Player ratings as Carvajal scores 99th-minute winner in dramatic La Liga clash

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By newsversepro.com

A 99th-minute goal from Dani Carvajal earned Real Madrid a dramatic 3-2 win over Almeria on Sunday afternoon.

Madrid were expected to waltz past Almeria at the Santiago Bernabeu – the visitors had not won a single league game all season – however, they were surprisingly 2-0 down heading into half-time thanks to goals from Largie Ramazani and Edgar Gonzalez.

A Jude Bellingham penalty reduced arrears early in the second half before Vinicius Junior grabbed an equaliser in controversial circumstances in the 67th minute.

Los Blancos then left it to the ninth minute of added time to get their winner, with Carvajal tapping in at the back post to give his side a vital win.

How the game unfolded

Amazingly, within 40 seconds of kick off, bottom of the table Almeria took a shock lead. The visitors capitalised on some sloppy play from Madrid’s backline to win possession and go on a quick attack, with Lucas Robertone playing Ramazani clean through on goal. The 22-year-old made no mistake with his finish, sweeping past Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the net.

Los Blancos didn’t pose a threat at the other end of the park after going behind, failing to muster a single shot on target despite having Bellingham, Vinicius and Rodrygo Goes leading the line.

Madrid’s inability to carve open a stubborn Almeria would come back to haunt them in the 42nd minute when Edgar Gonzalez made it 2-0 with a stunning goal. The centre-back surprisingly found himself on the edge of the box latching onto a bouncing ball and was then more surprisingly able to fire it into the top corner of the net with a first-time effort.

Real Madrid finally started to show some signs of life after the break following a likely stern half-time team talk from Carlo Ancelotti and three substitutions.

One substitute, Joselu, would come up trumps for Madrid ten minutes after the restart winning a penalty kick and giving Jude Bellingham the chance to make it 2-1 – a chance he duly took, slotting into the middle of the net.

It seemed like that goal would spur on a comeback from the home side, however the next goal of the game would actually be scored by Almeria. A quick counterattack culminated in Ramazani squaring to Sergio Arribas, who tapped past Kepa and into the net.

A VAR check would curtail the jubilant celebrations from the visiting fans though, as Lopy was adjudged to have fouled Bellingham in the build-up to the goal.

Another VAR check a few minutes later would create even more controversy. At the other end of the park, Vinicius seemingly stabbed the ball into the net with his elbow after being found with a looping cross from Aurelien Tchouameni. Despite evidence suggesting that it was indeed a handball, after watching replays on the pitchside monitor, referee Francisco Maeso opted to award the goal.

Real Madrid came close to winning the game in the final ten minutes, first with Vinicius forcing Luis Maximiano into a stunning point-blank save, then with Bellingham’s audacious overhead kick spinning just wide of the post.

In the 99th minute of the game, they finally got their winner.

Bellingham’s clever header back across goal found Carvajal at the back post, who made no mistake from one yard out to make it 3-2 and earn a huge win for Madrid.

Jude Bellingham

Acrobatic effort / Diego Souto/GettyImages

GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5/10 – Couldn’t do much about either goal.

RB: Dani Carvajal – 7/10 – Scored the winning goal in the 99th minute of the game. You can’t ask for much more than that.

CB: Antonio Rudiger – 5/10 – Struggled defensively, and was a bit all over the place positionally in the first half.

CB: Nacho Fernandez – 2/10 – A rather horrid first-half performance from Nacho. The captain was at fault for both goals his side conceded.

LB: Ferland Mendy – 4/10 – Not at the races at all on Sunday. Rightfully subbed off at half-time.

CM: Federico Valverde – 5/10 – A so-so performance from Valverde, who put in some hard yards in the middle of the park.

CM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 6/10 – Set up the equaliser with a fantastic looping cross from the right flank.

CM: Toni Kroos – 6/10 – A typical Kroos performance, clocking up 93% pass accuracy without breaking a sweat.

AM: Jude Bellingham – 8/10 – Cut a frustrated figure in the first half but came alive in the second. The England star bagged his first goal in over a month from the spot.

ST: Rodrygo Goes – 3/10 – He wasn’t effective at all.

ST: Vinicius Junior – 7/10 – Scored a goal that really shouldn’t have counted..yet somehow did.

Substitutes

SUB: Joselu (45′ for Rodrygo) – 7/10 – Changed the game when he came on. Provided some real muscle up top for Madrid.

SUB: Brahim Diaz (45′ for Nacho) – 7/10 – Caused problems with his clever movement in and around the penalty area.

SUB: Fran Garcia (45′ for Mendy) – 6/10 – Provided much more than Mendy did on the left flank.

SUB: Dani Ceballos (70′ for Valverde) – 5/10

SUB: Eduardo Camavinga (82′ for Kroos) – 5/10

Manager – Carlo Ancelotti – 7/10 – His half-time substitutions ultimately made the difference for Madrid on Sunday. His team weren’t at their best, but they once again found a way to win.

Player of the match: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)

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