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Real Madrid 4-1 Mallorca: Player ratings

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Barcelona’s win over Cadiz on Saturday put them provisionally on top of the league standings and only a win for Real Madrid would see them leapfrog their arch-rivals. In theory, a win over Mallorca should have been easy but Real Madrid suffered against them on Sunday.

Carlo Ancelotti fielded a heavily rotated lineup with the likes of Eden Hazard, Dani Ceballos, Antonio Rudiger and Lucas Vazquez receiving starts. 

The hosts had the better chances in the first half but could not make the most of them. Despite Real Madrid dominating the proceedings, it was Mallorca who took the early lead through Vedat Muriqi.

But Federico Valverde scored a screamer to send both teams on level terms into half-time. And the hosts came back with an explosive second half to blow away the opposition. Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Rudiger all got on the scoresheet as they ran away to a 4-1 win

Madrid Universal brings you the player ratings from Sunday’s game.

Thibaut Courtois: 7

Not much he could do about the opener, did well to keep his team in the game by making a crucial save in the opening minutes.

Lucas Vasquez: 7.5

The Spanish international was a lively presence on the right flank and was regularly involved in the buildup sequences with Valverde and Rodrygo. Defensively, he was calm and composed and did well to contain Kang-in Lee.

Antonio Rudiger: 7

Not his best defensive performance. Often allowed the visitors into the box from the right side, especially for Antonio Sanchez’s chance in the second half. However, he got his first goal for the club with a neat finish in the final minute of the game.

David Alaba: 7

Was the better of the two centre-backs but still far from his best.

Ferland Mendy: 3.5

A poor first half with an unnecessary yellow card. The Frenchman was ball-watching during Mallorca’s opener and looked lost in the final third. The second half was better, but it is clear why Ancelotti does not see him as a long-term solution.

Federico Valverde: 9

Valverde was everywhere on the field – winning balls, orchestrating the play and challenging the opponents’ goal. He can take complete credit for the team’s equaliser in the final minute of the first half as he took the ball across the field and hammered it beyond the reach of Rajkovic by himself.

Valverde scored a solo stunner for Real Madrid (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Valverde scored a solo stunner for Real Madrid (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Toni Kroos: 8

Silently carried the team through the middle of the park and acted like the adhesive that kept the side together. Completed over 100 passes and played well in the role of a pivot. 

Dani Ceballos: 8

The Spaniard was given a rare start by Ancelotti and he took his chance with both hands. He was Real Madrid’s most important midfielder on the afternoon with his press resistance and incisive passes. Often, it was his final ball that led to direct chances on the goal.

Rodrygo: 9

A constant threat in the final third and had several chances to score himself. Eventually got the assist for Vinicius’ goal with some calm control under pressure.

His best moment in the game came in the penultimate minute of regulation time as he ran past the Mallorca defence and scored a wonder goal.

Eden Hazard: 6

Made his presence felt with some tight pass sequences in the opposition box. Yet, he was still invisible for large periods of the game.

Vinicius Jr: 9

The Brazilian oozed confidence and toyed around with Mallorca’s defenders on numerous occasions. However, it was not his best performance in front of the goal in the first half. Later in the day, however, he changed that with a well-worked finish to give Real Madrid a 2-1 lead.

Substitutes

Luka Modric: 7.5

Came on in the 60th minute and immediately took over the reins in midfield. Seemingly created a chance almost every time he touched the ball. Once again showed the world why he is the best in the business.

Nacho Fernandez: 6

Did what was needed of him after replacing Mendy.

Eduardo Camavinga: 6

Came in, completed all his passes and won all his duels.

Dani Carvajal: 7

Came on to replace Vazquez and did exceedingly well to fortify Real Madrid’s right wing. Also got the assist for Rodrygo’s goal.

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Features

Three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Osasuna

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

After a two-week hiatus from club football, Real Madrid return to action on Sunday night in a home game against Osasuna. The league leaders have been unstoppable so far this season, and the objective at the Bernabeu will be to keep their fine form going.

Jagoba Arrasate’s side have enjoyed a positive start to the season with four wins in six games so far. The Pamplona-based side sit sixth in the league standings ahead of the likes of Villarreal and Atletico Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti will make several changes in his starting lineup on the night – some forced and some out of choice. Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Los Blancos’ weekend clash.

1. Time to kick in the nitros

Real Madrid have been flawless this season and are the only club in the European top-flight to have not dropped a single point. While their start to the season has been nothing short of a fairytale, one wonders how long they can keep the magical streak going.

The month of October brings with it one of the most hectic schedules the club has seen in recent years. Over the next 30 days, Los Blancos play nine games across all competitions. In short, the equation boils down to a game every three days.

To come out on top in all nine games will require a superhuman effort from the Real Madrid players, but one knows well that the squad is capable of it. The team are in a strong headspace, and injecting the right amount of fuel at this point could propel their throttle and see them weather the storm.

A job well begun is half done, and Carlo Ancelotti will hope that his men can make a strong start to the month on Sunday night.

2. Coping without Modric

Godric. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

The FIFA International break has been cruel to clubs across the globe, with several key players returning injured and facing several weeks on the sidelines. The story for Real Madrid is no different.

Luka Modric played every minute of Croatia’s two friendlies in the last two weeks and even scored a goal in their 3-1 win over Austria. However, he suffered an injury to his hip and faces 8-10 days on the sidelines.

The veteran, at 37 years of age, has arguably been Real Madrid’s best player this season. In eight games, he has scored two goals and provided one assist for Los Blancos and continues to show the world why he is one of the best the game has seen.

Modric is expected to return for the Clasico in two weeks. However, one cannot help but wonder how Ancelotti compensates for such a big void.

It has been reported that the manager sees Dani Ceballos as the ideal man for the job. The 26-year-old impressed when given the start against Mallorca earlier this season, making four key passes and bagging one assist. Now, he could have his moment and a chance to prove his worth to the manager.

In Modric’s absence, Ceballos could start alongside Aurelien Tchouameni and Toni Kroos in the middle of the park. With Eduardo Camavinga quickly climbing up the pecking order, the 26-year-old must make the most of his chance on Sunday to secure a place in the coming games.

3. The return of the gladiator

After a slow start to the season, Karim Benzema bounced back with a brace against Espanyol on Matchday three. Just when it seemed like he had found his stride, however, he suffered a thigh injury and was ruled out for close to three weeks.

While the team found alternate sources of goals in his absence, it was clear that Los Blancos lacked a dominant presence in the box in recent weeks. With Benzema’s recovery close to complete, all eyes will be on him to see if he can find his feet again.

In his pre-match press conference, Ancelotti confirmed that the French international would start on Sunday though it is unlikely that he will play all 90 minutes. Nevertheless, this comes as a big relief to Real Madrid, given that they have no natural replacement for the centre-forward.

The captain will look to make a statement on his return on Sunday and will likely be deployed alongside Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo.

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