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Bellingham strikes on debut as Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao

Jude Bellingham scored on his triumphant Real Madrid debut in a 2-0 win at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday in their opening La Liga match.

Despite concerns at both ends of the pitch, Carlo Ancelotti’s side earned a convincing victory at the San Mames to kick off their title bid, with Rodrygo Goes opening the scoring.

Madrid, who lost Ballon d’Or holder Karim Benzema to big-money Saudi football in the summer, are still heavily linked to Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe as a replacement, as the transfer saga drags on

Brazilian duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo worked well as a strike duo, with Bellingham in the No 10 role at the tip of a diamond midfield offering ample support.

Los Blancos goalkeeper Andriy Lunin started in place of regular stopper Thibaut Courtois, who is set to miss the majority of the season with a cruciate ligament injury.

The Ukrainian was solid, although he may soon be behind Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in the pecking order, with the Spaniard set to join on loan according to various reports.

Ancelotti, who will take over the Brazilian national team at the end of this campaign, handed defender Fran Garcia his second Madrid debut after his return from Rayo Vallecano.

However it was Bellingham’s name that stood out and the 20-year-old demonstrated why Madrid paid over 100 million euros ($110 million) for him.

Madrid took the lead before the half-hour mark when Dani Carvajal hooked the ball back to Rodrygo, who slotted past Unai Simon at his near post.

The goalkeeper managed to force David Alaba’s header onto the post and thwarted Vinicius after he burst into the box, but Bellingham soon added Madrid’s second.

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