Mallorca knock Real Madrid from top of La Liga table
Playing at home, recently promoted side RCD Mallorca defeated table leaders Real Madrid 1-0 in the ninth round of La Liga play. The islanders, now sitting at 15th on the table, ended the Merengues unbeaten streak and dumped them into second place behind Barcelona.
Real coach, Zinadine Zidane, started Thibaut Courtois, Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo in defense, James Rodriguez, Isco, Vinicius Jr., and Casemiro in midfield, and Luka Jovic and Karim Benzema on offense. As is customary with the French coach, his substitutes came in at the sixty-sixth (Valverde and de Goes) and eighty-first (Diaz), and the players had little impact and came in too late to make any difference in a match Mallorca led since the seventh minute.
Real had 63% of possession over Mallorca, a 14-5 advantage on shots, and suffered 20 fouls to the 14 it doled out. But Odriozola, already on a yellow, came in unnecessarily hard on an awkward tackle near the sideline and justly received a second yellow at the 74th, further complicating the visitor’s comeback chances. In truth Real never looked like they would comeback as the hosts were playing better in stretches and the visitors seemed clueless for large swaths of the match.
One thing is certain, the Official Store for RCD Mallorca will have a banner sales week next week.
Remainder of the Round
On the remainder of Saturday play, Eibar lost 0-3 to visiting Barcelona, Atletico Madrid were held 1-1 at home by Valencia and hosts Getafe won 2-0 over Leganes. On Sunday, Alaves defeated visiting Celta Vigo 2-0, Real Betis lost 1-3 away to Real Sociedad, Villarreal won 1-0 away to Espanyol, Athletic Bilbao were held 1-1 by visiting Real Valladolid, and Sevilla played poor hosts beating Levante 1-0. While on Friday Granada won 1-0 at home over Osasuna.
At round’s end Barcelona were in first place with 19 points and a plus 13 goal differential. They are followed by Real Madrid at 18 points, Granada at 17 and three teams at 16. The top scorers were Real Betis’ Loren Moron with seven, Real Madrid’s Benzema and Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno with six and Valencia’s Dani Parejo and Barcelona’s Luis Suarez with five.