, before Joselu missed a penalty in the final seconds of the game.

Xural.com

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