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Ceballos’ Late Score Help Real Madrid Beat Union Berlin

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Ceballos' Late Score Help Real Madrid Beat Union Berlin

Real Madrid defeats Union Berlin 3-2 and maintains their perfect record in the Champions League thanks to a late goal from Ceballos.

Real Madrid overcame a late goal from Dani Ceballos to defeat Union Berlin 3-2 and finish the Champions League group stage flawlessly on Tuesday.

Four minutes after Union replacement Alex Král equalised, Ceballos scored the game’s winning goal in the 89th to preserve Union’s chances of qualifying for the Europa League. As the third-place team in the group, the German team needed to defeat Braga and receive a favour from Napoli in order to secure a position in the Europa League.

Rather, Madrid improved to six victories out of six in Group C. After achieving the same feat in 2011 and 2014, Madrid has now done so three times.

“You can’t give anything away every time you pull on this jersey,” stated Joselu, the other two goals scored by Madrid. “I believe wearing this shirt carries a weight that symbolises never giving up and the importance of every game.”

Although the 14-time champion was already guaranteed to win the group, coach Carlo Ancelotti stated that his club wanted to respect the opposition and had selected Jude Bellingham, Rodrygo, and Luka Modrić in a formidable starting lineup.

They controlled the first half, but in the 45th minute, Union goalkeeper Frederik Rønnow stopped Modrić’s penalty and then delivered a massive kickout that David Alaba was unable to control and Kevin Behrens headed on. Before the half, Kevin Volland repelled a challenge from Lucas Vázquez to give Union an improbable advantage.

Early in the second half, just when it looked like the Brazilian had to score, Rønnow made a fantastic reaction save to save Rodrygo’s header. Union’s supporters began to sing as hope for a historic victory grew—Union had never won a Champions League game in their competitive debut.

Subsequently, in the 61st and 72nd minutes, respectively, Fran García set up Joselu’s second goal from the opposite side after Rodrygo crossed from the right.

Joselu believed he had secured the win, but Madrid needed Ceballos to confirm it after Král gave the home supporters hope again.

Many had brought their kids to the match despite the late kickoff and early start for school the following day, understanding that it was an uncommon chance to witness possibly Europe’s most illustrious club in person.

Even though the team was eliminated from European contention for this season, they waited long after the final whistle to honour their effort. Few predicted that Union, which only made its Bundesliga debut in 2019, would be participating in the Champions League four years later.

Union coach Nenad Bjelica stated, “Real Madrid is too good not to use it for a counterattack when you need to score a third goal after making it 2-2.” “We can still feel a great sense of pride even though we ultimately lost because Real Madrid was too strong for us.”

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