Real Madrid 4-1 Mallorca: Los Blancos return to the top of LaLiga
Real Madrid reclaimed first place in LaLiga after coming from behind to defeat Mallorca 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The hosts fell behind after Mallorca’s in-form Vedat Muriqi scored, but Federico Valverde equalized before halftime with a superb individual effort.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side completed the comeback 18 minutes from time, with Vinicius Junior scoring for the fourth time in four LaLiga games, before another impressive solo goal from Rodrygo and Antonio Rudiger’s first goal for the club late in the game tied things up.
Los Blancos are the only team in the big five European leagues to have started the season with a perfect record, having won their first five league games for the first time since 2009-10.
Mallorca hadn’t won in Madrid since May 2009, but Muriqi sent a warning shot in the first minute.
The striker latched onto Martin Valjent’s long ball and cleverly evaded the advancing Antonio Rudiger before his powerful volley was saved by Thibaut Courtois.
At the other end, Dani Ceballos and Rodrygo tested Predrag Rajkovic, but Mallorca took the lead in the 25th minute when an unmarked Muriqi headed home Lee Kang-free In’s kick for his third goal of the season.
Madrid equalized emphatically in first-half stoppage time, with Valverde breaking away from deep inside his own half and firing into the top corner from 20 yards.
Just after the hour mark, Lucas Vazquez curled a 25-yard effort narrowly wide before Mallorca squandered a golden opportunity to retake the lead, substitute Antonio Sanchez shooting wide with only Courtois to beat.
It proved costly as Madrid took the lead in the 72nd minute. Rodrygo broke through the visitors’ defense before feeding Vinicius, who clipped the ball past the advancing Rajkovic.
With a minute remaining, Rodrygo sealed the points with a strong, jinking run into the box, evading several challenges before slotting, which was followed by Rudiger volleying home a Toni Kroos free-kick at the far post in stoppage time.
What does it imply? Madrid recovers to remain unbeaten.
Back at the top of LaLiga, Madrid has now won nine of their last ten league meetings with Mallorca, with the exception of a 1-0 loss in October 2019.
Despite this, Los Blancos have conceded in each of their first five league games for the first time since the 2003-04 season under Carlos Queiroz.
Vinicius made history by participating in a game-high 22 duels and turning the contest on its head.
The Brazil international, who is 22 years and 61 days old, became the club’s youngest player to score in four consecutive LaLiga games since Gonzalo Higuain in November 2009. (21 years, 346 days).
Valverde finishes his drought in style.
Valverde, an unlikely scorer, ended a nearly two-year wait to find the net in LaLiga with a magnificent individual effort.
The Uruguay international had gone 11 months since his last league goal, which came in a 4-1 win over Huesca in October 2020, and 11 months since his only previous strike at Santiago Bernabeu, which came in a 3-1 win over Real Sociedad in November 2019.
What comes next?
Madrid resumes their Champions League title defense against RB Leipzig at home on Wednesday, followed by the Madrid derby against Atletico Madrid the following Sunday. Mallorca will be looking for a response when they host Almeria in LaLiga on Saturday.