Real Madrid take a step back in Mallorca
Published : Sunday, 20 October, 2019 at 11:40 AM Count : 197
Real Madrid were handed their first defeat of the LaLiga season with a 1-0 loss to newly-promoted Real Mallorca on Saturday night at the Estadi de Son Moix in Palma.
An early goal from Lago Junior for the home side managed to hold up the whole way, as a combination of the FIFA virus and island fever doomed the injury-riddled Los Blancos, reports Marca.
Even with the likes of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric unavailable, head coach Zinedine Zidane went with an attack-heavy starting XI, with Isco and James Rodriguez getting the nod in midfield, plus Vinicius Junior and Luka Jovic up top alongside Karim Benzema, while Eder Militao paired with Sergio Ramos at centre-back.
Mallorca couldn't have asked for a better start and even before seven minutes had ticked off the clock, it was 1-0 to the hosts. Lago Junior collected a ball down the left wing, cut to his right past right-back Alvaro Odriozola and curled in a right-footed beauty past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to earn Mallorca the lead.
Madrid were starting to find room in the Mallorca half with balls over the top to Vinicius, but the finishing touch was lacking from the young Brazilian. James also looped one into Karim Benzema and the Frenchman got a good touch on it, only for the ball to strike the crossbar and bounce out.
In their search for an equaliser, Madrid sent numbers forward and left themselves exposed at the back and Mallorca nearly took advantage when Ante Budimir sprayed a header wide.
Zidane turned to his bench midway through the second stanza, opting for Rodrygo Goes and Fede Valverde to replace Isco and Jovic, respectively. But Madrid's comeback task got a lot tougher with quarter of an hour remaining, when Odriozola was sent off with his second yellow card.
Zidane's last roll of the dice was Brahim Diaz on for Vinicius, but just like the rest of the men in white, the final ball inside the Mallorca area never came to fruition. The hosts defence stood firm, throwing their bodies into every potential Madrid cross and always intervening or clearing when needed to eventually nail down a result that will long be remembered on the island.