Real Madrid kept themselves in control at the top of LaLiga with a 1-0 win at Mallorca.

In a game of limited clear chances, a deflected effort from Aurelien Tchouameni early in the second half proved the difference for Los Blancos, who built towards a defining period of the campaign next week in the Champions League and hosting Barcelona in El Clasico.

With an eye on next week’s European quarter-final second leg against Manchester City, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti opted for five changes, but England midfielder Jude Bellingham retained his place in the side.

The visitors made a bright start, with Luka Modric sending an early free-kick straight into the wall.

Mallorca, recently beaten in the Copa del Rey final by Athletic Bilbao, were proving difficult to break down.

In the 34th minute, Bellingham sent in a curling effort from the edge of the penalty area but it looped over the goalkeeper and cannoned off the crossbar.

Real finally made their pressure count three minutes after the restart.

Tchouameni picked the ball up around 25 yards out before drilling in a rising drive which took a deflection off a Mallorca defender and spun off up into the top right corner.

Brahim Diaz had a chance to quickly double the lead after running into the Mallorca penalty area but his effort was straight at goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.

As the hour mark passed, Mallorca substitute Abdon Prats saw his shot blocked before Real missed the chance to add a second.

Modric cut a pass back to Diaz just outside the six-yard box but the winger’s touch was too strong, which allowed Rajkovic to kick the loose ball clear.

Ancelotti then made a couple of changes, with Diaz and Bellingham given a rest as Vinicius Junior and Eduardo Camavinga were sent on.

Real pressed for another goal to kill off the match, with Camavinga playing in Federico Valverde, only for his effort to be hacked off the line by Mallorca defender Matija Nastasic.

Sergi Darder almost scored a fine equaliser when his 25-yard effort, flying towards the top left corner, was palmed away by Real keeper Andriy Lunin at full stretch.

With 10 minutes left, Joselu’s header from a free-kick was saved by Rajkovic.

Mallorca almost snatched a dramatic equaliser with what proved to be the last kick of the game deep into stoppage-time.

Lunin jumped with Vedat Muriqi as he tried to catch a high cross into the Real box but dropped the ball – which the Kosovo striker then stabbed wide of an open goal.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has backed Jude Bellingham to rediscover his golden touch in front of goal.

Bellingham made a stellar start to life in Madrid after his summer transfer from Borussia Dortmund and scored 16 times during the first half of the season.

Goals have been harder to come by since the turn of the year with Bellingham only able to find the net on four occasions in 2024 and not at all in two months, but Ancelotti is positive his drought will end soon.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to LaLiga struggles Mallorca, Ancelotti told a press conference: “The goals he was scoring have dropped off a bit.

“It was a surprise for everyone when he hit 20 goals in the first part of the season. Now he’s doing his job as a midfielder or a number 10, he’s not a centre forward.

“His performance levels have not dropped. He’s not lacking anything. He’ll get back to scoring goals again sooner or later.”

Ancelotti also leapt to the defence of other stars across world football following a week where it was noted that Kylian Mbappe of Paris St Germain and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland failed to make an impact in Champions League matches, which was also the case for Bellingham.

“Perhaps these big stars haven’t delivered their best displays in the first games but there are more matches to come and we have to be careful with Haaland, Mbappe and  Bellingham,” Ancelotti warned.

While Madrid have a quarter-final second leg to come next week in Manchester, Ancelotti insisted they were fully focused on the trip to Mallorca.

Madrid boast an eight-point advantage over nearest challenger Barcelona but will face a Mallorca side still reeling from last Saturday’s Copa del Rey final loss to Athletic Bilbao.

Ancelotti added: “I’m not sure how the Copa final defeat will affect Mallorca.

“I doubt it will have too much influence because they have a big challenge, which is to ensure their survival as soon as possible.

“For us, it’s a key game in trying to win the league as quickly as we can.

“It will be a tough game, as ever, they will fight hard. We’re up against a very committed team who have shown an incredible attitude as a unit.

“We’re expecting an intense game and we have to try and match the things the opposition do superbly well, which is their collective commitment.

“The whole squad is ready. Our priority is tomorrow’s game. We have a lot to play for this week.

“Our confidence is just the same as it was a few days ago, unchanged, but we have to remember that tomorrow is a crucial game in the battle to win LaLiga.”

James Maddison is eager to have an opportunity to show Gareth Southgate what he can do in an England shirt – but insists he is old enough now to not sulk when he does not start.

The Tottenham playmaker will be hopeful of a place in Southgate’s Euro 2024 squad when it is announced in May, having made an eye-catching cameo appearance in the 2-2 draw with Belgium on Tuesday.

After sitting out the loss to Brazil, Maddison came on to tee up Jude Bellingham for the last-gasp equaliser against the Red Devils.

It was Maddison’s sixth England cap, but he has never completed a full 90 minutes for the senior side.

Asked if he was happy to be able to make an impact, the former Leicester player said: “Yes, but we’ve got 26 players who are capable of that.

“There is big competition, a lot of quality in the squad. You have to make sure when you are called upon, you have to go and do the business.

“I don’t lack the confidence and belief in myself to do that, but you still have to go and do it, you have to produce. I just want that opportunity, I want that time on the pitch, because I know what I’m capable of.

“It’s not the be-all and end-all that I got an assist. I know the quality that I have and possess and that can help this team, most definitely. You’ve also got to show it and you have also got to have the opportunity to show it.

“I didn’t feature in the first game, which was disappointing because I wanted to play in a big game at Wembley.

“I came on (against Belgium) and made an impact. I’m showing him (Southgate) what I’m capable of and I just want to show more of that.”

Maddison explained how he had watched from the bench against Belgium, seeing the spaces in which he felt he could operate.

While he is plotting and planning, though, he also admits to being frustrated at not being on the pitch.

“Grumpy. Very, very, very grumpy is the first thing I’d say,” he replied when asked what he is like sat on the bench.

“But once you accept the fact you’re on the bench. I’m experienced now, I’m 27. On the odd occasion when I was younger, I’d be sulking, I’d be moody, probably not go about it the right way as a teenage James Maddison.

“Now I’m older, I just assess the game and see where I can have an impact. I noticed here there was a lot of space between the lines.

“Their midfield started really strong but it looked like they tired – it’s a big pitch, Wembley – and I knew I’d be able to have an impact. So I studied the little pockets, I got on and managed to make it work.”

There is fierce competition for a place in England’s Euro 2024 squad and the self-confident Maddison is now targeting a good end to the campaign with Spurs to aid his cause.

“I don’t feel any pressure. Once you’re away from here you can only play well for your club,” he said.

“I’ve been in the squad for 18 months now. I feel really at home. I have got a great relationship with all the staff and the players.”

Making it to Germany would give Maddison a chance to play in a major tournament after a niggling knee injury saw him miss England’s 2022 World Cup campaign despite being part of the squad in Qatar.

“That was a very difficult time, what people don’t see behind the curtain,” he said.

“I had an injury that I just couldn’t shake off. I got myself back training after the group stages but I wasn’t really right.

“I was so disappointed, because going to a major tournament with your country is the pinnacle and you want to impact. I’m hungry to get there now.”

Gareth Southgate says he is facing a “complicated” Euro 2024 selection choice given England’s potential fitness and availability issues heading into the summer.

This is the first time since the 2018 World Cup that the 57-cap former defender is having to pick a 23-man squad for a major tournament after it was expanded to 26 following the coronavirus pandemic.

But Southgate could name even more than that at the provisional squad announcement on May 21 as the England boss will have injury concerns to deal with and the late arrival of key players.

The final squad is not due to be submitted to UEFA until June 8, but some may not even have joined up with the team by that point due to cup finals, denting numbers for the warm-up friendlies against Bosnia and Iceland.

Asked how many extra headaches returning to a 23-man squad will throw up given the issues he is juggling, Southgate said: “Yeah, it’s going to be complicated, because firstly the injury situations that we have.

“Some will be back playing at the weekend, some will be back playing in a couple of weeks, some will be really close to the end of the season.

“Then we’re going to have the European finals, the FA Cup final and the two friendlies that we’ve got ourselves.

“It’s inevitable we’re going to be naming a longer squad, which is what we did before the Euros here even though we were dealing with 26 then.

“We really don’t know (how many will be in the provisional squad) because there are so many questions on the injuries at the moment.

“But we’ve gained valuable information about so many players this this week.”

Absentee-hit England suffered their first defeat in 15 months in Saturday’s late 1-0 loss Brazil at Wembley, where Jude Bellingham scored an even later goal to salvage a 2-2 draw against Belgium three days later.

Southgate had to experiment far more than he expected during the friendly double-header due an unprecedented injury list that left him without a third of the 40-odd players on his long list against Brazil.

Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker and Sam Johnstone all withdrew from the squad over the course of the camp, with Jordan Henderson unable to feature in either match.

“I had a plan on Saturday night for Tuesday that got blown apart in 12 hours, so to have a plan for something in two and a half months’ time at the moment is faintly ridiculous.” Southgate said.

“We know some of the core parts of that, we know who’s been able to play at that level, who our very best players are.

“And the rest, we’ve got a lot clearer picture of what people are capable of from the two games that we’ve played.

“We’re just going to see how people are when they come back into form, whether they can do that fitness-wise with their clubs.”

Anthony Gordon, Ezri Konsa and Kobbie Mainoo all made their debuts over recent days, with Ivan Toney registering his first goal – from the penalty spot – against Belgium on his first international start.

The quartet boosted their chances of making the plane to Germany, with 18-year-old Mainoo’s stock arguably growing the highest.

The Manchester United talent staked his claim for a midfield spot with out-of-sorts Kalvin Phillips omitted, Trent Alexander-Arnold injured and Henderson unavailable.

Mainoo won his first cap off the bench against Brazil and, just four months after making his first Premier League start, was named player of the match for his display on his full England debut on Tuesday.

“He gives us a different profile of midfield player to anything else we’ve got,” Southgate said.

“He’s adapted and adjusted brilliantly. You can’t believe his age, really, that he’s just taking it all in his stride as he has.”

Asked if he was confident Mainoo could shut out the noise after such an impressive full debut, he said: “I think, firstly, he seems very mature, very calm. He knows he’s making his way.

“We’re absolutely delighted with what he’s done, first and foremost, and then there’s a lot of the season still to be played with his club.”

Ivan Toney scored on his first England start in the friendly draw with Belgium and is now aiming to make up for lost time by securing a place at Euro 2024.

The Brentford striker won and scored a penalty either side of a Youri Tielemans brace for the visitors, who looked on course for a Wembley win before Jude Bellingham’s last-gasp effort secured a 2-2 draw.

It was Toney’s full England debut and just his second cap, coming exactly a year after his first.

For the majority of that year Toney was sidelined through suspension, having been banned for eight months after breaching Football Association betting rules.

He returned to action for Brentford in January and has scored four goals for the Bees since, while England boss Gareth Southgate kept a watching brief.

“It was always going to be hard to watch knowing I should have been there,” Toney said of England games he missed while banned.

“But that’s done and dusted now. I can’t change it. There’s no point dwelling on something I can’t change because it’ll just hurt me even more.

“But hopefully I can make the Euros squad and put things right. I try to be confident, but let’s see what happens.”

There was a long delay between Toney winning the spot-kick for a foul by Jan Vertonghen and then coolly converting from 12 yards.

For Toney, though, the outcome of the penalty was never in doubt.

“It felt very good,” he told BeIN Sports.

“This morning I spoke to my friends and I said I feel a penalty today and when I ran in behind, I felt the contact and there was no doubt that it was a penalty.

“So it is just patience, really – wait for the keeper to get on the line and do what I do best.

“I practise them all the time, every day and just pretend it is a training pitch and put in the back of the net and I’ve done that.”

While Toney impressed and got off the mark for England, there were other standout displays.

Manchester United teenager Kobbie Mainoo’s midfield performance was particularly eye-catching, while Jarrod Bowen enjoyed arguably his best night in an England shirt too.

The 27-year-old West Ham forward looked sharp on his seventh cap but saw his first England goal chalked off when VAR ruled him offside as he headed home in the first half.

Bowen is also hopeful of squeezing into Southgate’s ranks in Germany.

“There is no question I want it more than ever,” he told BBC Radio 5Live. “The main thing now is to go back to West Ham, hit the ground running there, keep doing what I’ve been doing all season and hope I get the opportunity.

“There is a lot of football to be played before that squad is named. I have been in a good place this season and the main thing was to continue to do what I’ve been doing.”

Gareth Southgate praised Jude Bellingham’s never-say-die attitude after saving England from defeat against Belgium at the end of an international break that provides plenty of food for thought ahead of the Euros.

Among the favourites for glory this summer, the side third in FIFA’s world rankings stepped up preparations with a pair of high-level friendlies against the nations directly behind them in those standings.

Brazil are fifth and struck late on Saturday to inflict a first defeat on England in 15 months, which fourth-placed Belgium looked set to compound at rainy Wembley three days later.

Youri Tielemans opened the scoring after a Jordan Pickford error, with a Lewis Dunk mistake resulting in the Aston Villa midfielder scoring again after Ivan Toney had converted a penalty on his first senior start.

Fellow full debutants Ezri Konsa and, in particular, 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo also impressed in a friendly that ended 2-2 after Bellingham struck at the end of second half stoppage time.

“I liked it because I know the rubbish we would have got if we lost two games on the bounce,” the Real Madrid midfielder told Channel 4.

“These are two games that are going to stand us in good stead going into the Euros. I know people will be negative but you have to take these games for what they are.

“You’ve got to keep perspective. We had a lot of lads making debuts (this week) and a lot of lads I’ve never played with. We created a lot of chances. I should have scored (previously). I was happy I could make it up to the team.”

England boss Southgate told the post-match press conference: “Jude, of course, is the headline.

“That competitive spirit, that desire not to lose, desire to win in the end, was decisive in getting the late goal.

“But I thought the whole team showed that throughout the game and recovered from setbacks with a pretty inexperienced team, really, against a team that have got some very, very good players. Very pleased with a lot of what I saw tonight.”

Bellingham pulled the Euro 2024 hopefuls through at the end of a challenging international meet-up marred by injuries.

John Stones joined England’s eye-watering absentee list when limping off with an adductor issue within 10 minutes on Tuesday, when Mainoo’s man-of-the-match performance was among a number of impressive displays.

“The great thing is definitely some players have emerged positively from the opportunities they’ve had,” Southgate said reflecting on the Brazil and Belgium friendlies.

“We’ve perhaps got more depth in one respect, but the injuries are a concern. We’ve got so many players missing at the moment, and we’ve still got the real heat of the season to come, with the intensity of the games, what’s resting on the games.

“We’re not going to know what we’re left with until right until the end but we’ll just have to make the best decisions that we possibly can.”

Southgate praised Toney, Jarrod Bowen and James Maddison for their attacking impact against Belgium, while Anthony Gordon has also earned plaudits during the week.

Southgate has plenty to mull over ahead of announcing his provisional squad on May 21, which has to be whittled down to a 23-man group by June 8.

“In terms of knowing the 23, there’s so many unknowns at the moment in terms of who might be available,” Southgate said.

“So, yes, these performances were very important for players to be able to see whether or not they could play against high level opposition.

“But equally the way they play between now and the end of the season with their club, in big matches is going to have a high tariff as well so we will track all of that.”

Jude Bellingham struck at the death to salvage England a deserved draw against Belgium on a night of impressive auditions in the final match before Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2024 selection.

Three days on from the late loss to Brazil, the absentee-hit Euro 2020 runners-up faced another high-level test as the side third in FIFA’s world rankings hosted the team in fourth.

England were heading for another Wembley defeat after Youri Tielemans punished first-half errors either side of Ivan Toney’s penalty, only for Bellingham to secure a 2-2 draw in stoppage time.

Toney did well on his first start, as did fellow full debutants Ezri Konsa and, in particular, 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo in the final friendly before Southgate names an expanded Euros squad on May 21.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has warned against the prospect of Manchester United trying to land superstar signings like Jude Bellingham or Kylian Mbappe.

The Ineos chairman is taking control of footballing operations at United following his recent minority purchase and wants to turn them back into the force they once were.

However, he believes spending big on marquee signings is not the way to prosper.

Appearing as a guest on Geraint Thomas’ Cycling Club podcast, the 71-year-old was asked whether he would try and sign England star Bellingham.

He replied: “He is a great footballer. It’s not where our focus is, the solution isn’t spending a lot of money on a couple of great players.

“They have done that, if you look at the last 10 years, they have spent a lot of money on a couple of great players.

“The first thing we need to do is get the right people in the right boxes who are managing and organising the club.

“And make sure we get recruitment right, it is such a vital part of football today.”

Later in the podcast he was given a choice of signing Mbappe for United or cyclist Tadej Pogacar for his Ineos team and he said: “I would rather sign the next Mbappe rather than spend a fortune buying success.

“It’s not that clever buying Mbappe. Anyone could figure that one out. More challenging is to find the next Mbappe or next Bellingham or next Roy Keane.”

Radcliffe is working with his long-term right-hand man Dave Brailsford at United, with Omar Berrada incoming as chief executive.

And he said it would be a “longer road” to make United great again.

“The two people who are most focused on it would be Dave and myself, in terms of how we resolve it all,” he added.

“We’ve now got Omar Berrada of course, our new CEO from Manchester City, who is still on gardening leave at the moment, he’ll be a big part of it.

“But it’s Dave and myself really.

“You have to believe with Manchester Utd, if we get all the details right, all the right people in the right boxes, doing the right things in the right environment, that sporting elite environment that the results will drop out the bottom.

“Those things are not right at Manchester United today as we’ve said very clearly.

“It’s not a light switch, it’s a much longer road to travel because there’s so many aspects to it.”

England manager Gareth Southgate is comfortable with fully focusing on making sure there is a Trafalgar Square party in July after European Championship success rather than worrying about his contract situation.

Southgate has made the conscious decision to put talks over his future on hold despite his current terms with the Football Association being set to expire in December.

Euro 2024 will be the fourth major tournament Southgate has taken charge of as England boss and he is determined to minimise any potential distractions.

“I have to deliver in the job I’m in, so there’s no point in me thinking any further ahead than that,” Southgate insisted.

“My focus is delivering the best possible European Championship for England. Since I came to St George’s, our target has been being in the final four of things, with the ultimate aim of winning.

“If you look at the trajectory of a team, we’re at that point where we’ve done a lot of the climb and the enjoyable bit and we’re at that last bit, really, of winning and getting over the line.

“We’ve shown the consistency in the world ranking for the last five years, so there’s consistency of performances. We have to translate that with the next step now.

“That’s the challenge I have to accept as well and I’m really comfortable with that.

“There’s no point in speculating about what might happen after the summer.

“I think we would have to sit and think about that at the end of the tournament. I’m happy to talk about it briefly now, but I’m not going to talk about for the whole summer, what’s next.

“We’ve consciously shelved any discussions internally about what might be next, because I think if we had sat and signed a new contract and done that before the tournament, everybody would have said: ‘Well, you did this with (Fabio) Capello and you should be proving yourself before you sign.’

“So, look, I’m completely relaxed about that and I have no idea where we’ll be in the middle of July, other than I hope it’s Trafalgar Square and let’s get the party on!”

On being the one to decide conversations around his contract being put on the back-burner, Southgate added: “Yes, because I think that has the potential to negatively affect the reaction to the team.

“The team need the clearest run they can possibly have at this tournament, so my job is to remove pressure from the team where possible.

“We’ve got to accept some pressure because we’re one of the favourites, but, equally, I don’t want to put anything additional onto the team.”

A key figure in England’s hopes of securing a maiden European Championship title is Jude Bellingham, who has enjoyed an excellent debut campaign at Real Madrid.

Bellingham has scored 20 times since a summer switch from Borussia Dortmund, but recently made headlines after he was sent off after he remonstrated with referee Jesus Gil Manzano at the end of a 2-2 draw at Valencia.

Southgate said: “I think with some of the great players that play with a mentality he has, I’m thinking (Steven) Gerrard, (Patrick) Vieira and (Roy) Keane, they compete. They don’t like losing, they love winning.

“They haul the team up by its boots at those moments and they are often on that line. That is often where he is, so the thing that gives him his greatest strength is something he has to make sure he is on the right side of.

“He has normally been able to stay controlled in those moments if he’s had a yellow card. This is the first time with the sending-off the other day that I can remember him stepping over that. He is a bright boy, he will learn from that.

“He is super intelligent and really receptive to learning and taking things in. He’s had an incredible season at historically the biggest club in the world. Everyone can argue with if that is still the case but we’re very happy to have him.

“We love that edge that he has but clearly he has to get that right.”

Real Madrid are continuing their fight against Jude Bellingham’s red card with boss Carlo Ancelotti calling his two-match ban “overzealous and inappropriate”.

The 20-year-old England midfielder was sent off against Valencia last weekend after he remonstrated with referee Jesus Gil Manzano, who blew for full-time seconds before Bellingham headed in what would have been a winner for Real.

Madrid saw an initial appeal against a two-match suspension rejected by the Spanish Football Federation’s (RFEF) competitions committee on Friday.

Bellingham has not been named in Madrid’s 20-man squad for Sunday’s LaLiga visit of Celta Vigo but the league leaders are not letting the issue lie and, according to reports, have launched an appeal with Spain’s sports administrative court TAD (Tribunal Administrativo del Deporte).

“We’ve appealed because we believe the sanction is overzealous and inappropriate,” Ancelotti said on the club’s official website on Saturday.

“He wasn’t insulting anyone, as is reflected in the report.

“They have looked at the way he approached the referee and I hope they haven’t singled him out because Bellingham protests in the same way as anyone else, in fact there are lots who do far worse.

“We think the sanction is not correct, and that’s why we have appealed.”

Ancelotti has also defended Vinicius Jr, who has attracted criticism for his recent performances.

“I’ve looked back at the statistics and I’ve never seen a player who has been so poorly treated,” the Italian said.

“He gets kicked, insulted, jeered… He scores goals and sets them up. I think everyone should rethink their attitudes towards Vini Jr.

“Never before has a player with that level of talent been so harshly treated. When something needs to be looked at, we don’t need to be making t-shirts.”

Despite being denied victory against Valencia, Madrid still hold a comfortable lead at the top of the table but Ancelotti admits his side, who have drawn three of their last four games in all competitions, have taken their “foot off the gas” in recent weeks.

“Following the Girona match, which was our best performance of the season, we’ve struggled and perhaps we’ve stepped our foot off the gas a bit,” he said.

“We have to think about where we haven’t been doing things so well, that’s how we’ll improve. We’re not concerned, we evaluate things in the most critical manner and we have to improve.

“We lacked intensity and a good attitude on Wednesday and tomorrow we have to make sure we get those things right.”

Celta make the trip to the Bernabeu lying 17th in the LaLiga standings but boosted by their 1-0 home win over Almeria last time out.

Real Madrid endured a nervy night against RB Leipzig before they booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals with a 2-1 win on aggregate after a 1-1 second-leg draw.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team held a one-goal lead from the first game in Germany on February 13, but came close to exiting in the last-16 stage only for Lois Openda to miss several chances while Dani Olmo hit the crossbar in stoppage time.

It meant Vinicius Junior’s 65th-minute opener, after a superb assist by Jude Bellingham, proved decisive with Leipzig’s equaliser via Willi Orban not enough to earn Marco Rose’s men a famous European victory.

Bellingham started days after his red card at Valencia following the controversial decision by referee Jesus Gil Manzano to blow for full-time before his headed effort could count as a last-gasp winner.

Leipzig had created plenty of chances in the first leg and should have put the ball in the net with 10 minutes played when Benjamin Sesko was sent through, but Andriy Lunin made a simple save and the offside flag was raised.

Vinicius diverted an effort over the crossbar with his chest soon after, which proved a rare venture into the Germans’ half in a one-sided first 45 minutes.

Openda curled wide moments later before his golden chance arrived in the 16th minute, but he dragged wide after an excellent ball by Olmo.

The Bernabeu crowd were already restless and a blocked Bellingham effort failed to turn the tide, with Paris St Germain loanee Xavi Simons next to test Lunin.

Simons was involved again three minutes before the break when his corner picked out Openda, who brushed the side-netting with his wayward shot from inside the area.

Whistles followed at half-time and Ancelotti reacted with Rodrygo introduced, but the visitors continued to create chances with Openda able to round Lunin before his decision to cut back inside allowed the Madrid goalkeeper to dive at his feet.

Madrid frustration boiled over when Vinicius was booked for shoving Orban to the ground, but he almost created the opener on the hour mark with a great run only for Bellingham’s scuffed effort to hit Rodrygo before a Toni Kroos shot was parried away.

Ancelotti’s team had finally started to move up the gears and the breakthrough occurred with 65 minutes played.

Bellingham was at the heart of the move, carrying the ball half the length of the pitch before he found Vinicius, who made an excellent run and rifled into the corner.

Any chance that Leipzig would fold was dispelled when Antonio Rudiger deflected a shot from Simons wide, which sparked big celebrations with Bellingham.

It was the visitors celebrating with 22 minutes left though when David Raum’s cross was headed in by Leipzig captain Orban to set up a grandstand finish.

Rose urged his team to press forward for a decisive second and Olmo sent a shot wide before Orban headed another chance over.

Leipzig pushed for a final opportunity, which did arrive in stoppage time but Olmo’s side-footed effort hit the top of the crossbar and bounced over to ensure Madrid progressed.

Real Mardid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has warned his players only their best will do against RB Leipzig as they look to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Los Blancos will defend a slender 1-0 lead from the first leg in Germany when Brahim Diaz scored a fine solo goal.

Ancelotti’s side have been held to three frustrating draws in their last five domestic matches, with Jude Bellingham shown a red card after the game at Valencia ended 2-2 when he thought he had headed in a dramatic stoppage-time winner as the referee blew up for full-time.

The 14-time European champions may be favourites to get the job done against Leipzig at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night, but Ancelotti insists there can be no sense of entitlement.

“It’s a big opportunity to progress in a competition that is very special for us, but we will have to be at our best,” Ancelotti told a press conference.

“The tie is not over, even if we do have a small advantage. We have to be at our best from the first minute to the last.

“The first leg was difficult against Leipzig, even though we created a lot of chances.

“We have to improve on that and be more dangerous because it’s going to be a different game tomorrow.

“They will look to play more in transition than us. Dealing with that defensively is going to be very important.”

Ancelotti reported no fresh concerns from the weekend, with captain Nacho Fernandez in contention to return to the side having missed some training with a minor issue which saw him start on the bench at Valencia.

England midfielder Bellingham, making his own return from an ankle injury, was sent off after the players surrounded the referee in the wake of his disallowed goal, with Madrid having earlier fought back from 2-0 down.

Ancelotti, though, feels there is no need to add further fuel to the situation, with his side now seven points clear at the top of LaLiga.

“I have not spoken to Bellingham about this matter,” the Italian coach said.

“He is someone who tries to give everything on the pitch and he is doing very well.

“The red card the other day was a mistake. He was a bit frustrated, but he didn’t insult anyone.”

Leipzig head to Madrid on the back of a 4-1 win at Bochum which left them fifth in the Bundesliga.

Defender Mohamed Simakan is suspended for the second leg, while Lukas Klostermann is doubtful because of a hip problem.

Leipzig coach Marco Rose said: “We are going to travel to Madrid and try everything.

“We want to be the most difficult opponent possible for Madrid so that they really have to stretch.”

Jude Bellingham was sent off after the final whistle after being denied a late winner in Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw at Valencia.

The England midfielder, making his return from injury, thought he had headed home a cross deep into stoppage time at the Mestalla but the referee had already blown for full time.

Real players surrounded the official in a chaotic aftermath and Bellingham was shown the red card before the players left the field.

It made for a dramatic ending to a compelling LaLiga clash in which the leaders had fought back from 2-0 down with two Vinicius Junior goals.

Valencia had stunned Carlo Ancelotti’s side by pouncing on two mistakes to score twice in quick succession through Hugo Duro and Roman Yaremchuk.

The result meant Real missed the chance to move nine points clear at the top and second-placed Girona will have the chance to cut the gap when they play Mallorca on Sunday.

It was an emotional night for Valencia, who were returning to action for the first time since a deadly fire in their city, with tributes paid to victims and other people affected before kick-off.

The game got off to a slow start as the visitors struggled to create any meaningful opportunities despite dominating possession.

It was not until the 23rd minute that Real caused any alarm in the Valencia box as Vinicius, returning to a ground where he was racially abused last season, went down under a challenge from Dimitri Foulquier. No penalty was given.

Valencia took the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute after Real lost possession.

There was an element of fortune about it as Foulquier crossed to the far post and Fran Perez miskicked his attempt to clip back across goal. Duro, who had not been expecting the ball, reacted quickly to head home.

Dani Carvajal then compounded the setback moments later with an underhit backpass that Yaremchuk seized upon to round Andriy Lunin and slot in.

Real recovered and Bellingham, back in the side after three weeks out, created a chance for Federico Valverde but Giorgi Mamardashvili was equal to his effort.

The pressure paid off in first-half stoppage time as a Carvajal cross took deflections off a defender and Mamardashvili and found its way to Vinicius for a simple tap-in.

Real upped the tempo after the break and Vinicius lashed a shot wide before Bellingham, who has enjoyed a stunning first season at the Spanish giants, wrong-footed the defence and forced Mamardashvili to save with his legs.

Diego Lopez brought a good save from Lunin at the other end but further Real pressure paid off when Vinicius rose to head in a Brahim Diaz cross.

There was a long delay late on after Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby suffered a serious-looking injury and was carried off on a stretcher.

Real had a scare in stoppage time when Valencia were awarded a penalty for a foul on Duro by Nacho but the decision was overturned by VAR.

It was not the end of the drama but Bellingham’s effort came too late to count.

LaLiga leaders Real Madrid came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Valencia in an ill-tempered finish at the Mestalla that saw Jude Bellingham sent off after the final whistle.

The hosts scored two goals in four minutes midway through the first half from Hugo Duro and Roman Yaremchuk, but Vinicius Junior pulled one back on the stroke of half-time.

Vinicius then got a second in the 76th minute to level it up.

There was late drama as Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby suffered an apparently serious injury in the closing minutes. Moments after play restarted the referee pointed for a Valencia penalty after Nacho went flying in on Duro, but VAR came to Madrid’s rescue as the decision was overturned.

As the players went off, Bellingham was sent off, apparently for dissent, in what was his first match back after three games out with an ankle injury.

Youssef En-Nesyri’s early brace set Sevilla on their way to a 3-2 win over Real Sociedad.

Andre Silva pulled one back for the visitors in first-half stoppage time, but Sergio Ramos restored Sevilla’s two-goal advantage midway through the second half, with Brais Mendez’s late goal for Sociedad mere consolation.

Mason Greenwood was on the scoresheet as Getafe took a point from an entertaining 3-3 draw with Las Palmas.

Greenwood added to Jaime Mata’s early goal as the hosts roared into a two-goal lead inside 15 minutes. Sandro Ramirez pulled one back before Nemanja Maksimovic made it 3-1 at the break, but Las Palmas earned a point via second-half goals from Sergi Cardona and Munir El Haddadi.

Javi Hernandez’s stoppage-time goal cancelled out Florian Lejeune’s strike as Cadiz salvaged a point from a 1-1 draw at Rayo Vallecano.

Serhou Guirassy scored twice as Stuttgart won 3-2 at Wolfsburg to close the gap to second-placed Bayern Munich to four points.

Guirassy put Stuttgart in front after 14 minutes, and although Joakim Maehle levelled early in the second half, the Wolfsburg defender was soon guilty of fouling Enzo Millot in the box, giving Guirassy the opportunity to restore Stuttgart’s lead from the penalty spot.

Josha Vagnoman added a third in the 77th minute and they needed the cushion as Lukas Nmecha pulled one back for the hosts late on.

Borussia Dortmund remain fourth after goals from Karim Adeyemi and Ian Maatsen earned a 2-0 win at Union Berlin.

Leipzig stayed one point back in fifth with a 4-1 win at Bochum, who took a seventh minute lead though Maximilian Wittek but collapsed midway through the second half.

Dani Olmo levelled before the break, but three goals in five minutes from Lois Openda, Ivan Ordets and Yussuf Poulsen settled it before Bochum’s Moritz-Broni Kwarteng saw red late on.

Struggling Mainz took an early lead against Borussia Monchengladbach through Jonathan Burkhardt but could not hold on as Nathan N’Goumou levelled early in the second half, with Mainz’s Dominik Kohr sent off late on.

An embarrassing own goal from Benedikt Gimber helped Eintracht Frankfurt to a 2-1 win at Heidenheim, while Philip Tietz and Ermedin Demirovic scored two each as Augsburg thrashed Darmstadt 6-0.

Roma cruised to a 4-1 win over Monza. Lorenzo Pellegrini and Romelu Lukaku put them in control before half-time with Paulo Dybala adding a third before Leandro Paredes’ penalty. Andrea Carboni got a late consolation goal for the hosts.

Hassane Kamara struck in first-half stoppage time to cancel out Loum Tchanouna’s early goal as Udinese drew 1-1 with Salernitana, but the hosts finished with 10 men as Festy Ebosele saw red in the second half.

Torino and Fiorentina shared the points from a 0-0 draw in which Torino’s Samuele Ricci was sent off in first-half stoppage time.

Marseille had five different players on the scoresheet as they enjoyed a 5-1 away win at Clermont Foot.

Iliman Ndiaye got things started in the first half, and although Bilal Boutobba levelled early in the second half, Marseille seized control with strikes from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Jonathan Clauss, Luis Henrique and Faris Moumagna.

Jonathan David’s 56th minute strike earned Lille a 1-0 win away to Reims.

Jude Bellingham is fit to face Valencia with Carlo Ancelotti confirming the midfielder will feature for Real Madrid on Saturday.

The England star has been sidelined with an ankle injury but is available for the LaLiga clash at the Mestalla.

Bellingham, who has 21 goals for club and country this season, has been out since suffering the injury against title rivals Girona in February and has missed Real’s last three games.

Ancelotti said: “He’s at 100 per cent. He hasn’t trained too much with the team but he’s done all he needs to on an individual basis.

“He’s in good shape, optimum physical condition and he’s comfortable with his ankle. He’s up for it and will play.

“The team has trained well and (Dani) Carvajal, (Eduardo) Camavinga, Joselu and Bellingham will all be back. We want to deliver a positive display. The key moments in the season come in March and April and confidence is high.

“We have options. Picking a starting XI is always tough. There are several players who are contributing very well and deserve to play. I haven’t had too many difficult decisions to make up until now because we’ve always had so many injuries.”

Real are six points clear at the top of LaLiga having lost just once in the league this season, to rivals Atletico Madrid in September.

They beat Valencia, who are ninth, 5-1 at home in November but have struggled at the Mestalla recently.

Real have only won one of their last five trips to Valencia, including last year’s 1-0 defeat, with Ancelotti wary of the threat their hosts have.

He said: “The closer we get to the end of the season, the more important the games become. Real Madrid have always struggled at Mestalla because it’s a tough place to go against opposition enjoying a good run. Of course, we’ll have to be at our best.

“The plan is to play a great football match and I’m sure Valencia are thinking the same. That’s what the fans and players want ahead of the game, an entertaining spectacle.

“It’s one of the biggest. But all are important, including the three points against Sevilla. Picking up points at this stage of the season is hugely important. Every team needs the points to fight for top spot, the Champions League places or against relegation.”

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