Full-time: Mallorca 1-0 Real Madrid
A tremendous effort from the hosts, who fought and scrapped for every ball and didn't give Madrid an inch as they tried to fight back into the game!
I mentioned before kick-off that Real Madrid generally win when they need to but they came up woefully short in Mallorca. The hosts flew out of the traps, getting in their opponents’ faces from the first whistle, which paid dividends early on. Muriqi looked to have flicked a fantastic header over Lunin but we later discovered that it was Nacho who actually diverted the ball into this own net from Rodríguez’s cross. After an incredibly slow start, Madrid started to control possession after 20 minutes or so but offered absolutely no attacking threat, with Vinícius marked out of the game and Mallorca restricting space all over the field. Long-range efforts were Los Blancos’ only hope but they failed to test Rajokvic.
After a slow start to the second period, the game came to life as Vinícius was felled in the box, allowing Asensio the chance to equalise against his former club. Rajkovic guessed right and the momentum that Real Madrid were looking for escaped them. The visitors pushed for the remainder of the half but, unusually, for them, rarely looked like scoring. They were unable to open up a stubborn home defence and resorted to slinging cross after cross after cross into the box, which eventually led to a couple of opportunities for Mariano, who volleyed over, and Rüdiger, who headed just wide in injury time.
A superb performance from Mallorca, who rarely looked like conceding. For Madrid, they now need to hope for favours elsewhere.
What's next for Real Madrid?
A change of scenery coming up for Real Madrid as they travel to Morocco for the FIFA Club World Cup. The face Egyptian side Al Ahly in the semi-finals on Wednesday and will hope to make it through to the final, which will take place next Sunday. Will Karim Benzema, Eder Militão and now Thibaut Courtois make the trip to North Africa? Watch this space.
Before then, they'll have an eye ontoday's clash between Barcelona and Sevilla and be praying for an unlikely away victory…
Mallorca, meanwhile, have to play just one game a week, with their next game away to Sevilla next weekend. Their away form has been poor but if they keep their home form up, they'll be looking up the table rather than down.
Moving away from danger: "It takes us further away from the bottom, but the league doesn't end on matchday 20, there are still a lot of games left. We can't lose focus".
"We know what Madrid are like": "I've been in so many battles like this one that I don't say much until it's all over. You could concede a goal at any moment. You have to fight until the end. We know what Madrid are like…".
The fans: "The fans deserved this, we had let them down. The fans are very noble and today they go home happy".
Muriqi: "Muriqi was good today, he'd had a few bad games. He had a private issue that distracted him, he didn't enjoy the break."
On the defeat: "Yes, it was tough. It was the type of match we were expecting. A very tough match, it was difficult… We weren't lucky enough to be able to handle it, because they scored against us very early on and then it was very difficult. Lot of fouls, stoppages, players going down… But both teams played to the end. We deserved a draw, we missed the penalty, we had chances in very tight spaces… We played the game we had to".
On how Real Madrid can overcome a low defensive block in future: "We need a lot more movement, look to play in behind more… It's difficult to play between the lines. The penalty came when we got in behind them. Although when they play with such a low block, it's difficult to get the ball in behind. I think we tried and it didn't work out well".
On Valverde and Ceballos starting: "Because they were feeling good. Kroos came off in the last game with a little injury, Luka [Modric] too. I rotated a bit".
On having a weaker bench than usual: "Maybe. We played the game the way we had to. Things didn't have to go like that, we conceded a goal. We should've equalised and at the end we were able to control things, have chances, push them back… The first half determined the game".
All smiles in Barcelona
Check the timestamp on this tweet…
General thoughts on the game: "It was a very difficult match. They defended very well throughout the game. The goal they scored was a lucky one, but they worked hard and we couldn't create any chances. It's a blow because we lost three points".
Were you surprised by Mallorca?: "No, no. We knew it was going to be very difficult. We knew that today's game was going to be very complicated because of the time of day, the little time we had to rest, because Mallorca are also having a good season… We knew it was going to be a very tight game, but, logically, when you fall behind, everything becomes more complicated".
The own goal: "I challenged for the ball and I was unlucky that it went into the top corner. These things happen in football. We also missed a penalty, we had some clear chances that we didn't manage to score".
On Vinícius being targeted by the opposition: "I think the Vinicius issue is creating an atmosphere that doesn't help anyone, neither Vinicius, nor the sport, nor the fans, who in the end, without realising that they're doing it, are picking on the lad. What we all have to do is enjoy soccer, which is a beautiful sport, and leave all the nonsense and controversy to one side".
Mallorca vs Real Madrid: reaction coming up
We'll have reaction from the game coming right up, including from both managers.
Mallorca: four 1-0 home wins in a row
That's Mallorca's fourth 1-0 home victory in a row.
As always when a 'big' team loses, it's easy to focus on what they did wrong. But a lot of credit must go to Mallorca, who made it impossible for Madrid to play.
Real Madrid remain five points behind Barcelona
This, quite frankly, is a disaster for Real Madrid. Five points adrift of Barcelona having played a game more. If the Catalans beat Sevilla later on Sunday, the gap will be eight.
IT'S ALL OVER! VICTORY FOR MALLORCA
And Real Madrid's title challenge could be all over too..
Rajkovic claims Carvajal's cross and that's surely that!
Just wide from Rüdiger!
Another wicked delivery from Kroos finds Rüdiger, who heads INCHES wide!
Cross after cross after cross…Mallorca defending well.
Everyone camped inside the Mallorca half and box. Battaglia clears one upfield and there's no Mallorca player near it.
A foul by Vinícius for a high foot on Maffeo is most welcome for Mallorca…Finally a bit of respite.
A corner is played short and leads to a sight of goal for Camavinga, whose shot is blocked by Muriqi's head. Modric then whips a cross into the box and Mariano's header flies narrowly wide.
Real Madrid slinging crosses into the Mallorca box and anything can happen. Maffeo almost makes a mess of clearing one before Rajkovic claims a threatening delivery Kroos. More to come.
Grenier on for Galarreta for the hosts.
EIGHT minutes of injury time…
The normally cool-as-ice Carlo Ancelotti riled on the touchline, telling someone – not sure who – to keep their mouth shut.
Another yellow card, this time for Mariano as he brings Galarreta down before he can spread a pass out to Amath. Brilliant hold-up play from Muriqi to make that attack possible.
A chance for Mariano!
That's the best chance Madrid have created. Alaba crosses to the back post for Mariano, who strikes it first-time on the volley but can't keep it down.
Maffeo booked for tangling with Vinícius. That looked harsh.
A chance for Mallorca to net a second as Costa almost gets in behind the Madrid defence but a heavy touch allows Carvajal to get back and clear in the nick of time!
Desperation setting in for Real Madrid as Camavinga, now playing in midfield, lines one up from long range. It doesn't threaten Rajkovic's goal.
A rare save for either goalkeeper! Lunin has what I think is his first save to make as Costa's low cross is deflected out to Sánchez, who gets a decent strike on it but hits it straight at the Ukrainian.
Vinícius sticks a cross into the box from the left, which is somehow cleared to safety, although it could have gone anywhere. Eight minutes (plus injury time) for Mallorca to hold out.
Modric is next in the book for chipping away at Costa's ankles. The Croat hasn't had the impact on the game he would've wanted…yet.
A rare venture into the Real Madrid box from Mallorca as Sánchez fires a low ball into the near post for Amath, whose flick goalwards is blocked by Carvajal.
Lee and Baba off for Sánchez and Battaglia for Mallorca.
Full credit has to go to Mallorca here, they've made life incredibly difficult for Madrid despite hardly creating anything themselves.
I can't remember the last time I watched Real Madrid create so little in a game. Very little movement in the attacking third and almost no space to work in.
It didn't take long for Amath to get involved as he's shown the yellow card for a slightly late tackle in midfield.
Real Madrid triple change
Asensio, Tchouaméni and Ceballos off, Alaba, Kroos and Mariano (remember him?) come on.
Some meaty tackles flying in as Baba stops Vinícius in in tracks after a nice nutmeg in midfield then Camavinga is lucky to get away without a booking following a foul on Maffeo.
Vinícius gets away down the left for the very first time in the game. He cuts it back from the goal line and Mallorca do just enough to scramble it out for a corner, which is cleared. Much better from the Brazilian.
Rodríguez off, Amath on for Mallorca.
Asensio looking to make up for his penalty miss as he drifts in from the right and shoots. He scored a similar one against Valencia on Thursday but drags this one wide of the near post.
A disappointing afternoon for Valverde, who's replaced by Modric.
Some respite for Mallorca as Valverde illegally slides in on Lee, who seems to be hurt. Yellow for the Uruguayan.
That'll give Mallorca another timely boost as they continue to chase everything down and fight for every ball.
Well, well, well. This second half has come to life after an uneventful start.
Asensio's penalty was low and hard but Rajkovic guessed right!
SAVED BY RAJKOVIC!
What a stop from the Mallorca keeper!
Penalty confirmed by VAR. Vinícius got to the ball just ahead of Rajokvic and poked it wide before being caught. Asensio to take.
Penalty for Real Madrid! Rajkovic goes in on Vinícius…
A sight of goal for Rodrygo but he effort from the edge of the box is charged down and goes out for a corner, which comes to nithing.
Little to report in the opening stages of the second period, with Madrid huffing and puffing but failing to find a way through.
Back underway in Palma!
Mallorca looking to consolidate
A win today wouldn't be enough for Mallorca to move up in the league table, which seems harsh, but it would enable them to move nine points clear of the relegation zone, which will be their first objective.
Barcelona sitting pretty in LaLiga, as things stand
Look away now, Real Madrid fans. Things do not look good, as it stands. If nothing changes, Los Blancos will be five points behind Barcelonahaving played a game more.
Mallorca a tough nut to crack
I mentioned a little earlier that Mallorca had won their last three home games by a goal to nil, and that there don't tend to be many goals in their games...
The omens aren't great for Madrid.
Mallorca's Muriqi fools us all
Hats off to Muriqi, he did a great job of fooling us all into thinking he'd scored a brilliant header. An millimetre-perfect flick from Nacho, just in the wrong goal.
Ceballos shown a yellow card after the half-time whistle as both he and Vinícius remonstrate with the referee.
Half-time: Mallorca 1-0 Real Madrid
You have to say that's a deserved lead for Mallorca. Nacho's own goal the difference.
It’s been a half of two halves, if there is such a thing. Mallorca got in Real Madrid’s faces from the very first whistle, which allowed them to gain the upper hand in the early stages in an attacking sense. The hosts were given the opportunity to put several crosses into the penalty area in the opening 20 minutes, one of which appeared to lead to Muriqi glancing a beautiful header over Madrid’s replacement goalkeeper Lunin. However, it later transpired that the striker had barely touched the ball, with Nacho inadvertently achieving exactly what Muriqi was trying to.
About midway through the half, Madrid started to control possession but their attempts to fight back into the contest have been met with incredibly fierce resistance. Mallorca have kept the door firmly shut, not allowing their opponents any time in the ball and restricting space between the lines. Carlo Ancelotti’s men have created absolutely nothing and resorted to a series of efforts on goal from long range, none of which have tested Mallorca keeper Rajokvic.
One minute of additional time.
A cheer almost as big as the goal as Vinícius goes into the book for clipping Maffeo in the box.
Wow. Carvajal taking a ridiculous risk on the edge of his own box as he tries to go past Lee, with Costa also at close quarters. The Madrid defender loses the ball and is lucky to get away with just giving away a throw-in.
Valverde is next to try his luck from long range…also a yard or two over from 25 yards. Not happening for Madrid.
Ever seen Rüdiger fire a 40-yard screamer in the top corner? No, well me neither. The German has had enough and decides to fire an effort in from downtown. It flies just over but never seriously threatened Rajkovic.
Don't remember the last time I saw such a woeful collection of free-kicks. Rodrygo is the culprit this time as he slices one high and wide.
A yellow for Galarreta as he holds the ball between his feet after being caught in possession by Valverde. Free-kick to Real Madrid. Here we go again…
Mallorca are still putting up lots of resistance but starting to give away more free-kicks inside their own half, which is a dangerous game. Not that Madrid have looked like taking advantage. Bizarre again from Asensio as he drills a low one towards the penalty area, which looked like a shot from about 40 yards but was easily blocked.
Awful from Asensio. He chipped it up to the far post and straight out of play.
A free-kick to Madrid 30-odd yards from goal…
Muriqi's goal not Muriqi's goal!
It's filtered through that Muriqi's goal isn't actually Muriqi's goal! The forward got a slender touch on the ball but it seems that Nacho did most of the work. First goal of the season for the Madrid defender…
Absolutely no joy for Vinícius so far. He's being roundly booed every time he gets the ball and three or four Mallorca men shuffle across to him whenever he threatens a run down the left.
A free-kick in a good position for Mallorca is half-cleared out to González, who chokes his shot into the ground from the edge of the box when he should've done better.
Real Madrid threaten a counterattack but Mallorca hunt Asensio down in packs to win the ball back on the halfway line. They're not giving an inch so far.
It's touched to Valverde to strike at goal but it's charged down. A neat summary of the first quarter of the game.
A fairly daft foul from Maffeo on Vinícius means Real Madrid have the chance to stick the ball into the box. Or even shoot…
A bit more possession for Real Madrid in the last couple of minutes but it's going from one side to the other with no penetration.
Real Madrid win another couple of corners but fail to threaten the Mallorca goal.
Real Madrid get in behind the Mallorca defence for the first time as Carvajal evades the attention of Costa. His cross is punched away for a corner by Ratkovic, which comes to nothing.
Mallorca have been right up for this so far and that goal will have put some extra gas in the tank for the next few minutes. Absolutely no time on the ball for the Real Madrid players.
A little reminder than Mallorca have won their last three home games 1-0…
A great start for Mallorca just got better!
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL MALLORCA! MURIQI
A superb header from Muriqi over the stranded Lunin!
That was far, far, FAR too easy for Rodríguez to get a cross into the box from the left and Muriqi gets the perfect connection to float a delicate header over Lunin and in at the far post!
Another chance for Costa to get the ball into the box and he again sends it to the back post onto the head of…absolutely nobody.
10 minutes in and I'm not sure Mallorca keeper Rajkovic has touched the ball yet.
There's a good bit of needle in this game, if there is such a thing. After Vinícius got clattered early on, both he and Tchouméni have dished it out too, with poor Maffeo the victim.
Mallorca have flown out of the traps here, they're getting right into Madrid's faces.
A bit nervy from Lunin there as he takes a cross into the box at the second attempt. Did he have time to get his gloves on? I think so.
A great recovery from Camavinga as Rodríguez sets Maffeo away down the right. He looks favourite to get onto the ball in the box but the Frenchman slides in to stick out a leg and gets the ball. Risky but effective.
The first of what will surely be a bucketload of fouls on Vinícius by Rodriguez. His Real Madrid teammates are not best pleased with that tackle, which was a bit late.
A bright start from the hosts. Costa swings a decent ball into the box from the left and Camavinga shows his defensive credentials by heading away at the back post.
Mallorca rob possession from Valverde, who charges back and gives away the first free-kick of the game as he tries to get the ball back from Kang-in Lee. It floats out for a goal kick.
An early touch for Andriy Lunin. He was probably expecting a relaxing afternoon on the bench.
We're off! Mallorca get us underway!
A minute's silence for season-ticket holders who lost their lives in the first half of the season.
Real Madrid team to play Mallorca, no Courtois
And here's the (altered) Real Madrid side, with Andriy Lunin between the sticks instead of Thibaut Courtois.
Mallorca team to play Real Madrid
We're just minutes away from kick-off, here's a reminder of the Mallorca team.
CATI CLADERA / EFE
Mallorca performing well under former Mexico boss Javier Aguirre
Former Mexico boss Javier Aguirre is now in charge of Mallorca, which is his 14th role in management. Osasuna, Atlético Madrid, Zaragoza, Espanyol and Leganés were his previous stops in Spain, although his most recent success, of course, came with Liga MX club Monterrey in Concacaf Champions League.
After suffering relegation with Leganés in his last gig on Spanish soil, he's faring much better this time around, with Mallorca performing above expectations in LaLiga this term.
Ancelotti: “It’s not true that certain players want to come here”
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti's pre-match press conference on Saturday mostly included injury-based chat (unsurprisingly) and you get the feeling that it will also feature heavily in his post-match one now.
"I won’t be resting players because we have the Club World Cup coming up. The best team will play tomorrow, because the most important game we have is the next one."
Kroos and Modric would surely be in the 'best team', although maybe not the 'best team' for this game.
Here's more from Andy.
Courtois a FIFA Club World Cup doubt?
With so many games on the horizon, that could be a nightmare for Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid. It's too early to tell but the Belgian's participation in the FIFA Club World Cup must be in doubt.
Breaking: Courtois injured in the warm-up
Disaster strikes for Real Madrid and it's another injury! Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has injured himself in the warm-up and isn't going to be able to play.
Andriy Lunin will start in goal for Los Blancos.
Real Madrid: the fixtures calendar from hell begins
As I mentioned earlier, veteran midfield duo Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are not in the Real Madrid starting line-up for today's game in Mallorca. And this is the main reason why. On Thursday, Carlo Ancelotti's men played the first of a possible 10 matches in 32 days, which will include LaLiga (obviously), a minimum of one and a maximum of two games at the FIFA Club World Cup, which they'll be leaving for after the game in Palma, and the Champions League, which starts back up again on 21 February (against Liverpool).
February is going to be a battle for survival more than anything.
"Things are going to happen" in Mallorca vs Real Madrid
You heard it here first (well, maybe second) from the Mallorca media team. What kind of things? We'll find out in 30 minutes or so!
JAVIER SORIANO / AFP
Real Madrid: 2022-23 season so far
Real Madrid’s season can be divided into three parts: the first couple of months, in which they barely dropped any points in LaLiga, defeated Barcelona in El Clásico and moved to the top of the table, as well as cruising through their Champions League group to spare.
Then, there was a wobble immediately before and after the World Cup break, in which they drew at home to Girona and lost at Rayo Vallecano and Villarreal, which saw them relinquish leadership of LaLiga. That also included a Spanish Super Cup final defeat to Barcelona.
Now, they appear to have battled their way back into form, with a come-from-behind Copa del Rey win against Villarreal the catalyst for a run of four wins and a draw in five matches. Yet they remain five points behind Barcelona, so they have to keep it going.
Real Madrid arrive at San Moix…
…and don't they all look delighted to be there.
JAVIER GANDUL / DIARIO AS
Mallorca: 2022-23 season so far
In case you haven't been following Mallorca's season closely (I'm sure you knowledgeable folk have though), they are slap bang in the middle of the LaLiga table in 10th spot. It's fair to say that they've had their ups and downs this season; they took just one point from four matches at the start of October and then followed that up with a five wins in six games (which included two Copa del Rey ties against lower-league opposition).
Not that I'm trying to put you off but there don’t tend to many too many goals in their games (just 33 in 19 matches so far, the lowest in the division). Their last six LaLiga matches have produced three wins and three defeats; all three victories have come at home, all three defeats on the road and the away team has failed to score in all of them. Javier Aguirre’s men have only conceded six goals in nine matches at Estadi Mallorca Son Moix which suggests they’ll be difficult to break down.
Mallorca team to play Real Madrid
Here we go! Mallorca have named their line-up for today's game:
Rajkovic; González, Raillo, Nastasic; Maffeo, Ruiz de Galarreta, Rodríguez, Costa; Baba, Muriqi, Kang-in.
3-4-3 for Javier Aguirre.
Let's see how many times I instincitvely stick a 'u' after the 'q' in Muriqi's name today.
Behind the scenes in the Real Madrid dressing room
I'm not sure when the trend started of posting a video on social media of the dressing room before the game, but I like it. This one doesn't give much away but interesting to see that in the modern millionaires'/billionaires' world of soccer, there are still some top clubs that have wooden benches like the ones I got changed beside when I was at the peak of my (rather unimpressive) career.
Alaba returns from injury in a key moment with Militão out
There is, however, some good news on the injury front for Real Madrid too! They must have lost on defender in the shape of Eder Militão but they're also got one back: David Alaba. The Austrian missed a total of seven matches due to a calf injury, including the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, but now is back in business.
He starts today's game in Palma on the bench, with Eduardo Camavinga, normally a midfielder, keeping his place at left-back. "Camavinga doesn’t like it there, but we like him there”, said manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Hazard suffers from injury number 16
This next pieces of injury news concerns a hugely important player…for Chelsea from 2012 to 2019. Eden Hazard has admitted himself that he's not the player he used to be, which is a real shame, as he was superb to watch at his peak. His 16th injury as a Real Madrid player and his third of the 2022-23 season.
"This season he has only played in seven games (three starts), has just one goal and one assist (both in Glasgow against Celtic). That night it that seemed that Hazard was about to return but things ended as soon as they began.
Since then, there has been nothing. He is fourth-last in terms of minutes played (297′, which is even behind (sub goalkeeper Andriy) Lunin). Only Mariano (25′), Odriozola (56′) and Vallejo (56′) have featured less. In Mallorca, with almost the minimum number of available players, a spot could have opened for him. But he is injured."
JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA / DIARIO AS
Real Madrid duo Karim Benzema and Eder Militão injured
More on those Real Madrid injuries and there is plenty to tell. First up, Karim Benzema and Eder Militão, who both went off in the midweek win over Valencia. The Brazilian looks to be the worst affected after being substituted with a thigh problem after only half-an-hour of that game. And it looks as if he'll be forced to sit out the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup (more on that coming up).
Benzema hasn't had his fitness issues to seek so far this season but had appeared to be back at 100%. Until Thursday, that is, as he felt a tweak in his knee, seemingly out of nowhere. He misses today's game although Madrid are hopeful he'll be available to travel to Morocco.
Mallorca: early team news
No starting line-up from Mallorca as yet but we do know that their Mexican manager Javier Aguirre has almost a full roster to choose from. Left-back Ludwig Agustinsson, who joined the club on loan from Sevilla a few days ago, is the only doubt due to illness.
"Palma weather" in Palma
When you think of Spain and the islands in particular, you probably think of blue skies and sun. I can confirm that it's not always the case but it looks to be a beautiful winter's day for a game of soccer in Mallorca!
Real Madrid team to play Mallorca
If you've followed live coverage of Real Madrid games before, you'll be aware that Carlo Ancelotti tends to name his team earlier that most!
Courtois; Carvajal, Rüdiger, Nacho, Camavinga; Valverde, Tchouméni, Ceballos, Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinícius.
A few glaring omissions from the line-up, with Karim Benzema and Eder Militão injured and Toni Kroos and Luka Modric on the bench.
Mallorca vs Real Madrid: times, how to watch on TV, stream online | LaLiga
Of course, you may be looking for a way to watch the game, in which case, you are bang in luck. If you’re watching from the United States, there is a way and this is it!
You can watch Mallorca vs Real Madrid live on fuboTV (free trial available).
What time does Mallorca vs Real Madrid kick off?
You east-coasters must love your soccer if you’re up on a Sunday for this one; I can’t even begin to imagine how much those joining us in the west are obsessed with the beautiful game!
Sunday’s clash gets underway at 2pm local time in Spain, that’s 8:00 a.m. ET and 5:00 a.m. PT (ouch). Over the course of the next 90 minutes, I’ll be bringing you build-up, team news and plenty, plenty more.
Are you ready? Go grab and coffee (or five) and let's do this.
Hello and welcome to Mallorca vs Real Madrid!
The to-ing and fro-ing in the title race has begun. Real Madrid crucially saw off Valencia on Thursday to move to within five points of LaLiga leaders Barcelona and will cut the gap to two if they win in Palma several hours before the Catalans' home clash against Sevilla.
You get the feeling this is another must-win game for Madrid and when they must win, they tend to find a way. It's an early start, so thanks for joining me (Roddy) for mid-table Mallorca against Real Madrid!
About the author
Scottish sports journalist and content creator. After running his own soccer-related projects, in 2022 he joined Diario AS, where he mainly reports on the biggest news from around Europe’s leading soccer clubs, Liga MX and MLS, and covers live games in a not-too-serious tone. Likes to mix things up by dipping into the world of American sports.
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