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Bellingham's super assist for Vinicius scrapes Real past Leipzig into quarters

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JUDE BELLINGHAM shrugged off his La Liga ban to help Real Madrid squeak into the Champions League quarter-finals.

The England superstar conjured up a super assist for Vinicius Junior after the hour.

Jude Bellingham helps Real scorer Vinicius Junior celebrate

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Jude Bellingham helps Real scorer Vinicius Junior celebrateCredit: Getty
Vinicius hit a 65th-minute opener but Leipzig hit back to make Real sweat

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Vinicius hit a 65th-minute opener but Leipzig hit back to make Real sweatCredit: Reuters

And though Leipzig hit back straight away through captain Willi Orban, it proved enough to go through on aggregate after Real won the first leg 1-0 in Germany.

Bellingham is now set to sit out Madrid’s next two league games against Celta Vigo and Osasuna due to a two-match suspension for his X-rated reaction in Valencia on Saturday.

According to the official referee’s match report, the 20-year-old aggressively shouted “it’s a f***ing goal” repeatedly after his last-gasp winner had been chalked off in the 2-2 draw.

Bellingham was also fined £513 but Real boss Carlo Ancelotti confirmed before the Leipzig game that the club will appeal his “unfair” punishment.

Fair to say Wednesday was not a great day for Ancelotti who became embroiled in a tax fraud scandal which could theoretically land him in jail.

At least his side managed to get over the line in this last-16 second leg, though they stunk the place out in a toothless first half.

Bellingham cut an isolated figure as Ancelotti opted unnecessarily for an extra midfielder and just Vinicius Jnr as an out-and-out attacker.

Leipzig really should have capitalised but could not convert any of their numerous chances with striker Lois Openda missing a hatful.

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Willi Orban headed Leipzig level, forcing their Spanish hosts to cling on

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Willi Orban headed Leipzig level, forcing their Spanish hosts to cling onCredit: Rex

Real’s unimpressed fans whistled in anger at half-time, during which Ancelotti realised his mistake and brought on Rodrygo for Edouard Camavinga.

Openda had sight of an open goal shortly after the break, albeit from a tight angle, after Real stopper Andriy Lunin got it all wrong when rushing out, but the Belgian could not convert.

Jude Bellingham stunned as dramatic ‘winner’ for Real Madrid ruled out as referee blows final whistle with ball in air

The hosts finally had a shot on target with 63 minutes played when sub Rodyrgo lashed towards the near post but was denied by former Hereford keeper Peter Gulacsi. 

And two minutes later, almost inevitably, they had their opener.

Toni Kroos won possession and gave it to Bellingham, who raced up the pitch and flicked a gorgeous pass through for Vinicius to fire home.

That, on the face of it, looked to be that. But Leizpig levelled instantly when Orban headed home David Raum’s cross three minutes later.

The visitors had more chances too through Openda and Orban but could not take them. Dani Olmo hit the bar in injury-time.

Real were nervy but got through – though Bellingham and Co will know they were mighty lucky not to crash out.

Real midfielder Kroos said: “The result is one thing, how you play is another.

At half-time, we felt fine about the result, but not about the way we were playing.

“The second half was a bit better, but still not so good that you’d say we clearly deserve to be in the next round. We didn’t do it all that well – but in the end, we’re in the quarter-finals.”

Real’s ex-Chelsea defender Toni Rudiger was equally honest: “We suffered a lot. They played well and we played bad. Simple. 

“We were sloppy, we were slow, zero intensity. We didn’t get in the challenges and in the Champions League you can get punished for this.

“This match we don’t celebrate because it was not a good performance but at the end of the day we’re through.

And boss Ancelotti admitted: “It was a badly-played match, with little intensity and little attention.

“The mental aspect made the difference, it influenced us a lot”.

Asked about tax evasion accusations, he added: “We’re talking about something that happened in 2015 because they think I was resident here.

“I’ve already paid the fine. I’m convinced I’m innocent. We’ll see what the judge decides.”

Meanwhile, Leipzig were left to rue what might have been as Orban said: “We had so many great chances that you need to make the most of.”

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