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Ceballos scores late for Real Madrid to beat Union Berlin 3-2 in Champions League

Real Madrid beats Union Berlin 3-2 in Champions League group stage with Dani Ceballos scoring late winner. Perfect group stage for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos scored the third goal for his team in the Champions League group C soccer match against Union Berlin at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on December 12, 2023. The game ended with a 3-2 victory for Real Madrid, marking a perfect group stage for the team.

Ceballos' decisive goal came in the 89th minute, just four minutes after Union's Alex Král equalized, keeping Union's hopes of securing a Europa League spot alive. However, the win and a favor from Napoli against Braga in the other group game were needed for Union to secure a Europa League place as the third-place finisher in the group.

Real Madrid's victory secured six wins out of six games in Group C, a feat the team has achieved for the third time, previously doing so in 2011 and 2014. Despite already being assured of topping the group, coach Carlo Ancelotti emphasized the team's respect for the competition by fielding a strong starting lineup, including Jude Bellingham, Rodrygo, and Luka Modrić.

The first half saw Real Madrid dominate, with Union goalkeeper Frederik Rønnow saving Modrić's penalty in the 45th minute. However, Rønnow's huge kickout led to Kevin Behrens heading the ball on, and David Alaba failing to control it, allowing Kevin Volland to give Union an unexpected lead before halftime.

In the second half, Rodrygo's cross from the right set up Joselu to equalize in the 61st minute, and Fran García assisted Joselu's second goal in the 72nd minute. Although Joselu thought he had secured the result, Real Madrid ultimately relied on Ceballos' late goal to secure the victory.

The match showcased Real Madrid's strength and determination, as they completed a perfect group stage, setting the stage for their continued success in the Champions League.

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