Tuesday, 27 September, 2022

Real Madrid vs Mallorca Report: Vinicius and Rodrygo produce moments of magic to seal the win | La Liga 2022-23


Real Madrid vs Mallorca Report

Real Madrid defeated Mallorca 4-1 in La Liga on Sunday, September 11. The win made it five out of five for the champions as they climbed back to the top of the table ahead of arch-rivals Barcelona.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side came into this game having won all five of their competitive games. That included four wins in the league and a 3-0 win over Celtic in the Champions League on Wednesday. The Italian chose to give Luka Modric some well-deserved rest. Karim Benzema was also ruled out for approximately 10 days after suffering a knee twist in Glasgow.

Mallorca, on the other hand, earned five points from their opening four games. They won one, drew two and lost one game prior to their trip to Madrid. So far, they have struggled in front of goal, scoring just four goals. Javier Aguirre’s men were eager to make their mark against the defending champions.

Eden Hazard started his first game for Los Blancos since January.

Real Madrid began the game by keeping possession for larger spells of time. The theme of their play this season is to be patient and pass the ball around before switching the gears up. They earned a few free-kicks in advanced positions in the early stages and did well to put Mallorca’s defense under pressure.

The hosts’ best chance came via Rodrygo, who cut in onto his stronger left foot and attempted a shot that was saved by Predrag Rajkovic. However, Mallorca snatched the lead against the run of play. Kang-in Lee played a pinpoint cross towards the far post area where Vedat Muriqi was unmarked. The latter met the cross with a powerful header to make it 1-0 after 35 minutes.

The game became heated following the goal as Vinicius appealed for a penalty after feeling contact in the box. He was reprimanded by a furious Antonio Raillo, who received a booking for the confrontation. The Santiago Bernabeu crowd, too, got in on the act as they let out frustrated reactions to the proceedings.

Federico Valverde then produced a piece of individual brilliance. He received the ball from Dani Ceballos in his own half and dribbled past three red shirts as he arrived on the edge of Mallorca’s box. The Uruguayan then unleashed a shot with his left foot that nestled into the top-left corner to make it 1-1. The first half ended shortly after.

Real Madrid began the second half with a sense of urgency as they were buoyed by their equalizer. It is interesting to note that it was one of the hottest afternoons of the summer in Madrid. The hosts watered the pitch during the break to assist in their free-flowing passing game.

Despite dominating possession, Real Madrid were unable to convert their chances effectively as they attempted several long-range shots. The visitors’ substitute Antonio Sanchez nearly restored their lead but narrowly missed from 10 yards out. Ancelotti made several changes as he hoped to snatch the lead.

However, the favor came from starters Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo. The two Brazilians combined as the latter dribbled through Mallorca’s defense and laid the ball off to the former. Vinicius put the ball past Rajkovic with his left foot to put Real Madrid 2-1 up after 72 minutes.

Rodrygo then went on an adventure of his own, making a solo run through Mallorca’s lines before scoring with a smart shot to make it 3-1 in the 89th minute. That goal killed the game but the hosts had one more roll of the dice. Toni Kroos played in a cross towards the far post, which Antonio Rudiger met with a volley with his weak foot to score his first goal for the club.

The game ended in a 4-1 win for Real Madrid. Let’s take a look at how Los Blancos’ players fared in the game.


Real Madrid Player Ratings


Thibaut Courtois – 6.5/10

Courtois had little to do in the game as he made just one save. He distributed the ball with 83% accuracy, including three long balls.


Lucas Vazquez – 7.5/10

Vazquez started in place of Dani Carvajal, who was also rested by Ancelotti. He put in a great performance. He won six of his eight duels and made three tackles and two interceptions. He also played one key pass and two long balls.


Antonio Rudiger – 7/10

Rudiger has looked sharp since joining the club and has often ventured forward and attempted an audacious shot. His persistence paid off late in the game. Rudiger met a cross by Kroos with his left foot on the volley and scored his first goal for Real Madrid.


David Alaba – 6.5/10

Alaba looked composed on the ball at the heart of Real Madrid’s defense. He passed the ball with 90% accuracy, including one key pass and one long ball.


Ferland Mendy – 6.5/10

Mendy made a good start to the game and often made effective overlapping runs on the left flank. He won his only duel and passed the ball with 98% accuracy, including one key pass. He received a booking and was subbed off after 60 minutes.


Federico Valverde – 8/10

Valverde slotted into midfield as Modric was rested on the bench and put in a good performance. He produced a moment of pure class with a solo goal to equalize just before half-time. He also played three key passes and two long balls and was also booked for a foul.


Toni Kroos – 8/10

Kroos distributed the ball exceptionally well from central midfield. He completed 111 passes with 96% accuracy, including two key passes, one cross and eight long balls. Kroos also attempted four shots of which one was on target.


Dani Ceballos – 7.5/10

Dani Ceballos was handed a rare start for Real Madrid and did well. He held his own in midfield and navigated Mallorca’s press with his quick turns and swivels. He completed three dribbles and won seven of his 14 duels.


Rodrygo – 9/10

Rodrygo looked sharp and often cut into central areas to get onto his stronger left foot to pick a pass or attempt a shot on goal. He provided an assist for his side to grab the lead after 72 minutes. He then scored a lovely solo goal to put the result beyond doubt after 89 minutes.


Vinicius Junior – 8.5/10

Vinicius often drifted out of position and used his dribbling skills to create space. He scored a lovely goal to give his side the lead in the second half. He won 12 of his 22 duels and completed eight successful dribbles.


Eden Hazard – 6.5/10

Hazard started in place of the injured Benzema. He attempted one shot which was blocked. He also won two of his three duels and played two key passes.


Substitutes


Luka Modric – 6.5/10

Modric came on to replace Hazard after 59 minutes to add more structure and solidity to Real Madrid’s midfield.


Nacho Fernandez – 6/10

Nacho replaced Ferland Mendy, who was already on a yellow card. He came in and put in a good defensive display.


Eduardo Camavinga – 6/10

Camavinga replaced Ceballos and put in a decent performance.


Daniel Carvajal – 7/10

Carvajal came on late in the game and provided an assist for Real Madrid’s third goal.

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