News ID: 125855
Publish Date : 02 April 2024 - 21:19

Rodrygo Reminds Real of His Worth as Mbappe Arrival Looms

MADRID (Reuters) — Rodrygo has thrived in the absence of Vinicius Junior as Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0 to keep an eight-point lead over Barcelona in the Spanish league.
Rodrygo scored both goals and Madrid maintained its comfortable lead at the top after Barcelona had won 1-0 at Las Palmas on Saturday.
Vinicius didn’t play because of a suspension over yellow cards, but Jude Bellingham was back in the squad after missing two straight league games because of a red-card suspension. The influential England international set up Rodrygo’s second goal in Madrid’s third straight league win.
Rodrygo’s opener came with a beautiful shot into the top corner from just outside the area eight minutes into the match at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
The Brazil forward had scored for Brazil in a friendly against Spain at the Bernabeu last week, but he hadn’t found the net for Madrid in seven consecutive games.
“He played very well, made the difference with some high-quality plays,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said of Rodrygo.
The Brazilian said after the match he is not feeling threatened by the possible arrival of Kylian Mbappe.
Fourth-place Athletic arrived with its focus on next weekend’s Copa del Rey final against Mallorca. The Basque Country club will try to win the cup for the first time in four decades. Defender Yeray Alvarez left Sunday’s game with an apparent muscle injury in the 25th and could be doubtful for the final in Seville.