Joselu (33, Real) came to the rescue for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid came from behind to beat Union Berlin 3-2 in the sixth leg of their UEFA Champions League Group C match of the 2023-2024 season at the Olympiastadion Berlin in Berlin, Germany, at 5:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
Having already won their previous five matches and secured their place in the round of 16 regardless of the outcome of their remaining matches, the win sealed a clean sweep of the group stage.
Real went down 1-0 to Kevin Plant in first-half stoppage time, but they didn’t go down easily. Real took a 2-1 lead in the second half thanks to multi-goal efforts from Joselu in the 16th and 27th minutes. Alex Kral scored again in the 40th minute to tie the game at 2-2, but Dani Ceballos scored the winner in the 44th minute.
After the match, UEFA Champions League announced on its official website that Joselu was named POTM of the match.
The UEFA Technical Observer commented: “It was a very difficult game for the striker, where it was not easy to get the ball. Berlin defended deep with a number of players around him, but Joselu was able to connect with good headers from crosses from the right and left in the second half,” said the UEFA Technical Observer.
Joselu broke down in tears during the 4-2 Champions League group stage fifth leg win over SSC Napoli on March 30. The moment that touched the hearts of Real fans came in second-half stoppage time. In the 12th minute of stoppage time, Dani Ceballos and substitute Joselu scored. On the counterattack, Jude Bellingham rushed down the left flank before crossing for Joselu, 온라인카지노 who made no mistake and rattled the net.
Joselu ran to the fans immediately after the goal and gestured apologetically.
There was a reason for Joselu’s behavior. After the departure of Karim Benzema, Real were without a proper frontline striker and signed Joselu on loan for the 2023-2024 season. Joselu was so emotional to be back in a Real shirt after coming all the way from Real Madrid Castilla that he was seen in tears with his wife at his signing ceremony.
With even Vinicius out injured at the start of the season, Joselu has performed well. Starting with an assist against Celta Vigo in August, he scored back-to-back goals against Getafe and Real Sociedad. He was silent against Atletico Madrid, but found the back of the net in each of the next three league games.
But that was the last of it. Joselu hasn’t scored since. Joselu’s goal clock stopped on October 7.
Under pressure, he came on as a substitute against Napoli and took eight shots, but only one was on target. Mentally frustrated, Joselu may have wished the game wasn’t over.
The game went into extra time, and the chance finally came: Bellingham, Real’s best ace this season, played an exquisite curling pass with the outside of his right foot on the counterattack. With no defender in sight, Joselu took his ninth shot and finally tasted the goal. Joselu couldn’t hold back the tears and Bellingham celebrated as if he had scored the goal.
About two weeks after the tears, Joselu was the hero in the Champions League again. This time, it was a decisive goal that lifted Real to victory.
“Joselu scored eight goals for us,” said Real coach Carlo Ancelotti in the post-match interview. When we play against teams that defend, his ability helps us a lot,” he said.
Translated with DeepL.com (free version)