Having had the chance to close to within two points of leaders Barcelona, Real Madrid could now be eight points adrift in the La Liga title race come Sunday night after a disappointing defeat against Mallorca.
Real Madrid had injury concerns heading into the match, and things weren’t helped when Thibaut Courtois was replaced as starting goalkeeper before the match had even begun. Andriy Lunin was given a rare start, but he conceded after just 13 minutes.
Dani Rodriguez’s cross from the left was flicked on by Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez, and the ball looped over Lunin to give Mallorca a shock lead. Los Blancos proceeded to dominate the first half, but failed to register a single shot on target to trouble Predrag Rajkovic.
In the second half, Real Madrid had a huge opportunity to equalise early on when Vinicius Jr was fouled inside the box and a penalty was awarded. With Karim Benzema absent, Marco Asensio took on the responsibility, but his effort was saved brilliantly by Rajkovic.
👀 Marco Asensio from the spot in his hometown, against his former club…
…and it's saved BRILLIANTLY by Rajkovic down low in the corner and Real Madrid still trail Mallorca 🖐️ pic.twitter.com/azxss3VwZv
— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) February 5, 2023
That turned out to be Real Madrid’s only shot on target in the entire game, in what was a desperately disappointing performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s side. They stay five points behind Barcelona, who can stretch their lead to eight with a victory over Sevilla later on Sunday.
Real Madrid’s attention now turns to the Club World Cup, where they will face Al Ahly on Wednesday in Rabat.
Image via EFE