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JUST IN: ‘It’s a mix of that’ – Jude Bellingham reveals the secret to beating Man City after Real Madrid enjoy shootout Champions League win

JUST IN: 'It's a mix of that' - Jude Bellingham reveals the secret to beating Man City after Real Madrid enjoy shootout Champions League win

JUST IN: ‘It’s a mix of that’ – Jude Bellingham reveals the secret to beating Man City after Real Madrid enjoy shootout Champions League win

Jude Bellingham revealed Real Madrid’s secret sauce to beat Manchester City after Los Blancos enjoyed a shootout Champions League victory.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?

Real Madrid secured their passage to the semi-finals through a thrilling penalty shootout, following a hard-fought 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium. Despite Manchester City dominating possession and control in the second leg, Real Madrid showed their resilience to stick to their defensive shape and ultimately claim victory in the shootout after Rodrygo’s early strike for the visitors.

SO, WHAT BELLINGHAM SAID?

While speaking on Real Madrid’s keys to success, Bellingham told TNT Sports: “It’s relief. You put so much into the game, I’ve played against City before when you’re close and you think you’re going to get something and then they snatch it away. I’m dead on my feet at the end of the game so it’s a massive reward. It’s so difficult to keep focus, they move you around and put you in positions you don’t want to be in. Most teams would fall apart when City get on top but we stood up really well and worked hard.

“You’ve got to see [the Real shirt] as a responsibility, not a pressure. You have to be willing to be under the scrutiny and spotlight. If you’re here it means you can handle it so trust the process. It’s incredible [to knock out the holders]. Today it’s come down to mentality, to running, to track [players]…you get that right and then the moments like the lads keeping their heads in penalties, it’s a mix of that.”

WHAT’S THE BIGGER PICTURE

Bellingham’s debut season in Spain could culminate in a remarkable achievement, with the club also vying for the domestic title. Reflecting on his decision to join Real Madrid, Bellingham lauded manager Carlo Ancelotti for his role in integrating the team into a cohesive unit and at the same time allowing the players their much-needed freedom.

“I could never dream of it, not just the goals but the feeling of playing for the club every day – the badge on your chest every day is amazing and hopefully there are more nights like this,” he said.“We had some different roles tonight in the team but there are adjustments and sacrifices to your own game you have to make.

Our biggest strength is [Ancelotti] finds a way to let the boys play with freedom. Other teams are structured with their patterns of play but we’re so off the cuff at times. I caught him yawning before the game and he said ‘you need to go and excite me’! That’s the calmness he brings.”

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW?

According to Opta, Real Madrid have eliminated the Champions League holders six times in the knockout phases – which is twice as many time as any other side in the history of the competition. Moreover, they have gone on to win the title every single time they have done so.

SO WHAT NEXT?

Looking ahead to the upcoming semifinal clash against Bayern Munich, Bellingham expressed confidence in Real Madrid’s ability to maintain their winning formula.“We’ve got nothing to be worried about with Bayern but we respect them and we’ll approach it the same as today,” he said.

However, before they play Bayern, Madrid have a Clasico clash with Barcelona to deal with at the weekend in La Liga.

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