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Match report: Real Madrid 2-0 RCD Mallorca

Goals from Vinícius Junior and Sergio Ramos prove decisive on a tough night in the capital

We succumbed to a frustrating 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid as goals from Vinícius Junior and Sergio Ramos proved to be the difference at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. 

Vicente Moreno made three changes to the side which drew 1-1 to CD Leganés four days prior, switching to a 5-4-1 formation as Aleix Febas faced his former club in place of Salva Sevilla while Lago Junior was preferred at left wingback over Fran Gámez. Antonio Raillo returned from suspension to pair Martin Valjent and Aleksandar Sedlar in central defence, with Cucho Hernández joining the likes of Aleksandar Trajkovski, Yannis Salibur and 15-year-old Luka Romero on the bench.

Manolo Reina’s evening was foreshadowed by the opening seven minutes of a competitive fixture, producing a fine save to deny a Karim Benzema volley from close range and then acrobatically pawing away Gareth Bale’s drive in the succeeding move.

Our goalkeeper’s counter-part was called into action just moments later and had to be at his best to tip wide Iddrisu Baba’s stinging drive from outside the box as Lago Junior and Alejandro Pozo started to capitalise on space found outwide.

A passage of good play was unfortunately brought to an abrupt halt when Vinícius Junior raced in behind on a counter-attack to dink the ball past an on-rushing Reina, and despite a delayed restart as VAR reviewed Dani Carvajal’s earlier challenge on Dani Rodríguez, Los Blancos took the lead. 

The Brazilian came close to scoring a second just moments later using the same technique, and while he was thankfully denied by the cross bar, the effort proved to be the last chance of a first half we had contested valiantly.

The opening exchanges following the restart yielded few opportunities for either side, although Sergio Ramos doubled the hosts’ advantage with an unstoppable free-kick just short of the hour mark.

Down but not out, Ante Budimir came close to pulling a goal back on two occasions when he forced Thibaut Courtois to react with a close-range header before then curling an effort from the edge of the box into the hands of the Belgian. 

Substitutes for both sides proved to be the remaining highlights of the defeat, with RCD Mallorca youth product Marco Asensio coming onto to face his former club and Luka Romero breaking Francisco 'Sansón' Bao's record as the youngest La Liga debutant.

We will quickly have to pick ourselves up from the setback with a trip to Athletic Bilbao just three days away as we look to escape the drop zone. 

RCD Mallorca: Reina; Pozo, Valjent (61’), Raíllo, Sedlar; Lago Junior (70’), Baba (83’), Febas (61’), Dani Rodríguez, Kubo; Budimir (61’)

Substitutes: Parera, Sastre, Xisco Campos, Gámez (61’), Señé, Salibur (70’), Trajkovski, Chavarría, Salva Sevilla (61’), Abdón, Luka (83’), Cucho (61’)

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Mendy; Valverde, Modric (70’); Hazard (62’), Vinícius (83’), Bale (70’); Benzema

Substitutes: Areola, Altube, Miltão, Kroos (62’), Marcelo, James, Asensio (70’), Brahim, Isco (70’), Mariano (83’), Rodrygo, J.Hernández

Goals: Vinícius Junior, 1-0 (19’); Sergio Ramos, 2-0 (56’)