Real Madrid vs Union Berlin summary: score, goals, highlights | UEFA Champions League 23/24
Real Madrid vs Union Berlin: as it happened
Joselu had 11 shots today
His movement and strength were both fantastic, but it was just one of those days where his shooting hat wasn't on right...
Carlo Ancelotti post game:
Berlin defended really deep, it was the game we expected.
We didn't lose hope until the very end.
The spirit of the team is very good. Whoever wears the Madrid shirt has to have that spirit.
Bellingham's post-game comments:
The Englishman says his side were "patient" and that the Union Berlin winner wasn't "his nicest goal" but that he "wants to be in the box" in order to be in the mix in the crucial moments.
"Normally I'm quite shy", says Jude, who also admits he "always has a smile"
Keep up to date with the rest of the UCL:
We've had plenty of games over today and yesterday, and your perfect place to follow the action is here.
You'll find goals, scores and standings, as well as all the upcoming fixtures and past results.
In all honesty, Real Madrid deserved to win that game by a mile. They completely dominated Union Berlin in possession, shots and threat. But as the game wore on, the thought of 'could they do it?' naturally crept into the mind and one wondered if a break would see Union Berlin come away with something more.
But it was not to be, after 100 crosses and 400 missed headers, Bellingham was on hand to tap in a deflected shot from Valverde to give Madrid all three points in the opening game of the Champions League campaign.
If, however, Union Berlin play that well and defend that precisely and solidly for the 5 remaining matches, they will certainly up their chances of carrying on their European dream.
Here's how the Sofascore boffins saw the game...
Bellignham, as you might expect, was once again the standout player on the pitch.
The important thing is to get the three points.
This is a magical stadium.
We should have been winning earlier.
It was a complete game, we wee ready to deal with their counter attacks.
This is the UCL, every game is tough. At home, it's important to win and we are confident.
I hope Bellingham keeps on scoring!
That is a cruel, cruel defeat for Union Berlin who held on amazingly well for what felt like 9,400 minutes. They reacted well to everything that Real Madrid threw at them and definitely deserved a point. But it's Real Madrid.
Where do I begin?
Well, forget about the entire 94 minutes before the goal, forget about everything you know, just think about Bellingham, he controls us all.
Real Madrid take all three points in dramatic fashion!
Fede Valverde shoots from the edge of the box and the ball pinballs off all 22 players inside the box before landing at the feet of the Fairy Godmother to tap in from a yard out!!!
IT'S THAT MAN AGAIN
BELLINGHAM SCORES FOR REAL MADRID
Madrid have a corner after another cross is headed away.
Valverde shapes to shoot... and it's blocked!
Madrid have Union Berlin pinned in their box as they - you guessed it - continue to smash crosses in from the right.
5 added minutes. It's certainly Real Madrid o'clock now.
We're into the final minute of normal time...
I wasn't counting, but if that were the case, I'd have lost count by now of how many crosses from the right Madrid have hit into the box.
Fede breaks and plays right to Brahim who crosses low into the box.
The ball lands behind Rodrygo but the flair trait that is buried deep within the Brazilian comes to life and he flicks the ball in front of him with his heel - Ronnow is fortunately well placed for Union Berlin to catch the delightful touch.
CHANCE FOR RODRYGO
A foul is given against Madrid on the Union Berlin goalkeeper that sends the crowd into angry mode: Lucas had whipped another cross in from the right and Bellingham made contact with the stopper.
He then said some very unspeakable words to the referee, which I will not repeat.
Update in the other early kick-off, in Group A, and Copenhagen are now two up, despite going a man down.
Mohammed Elyounoussi opened the scoring in minute 34, and that was followed up on 57 thanks to Diogo Gonçalves. Elias Jelert saw red with around 20 to go.
The cross from Bellingham came from the right corner of the box and Joselu, facing away from goal, flicked the ball around the corner and it flashed just wide, taking paint off the post as it went by!
JOSELU MISSES A HUGE CHANCE AGAIN!!!!!
We're into the final 10 minutes...
Jaeckel and Fofana ON
Bonucci and Becker OFF
Joselu gets a head on a corner but Lucas is in the way and the shot is blocked!
It was a nice move from Madrid that was worked from front to back: Valverde's low cross was met by Joselu but the ball was blocked inside the box.
But the referee isn't going to give it as it was the arm that the player used to support his body off the floor. No penalty.
Joselu wants a handball in the box!
Alabadives into a challenge as Union Berlin break and his tackle is perfectly timed to take the ball away from Voller, who was racing to get in behind Madrid's defence.
RÜDIGER HEADS THE CORNER OVER THE BAR FROM CLOSE RANGE
Aaronson gets the ball on the edge of the box and is shoved over by Kroos. The USMNT player goes flying but the referee says no free-kick.
Madrid counter with Kroos and the ball is whipped into the box from the right, where Union's defence clear.
Alaba moves into the centre-back spot next to Rüdiger.
Fran García ON
Madrid have a corner after Lucas sees his shot blocked...
A strange moment as Rodrygo, a yard from goal, finds the ball drop at his feet after the cross from the right is deflected towards him at the last second.
But it comes as such a surprise for the Brazilian that the goalkeeper manages to scramble it away from the danger zone while Rodrygo finds his balance.
Modric fired a long-range nuclear missile towards goal that was tipped over with the goalkeeper's fingernails!
THE SHOT WAS SAVED! WOW!!!!
MODRIC JUST OVER THE BAR
Aaronson almost gets a chance to score after Becker breaks and floats a cross over the American's head just yards from goal!
Let's see how Madrid's possession game changes with Kroos on the pitch. If there's one player who can change the pace of a game...
Back underway after the changes...
Aaronson and Volland ON
Behrens and Laidouni OFF
Kroos and Valverde ON
Tchouaméni and Camavinga OFF
A cross from the right comes flying in and Joselu turns down the gravity inside the spaceship stadium, jumps 6 metres into the air and heads a ferocious effort downwards that clatters off the far post!
JOSELU OFF THE POST!!!!!
Modric has just played a pass with the outside of his boot towards Alaba down the left that was so extraordinary not even the Austrian believed he would be able to receive the ball. Union Berlin win possession back.
Becker breaks away and has Rüdiger chasing him. The striker falls to the floor in the right corner of the pitch and Madrid's centre-back bursts out into fits of laughter at the attempt to win a free-kick.
Union Berlin seem to have neutralised the immediate threat from Real Madrid who are reverting to their earlier possession game.
This is a great spell of play from Real Madrid, who have Union Berlin on the ropes...
Camavinga gets in behind on the left and cuts the ball back to Joselu, who sees his first-time shot saved well!
JOSELU MISSES A HUGE CHANCE
The intensity levels and speed of passing have both been turned up to 15 by the team in white as they start to put Union under some serious pressure.
Rodygo got in behind and smacked a shot from a tight angle on the right that hit Ronnow's hand.
The ball landed at Lucas, whose cross was met by Rodrygo on the volley... and his acrobatic effort crashed against the upright!
CAMAVINGA FIRES WIDE!!!!
RODRYGO OFF THE POST!!!
BIG SAVE FROM RONNOW
Bellingham and Rodrygo countered and the ball from the Brazilian into the box from the right wing nearly met the foot of the Englishman, missing his outstretched toes by inches.
CHANCE FOR MADRID
Uff, Gosens' shot hits the side netting after some serious play from Union Berlin from left to right and back again. That move caught Madrid completely off guard.
Fede Valverde and Kroos have just joined in with the warmup as Real Madrid continue as they finished the first half: with the ball at the back.
Brahim and Fran Garcia are warming up for Real Madrid as BrendenAaronson does the same for Union Berlin.
Madrid, as you may have expected, are controlling the ball despite the early pressure.
And we're off!
No changes for either side.
Here come the teams for the second half!
Almost ready to go!
Might we see Aaronson soon?
The USMNT international was seen warming up when Kral got injured just before the break, but the Czech player was able to continue. Perhaps manager Urs Fischer is waiting for the half-time window to make the change.
What's certain is Aaronson's energy would cause problems for this Madrid side that seem a little too comfortable.
Modric has been a man on a mission
The Croatian has been at the heart of everything Madrid have done well in the first half, but something needs to change in the second if they are to take all three points.
An early flock of chances from two energised teams almost saw us go into the ten-minute mark with a scoreline of 3-3.
However, the shooting caps of Behrens and Joselu weren't correctly fitted and the flurry of headers flew wide keeping the scoreboard at zeroes.
Slowly but surely, Madrid settled into comfortable possession and took Union Berlin's sting out the game as the Germans held their shape well, covering every base and tracking every run.
And that's how the first half has played out, to be honest, with few clear chances after the first 15 minutes: Bellimgham's blocked shot and a couple of Saturn V rockets from Tchouaméni have summed up what has been a stodgy first half from the 14-time champions.
If you're a Berlin fan - and there are plenty of those inside the fantastically noisy ground - then surely the performance has been superb.
No goals at the break!
Joselu tries an overhead kick that is cleared away...
2 added minutes.
Some fantastic defensive work from Becker to stop Alaba from breaking after Madrid smoothly moved the ball from right to left. Madrid are still huffing and puffing on the ball as the Union Berlin defenders chase them endlessly...
Kral, I think, is going tocontinue for now...
Brenden Aaronson is warming up on the touchline... might we see him now?
Kral is down holding his foot.
5 minutes to go!
Something of a chance as Bellingham's shot is blocked and Tchouaméni fires over the rebound. Great work from Modric on the right to feed in behind the defensive line of Union Berlin.
Again, however, Union Berlin look fairly happy to carry on as they are.
You may be interested to know that there's been a goal in the other early game, in Group A. Mohammed Elyounoussi has given Copenhagen the lead against Galatasaray in Turkey.Live coverage with AS USA's Champions League service.
Becker is almost found round the back of Nacho but Kepa does well to come rushing off his line and collect the ball.
Tchouaméni is booked after a late challenge in the middle of the pitch.
The calm possession continues for the home side and the saying in Spanish is that Madrid "have to chew the game", they have to work and work to get all the flavour out of Carlo Ancelotti's eternal bubble gum...
Los Blancos aren't ever going to break through the Germans at this rate: the passing needs to be quicker and the movement is too stale from the players - Union Berlin are having no trouble following them around the pitch.
May I scare you all in saying that Union Berlin have been quite comfortable so far after the 5th minute?
Madrid win a corner after Rodrygo and Alaba link up down the left in a much needed change of pace from the home side.
Actually, waaaay over the bar. Too much over the bar for that reaction from myself. The ball was cut back to the Frenchman on the edge of the box but the shot ended up with Sergio Ramos' Bayern Munich penalty from 2012.
OVER THE BAR FROM TCHOUAMÉNI
Some pressure from Union Berlin ends when Laidouni gets a toe on the ball after he tries an outrageous overhead kick, but the contact wasn't there and Madrid scramble the ball away.
Gasps from the crowd as Joselu heads over Modric's corner; plenty thought he should have scored that!
Modric has been everywhere in the opening stages, dictating the speed of Madrid's attacks and deciding when to burst forward.
Alaba does go for glory but his shot is walloped over the crossbar.
Madrid have a central free-kick after a foul is given by Kral on Bellingham. It looks a little far out for a shot, but you never know...
Tchouaméni does fantastically well to get back and stop a potential counter for the away side: Bellingham's pass was slightly misplaced towards Camavinga as Los Blancos tried to get through the 5-4-1 of their opponents, allowing them to launch an attack.
Madrid aren't pressing too high up the pitch, either, inviting Union Berlin to find ways of breaking through their defensive structure. For now, the long ball out to Gosens on the left seems the most popular choice for the centre-backs.
The early intensity of the game has just dropped a little as Madrid take control of the ball and the flow of possession.
A flurry of pressing from Union Berlin gives them a reward in the shape of a corner after Modric blocks a cross from the left.
Real Madrid are enjoying a long spell of possession: the game appears to be settling into something more akin to what we expected. Union Berlin are sitting in the middle third and are happy for the opposition centre-backs to tap the ball between them.
A couple of chances go begging for Madrid with Bellingham, who istackled after a mazy run into the box; Rodrygo picks up the pieces and hits a low cross to the penalty spot that Union Berlin hack away.
Nothing came of it, but Luka Modric has just controlled an impossibly difficult ball while surrounded on all sides by three players and I made a noise I am not proud of.
I thought you'd enjoy some Lukita appreciation.
Behrens gets a head on a cross from Juranovic on the right and that's another good chance for the away side. Poor Lucas Vázquez is not going to win a single header against the real-life man giant.
Nacho clears another nervy moment for the home side as Union Berlin fire a low cross into the box...
Madrid race up the other end and win a corner that Joselu fails to get on the end of by a matter of inches.
This game has started at 100 miles per hour!
A thousand passes between Lucas and Camavinga on the right side end with a cross from the full-back towards the far post where Joselu is waiting, but his header flashes wide!
REAL MADRID GO SO CLOSE
A scary, scary moment for Real Madrid as Behrens' header flies up in the air and everyone leaves it for Kepa.
The only thing is, Kepa didn't realise that's what everyone had planned and instead the ball was allowed to bounce terrifyingly close to goal!
Bellingham bursts down the left and floats a wonderful ball towards Joselu at the back post but his header is well saved by the Berlin goalkeeper.
Becker gets down the right and the ball is whizzed in towards goal, where Rüdiger gets it away right before Behrens could get there!
WHAT A CHANCE FOR UNION BERLIN
It's Nacho at centre-back and Alaba on the left as Berlin get their first touches of the ball in Madrid's half.
A yellow card after 40 seconds - Tousart pulls Modric back after the Croatian broke through the German side's press.
AND WE'RE OFF!
Real Madrid get us going at the Bernabéu!
A minute of silence before we get going...
A lovely moment in memory of the victims of the tragedies in Morocco and Libya.
Here come the teams!
The noise is seriously special inside the ground today...
Real Madrid's anthem rings around the Bernabéu!
What a noise inside the Madrid stadium - both sets of fans are making me shake in my seat!
I can confirm that the UEFA officials in branded baseball caps are stood on the touchline waiting for the call from their master to start flapping the giant starball in the middle of the pitch. Pure journalism.
UCL live scores
Following the eight games yesterday, there's another two-thirds-of-a-dozen matches to keep us busy today...and you can track all the Champions League scores live with AS USA's handy results service.
As well as seeing the scores change in real time, you can also dive in to any of them and get line-ups, stats and more. Don't say we're not good to you!
FIFTEEN MINUTES TO GO!
The players have finished smacking the remaining Champions League balls at poor Kepa in the Madrid goal and now they're headed down the tunnel for the final team talks!
Player to watch: Rodrygo
In the absence of Vinicius, Rodrygo must stand up and make himself the undisputed leader of the front line - with Bellingham’s permission, of course.
Rodrygo has only scored on the first match day of the season, when he netted against Athletic Club at San Mamés, but the Brazilian has certainly waved his magic wand both home and away.
His football has been brilliant at times, yet he has so far lacked the goalscoring touch that we have grown accustomed to over the years at the Bernabéu - but I have a feeling that's about to change.
Rodrygo comes into the 23/24 season after having scored 19 goals and getting 11 assists in the previous campaign - some of his best ever numbers - will we see him add to that tally tonight?
The players are warming up on the pitch...
It's not long to go until the warmups conclude and the two teams head down the tunnel to prepare for kick-off!
Here's how the stadium looks!
We're expecting something between 4000 and 5000 Berlin fans in Madrid today, and they've certainly made their voices heard ahead of kick-off!
Here's a reminder of the starting XIs:
Lucas - Rüdiger - Alaba - Nacho
Modric - Camavinga - Tchouaméni
Rodrygo - Joselu
Leite - Bonucci - Doekhi
Gosens - Kral - Tousart - Laidouni - Juranovic
Becker - Behrens
Real Madrid's dressing room is ready to rock and roll!
The famous all-white kit of Real Madrid will once again be on who under the midweek spotlight of the UEFA Champions League - is there a more iconic duo in football?
We all know that Real Madrid's favourite competition is the UEFA Champions League, but what are the differences between Europe's elite trophy and the strangely named Europa League.
Wait... there are three? What on earth is the Conference League?
Well, if you're asking these questions about three seemingly similar competitions, then we've got the explainer for you.
UNION BERLIN XI:
DEF: Letie - Doekhi - Bonucci
MID: Gosens - Laidouni - Tousart - Kral - Juranovic
ATT: Becker - Behrens
Carlo Ancelotti has relied a lot on Vini Jr to deliver the goods, especially when it comes to club football’s greatest competition.
However, Real Madrid are not in any hurry to recover the Brazilian, and they will take care with every step of his recovery.
The Brazilian’s muscular problem, which will keep him out of action for another few weeks, sent nerves tingling in the shiny new Bernabéu due to doubts about how the team was to survive without its top scorer (last year he bagged 23 goals, only eight less than Karim Benzema, who is now in Saudi Arabia).
But they're doing just fine without him for now, anyway. Mainly thanks to a lad called Jude.
For more on Vini's injury, Cal has the latest update.
The away dressing room is ready!
I spy Brenden's number 7 shirt... will the USMNT midfielder start for Union Berlin today?
Eduardo Camavinga pre-game quotes:
We're young and the younger players are playing more than last year. That's a good thing for the club, but we also have two legends as team-mates who teach us a lot.
The young guys here have the same mentality and when we've got free time we do relaxed things. If we know each other well off the pitch we can get things done better on it.
It's a pleasure to play alongside them when I'm on the pitch. I have to give everything I can to prove to these two legends that I'm here too. It's a pleasure to share the pitch with them.
It's a very beautiful and iconic stadium. I'm delighted to play in a stadium like this. It's even nicer now and we have to wait until it's finished. We'll see all of its beauty.
I'm a laid-back person. The first time we won a trophy I thought we'd have a party in the dressing room but that didn't happen. I've picked up a different mentality here, but I'm relaxed.
Bellingham's fantastic start at Madrid continues...
The Brummie starts his first Champions League game for Real Madrid tonight against Union Berlin, another step in the right direction for a player who has taken the Spanish capital by storm.
Bellingham has already scored 5 goals in 5 games for Los Blancos this season, and it seems he has already won the hearts of the Bernabéu crowd.
As the excitement builds for the game and kick-off edges closer by the second, you might be, like me, getting shaky with nerves and Champions League fizziness.
If you want to watch the game that's on the way then you're in luck, because here's William with all the info on how to do so.
The Berlin fans have made the Puerta del Sol their own!
Finding Sol is not tricky, it's literally the geographical centre of Spain and Madrid's main town square but hey ho, at least they're having a good time.
That's definitely a few thousand who will be in the away area of the Bernabéu, and I'd almost dare to say there'll be a few undercover fans in other areas of the stadium.
REAL MADRID XI:
Joselu starts up front with Rodrygo as Bellingham leads the midfield next to Modric, Camavinga and Tchouaméni.
Behind them sit Lucas, Rüdiger, Alaba and Nacho. Kepa starts in goal.
Who to watch: Brenden Aaronson
Brenden Aaronson of Union Berlin is my one to watch tonight for the away side.
Aaronson quickly left English football this summer when Leeds United were relegated with him as part of the side but he got a sensational move to Union Berlin and will now potentially line up at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, showing that you never know what is around the corner.
The midfielder, a fixture in the USMNT, will no doubt brings bagsofenergy and drive to carry his team up the pitch and away from danger.
Unfortunately, his season has not got off to a flying start, as Aaronson saw a second yellow and an early bath in only his second game for the German side, but that doesn't stop him from being an incredibly pesky player when things go his way on the pitch. If he plays, Real Madrid will have to keep one eye on him.
Carlo did as Carlo does and confirmed the team news really early. In this instance, it's Lucas Vázquez and Modric who will start as Madrid debut in their favourite competition.
Here's how we think the rest of the XI will look, although with Carletto, one never has to wait long for the official news...
To advance from the group stage, the round of 16, the quarter-finals... We want to fight until the end. Making it to the quarter-finals is a goal we can achieve.
City are favourites because they have a squad that saw them to win it last season and they haven't changed much. However in the Champions League, like always, there are surprises at the end.
Real Madrid are a team that are going to fight until the end. We never think of ourselves as favourites, just as I think City don't. They won it last year, they can win the Champions League. They won last year, you could say they are the favourites.
The Bernabéu is ready!
Real Madrid's newly renovated stadium, thanks to the piping hot sun, has the roof completely open for the game today.
Who is the referee for the game?
EspenEskås is the man with the whistle today. The Norwegian has been a top division official since 2015 and so far this season, he has given out an average of around 4 yellow cards per match.
He has never refereed a game involving Real Madrid and in fact has only overseen one Champions League game in his career: RB Leipzig's 3-1 win over Celtic in Los Blancos' group last season.
Who else is in the group?
UnionBerlin and RealMadrid are sharing a lovely looking GroupC with Serie A champions Napoli as well as Portuguese side Braga.
There could be some tough away fixtures for Los Blancos in there, especially that tasty tie in southern Italy, but it looks fairly smooth sailing for Ancelotti and co to get to the knockout round of the competition.
Team news: Real Madrid
Carlo Ancelotti has welcomed back Dani Ceballos to the first team squad after he got injured way back in pre-season, which already feels like a year ago. Ferland Mendy is also on the list and he too got injured on that pesky tour of the USA.
However, they are still without plenty of big hitters: Vini Jr, Courtois and Militão are all under lock and key in the physio room.
Team news: Union Berlin
Let's start off with the away side: The Germans come into the game at the Bernabéu without Rani Khedira, Andras Schafer and Laurenz Dehl, who are all out due to injury.
Forward Kevin Volland, despite serving a suspension in the Bundesliga, is available for the manager in today's clash.
The Chaaaaaampiooooons is back for the second match day and what a treat we've got for you today.
Old veterans Real Madrid take on UCL new boys Union Berlin in what is set to be an intriguing clash at the swanky Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.
It's Joe here for the fun, laughter and tears and I'm sure there'll be plenty of everything else along the way.