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Valencia 2-2 Real Madrid: Jude Bellingham sent off after full-time after Vinicius Jr scores twice

In Sports
March 03, 2024
Jude Bellingham heads the ball towards goal

Jude Bellingham was sent off for complaining after the final whistle denied him a winning goal for Real Madrid in a dramatic game at Valencia.

Vinicius Jr scored twice at the Mestalla, where he was the victim of racist abuse last season, as Real came from 2-0 behind to salvage a point and move seven points clear at the top of La Liga.

Bellingham thought he had won the game six minutes into stoppage time when he headed in from close range, but referee Gil Manzano had blown the whistle to end the game before the cross had been delivered.

Real players and staff surrounded Manzano, and Bellingham, back in the side after three weeks out with an injury, was shown a red card for his part in the protests.

“Something unprecedented has happened and it’s never happened to me before,” said Real boss Carlo Ancelotti.

“After the rebound we had possession. It’s never happened to me before and there’s nothing more to add. We were annoyed by Bellingham’s red card because he didn’t say anything insulting. It was frustration.

“Had the referee blown the whistle when the Valencia keeper cleared the ball, it would have been right, but he allowed play to continue and we had possession. I think he has made a mistake.”

Valencia midfielder Mouctar Diakhaby sustained what appeared to be a serious leg injury late on in a collision with Aurelien Tchouameni.

Diakhaby was taken off on a stretcher as players held their hands over their faces.

Hugo Duro put Valencia in front, scoring his 12th goal of the campaign by turning in Fran Perez’s scuffed shot.

Three minutes later Roman Yaremchuk intercepted Dani Carvajal‘s pass to Andriy Lunin before rounding the keeper and sliding into an open goal.

Vinicius prodded in from close range after keeper Giorgi Mamardashvili failed to deal with Carvajal’s cross.

The Brazilian, who was racially abused and later sent off on his last visit to the stadium in May, celebrated by raising his fist in the air towards the Valencia fans.

Vinicius Jr holds the ball under his arm and raises his fist in the air to celebrate scoring a goal against Valencia

Vinicius Jr has scored nine goals in La Liga this season

Valencia have not lost at home since September and appeared happy to protect their lead after half-time, but Real pushed for an equaliser, going close through Bellingham and Toni Kroos.

Eventually, Real’s pressure told when Vinicius met Brahim Diaz‘s cross to score with a header at the far post.

Valencia were awarded a penalty when referee Manzano thought Nacho fouled Duro, but the decision was overturned after a video review.

The draw stretched Real’s unbeaten league run to 21 games and extended their lead at the top, although second-placed Girona have a game in hand.

Valencia were playing for the first time since at least 10 people were killed after a fire in two apartment blocks in the city on 23 February.

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