Jude Bellingham back with a bang as Real Madrid brush aside Cadiz
The England international scored for the 11th time in 12 league games this season.
Jude Bellingham scored on his return to action as Real Madrid beat lowly Cadiz 3-0 to move to the top of LaLiga.
Bellingham had missed the last two games for Los Blancos after suffering a shoulder injury in the 0-0 draw with Rayo Vallecano which also saw him ruled out on England’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.
But the 20-year-old looked back to his best as he scored for the 11th time in 12 league appearances this season after being set up by Rodrygo, whose earlier brace had set the away side on their way to an impressive win.
Real went close to taking the lead in the third minute when Dani Carvajal’s attempted cross took a big deflection and almost caught out goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma, who was moving to his right in anticipation.
And the visitors did not have to wait long to break the deadlock in brilliant fashion, Rodrygo curling a right-footed shot into the top corner from just inside the area in the 14th minute.
Bellingham then failed to make enough contact on a dangerous cross from Luka Modric and the England midfielder also headed over after Chris Ramos sliced an attempted clearance back towards his own goal.
Cadiz were also creating chances and Roger Marti almost equalised with a left-footed shot which looked destined for the top corner until Andriy Lunin threw himself to his left and tipped the ball wide.
More goals always looked on the cards in an entertaining contest and, after Modric had struck the base of a post after 64 minutes, Real eventually doubled their lead on the counter-attack, Bellingham feeding Rodrygo to curl another superb finish beyond the despairing dive of Ledesma.
Rodrygo soon repaid the favour, finding Bellingham in acres of space on the left side of the area and he drilled a left-footed shot unerringly into the far corner.
With the points secure and games looming against Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday and Granada in the league three days later, it was no surprise to see Carlo Ancelotti substitute his star duo four minutes after Bellingham’s goal.
To their credit, Cadiz continued to press forward in pursuit of a goal that their performance deserved and Brian Ocampo’s injury-time effort was well saved by Lunin, but the defeat leaves them 16th in the table, two points above the relegation zone.
Real moved a point above Girona at the top of the table ahead of the latter’s game at home to Athletic Bilbao on Monday.