Valverde and Rodrygo proved a lot in Real Madrid’s efforts to win Mallorca

Madrid – Real Madrid continued their 100% start to the season with a home win against Mallorca.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS and more (US)

The visitors shocked the Spanish and European champions by taking the lead in the 35th minute broccoli vedabut they couldn’t hold onto the feature until the interval Federico Valverde He scored a great goal in the third minute of stoppage time.

Report: Real Madrid 4-1 Mallorca | league table | Upcoming matches

Vinicius Jr Carlo Ancelotti’s men put Ancelotti ahead in the 72nd minute, wrapping up a brilliant 4-1 win in the last minute with goals from Rodrigo And the Antonio Rudiger.

jump to: Player ratings | Best/Worst Performer | Highlights and Highlights | Post-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming matches

fast response

1. Valverde is the hero of the unsung Madrid midfield

He may not get the same amount of attention and praise Luka ModricAnd the Toni Kroos Or – more recently – a new addition Aurelien ChuaminiBut Valverde is an increasingly important and influential player in this Real Madrid squad.

Valverde has always offered a no-nonsense, ego-free attitude and tireless effort, but now he’s adding a consistent end product to his game as well. Just look at his contributions over the past few weeks.

Here, with Real Madrid trailing 1-0 and finding it difficult to break through Mallorca’s five-man defense line and deep defensive block, Valverde took the reins, cutting inside and firing past the goalkeeper. Predrag Rajkovic to the level before the end of the first half.

The strike came after Vinicius’ assist against Celtic in the Champions League midweek, another pass against Real Betis in La Liga last weekend, and a goal against Celta Vigo on August 20.

It all comes of course after Vinicius made the only goal in the match against Liverpool in the Champions League final in May. Valverde has started here in a deeper and more central role than he has tended to occupy on the right wing this season – he was asked to assist Kroos in the midfield engine room – but he managed to advance with the decisive equalizer.

It has become difficult for coach Carlo Ancelotti to dismiss him.

2. Hazard is floundering the test as a substitute for Benzema

Another missed opportunity Eden Hazard. Karim BenzemaThe injury he picked up in the middle of the week has given the Belgian – whom Ancelotti named ninth for this season – another chance to prove that this could finally be his year.

His performance on the bench against Celtic was encouraging, as he scored and assisted in his 60 minutes on the field. He was here for a similar amount of time before withdrawing, it had little impact and was not really likely to add to his four goals he scored in three years in La Liga.

Hazard showed flashes of quality. Off-ball touch and movement are still good, although he often doesn’t seem in sync with his teammates accustomed to Benzema’s style. Mostly frustrated by Mallorca’s crowded defense, he was getting deeper and deeper trying to engage the game.

Ancelotti may feel that this is the only possible role for Hazard, given his speed loss and Vinicius’ electric level on the left, but it’s hard to see why Rodrygo – who scored in such a great performance here – or even Mariano No plan B would be more effective up front.

3. Mallorca’s forward double caused problems for Madrid’s defense

The odds of Mallorca remaining bustling this season will depend on the shape of the exciting second line-up: Muriqi and Lee Kang In. An old-fashioned striker, Muriqui has been a revelation since joining on loan from Lazio in January and already has three goals this season, while Kang In, a former Valencia player, now appears to have fulfilled his early promise.

It wasn’t always easy for Real Madrid’s defense – which was lacking in injuries Eder Militao — To deal with. The hosts were horrified early on when Muriqui walked away from Rudiger, who was making his debut at the Bernabeu a month into the new season, within the first minute and Thibaut Courtois forced to intervene.

Real Madrid were also affected in Mallorca’s opening match. And I found Lee Lee Muriqi’s free kick at the far post after he evaded the knockout Ferland Mindy He won his head over Courtois. It didn’t matter in the end, with Real Madrid losing the two comfortable winners thanks to those late goals from Rodrygo and Rudiger, but there are still questions about exactly where the latter fits when everyone is fit.

Player ratings

Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois 6; Lucas Vazquez 6, Antonio Rudiger 7, David Alaba 6, Ferland Mendy 6; Toni Kroos 7, Fede Valverde 8, Dani Ceballos 7; Rodrygo goes 8, Vinicius Jr. 8, Eden Hazard
Subs: Luka Modric 6 Nacho Fernandez 6 Eduardo Camavinga 6 Dani Carvajal 7.

Mallorca: Predrag Rajkovic 5, Pablo Maffeo 6, Martin Valgent 7, Antonio Rilo 6, Mateja Nastasek 5, Jaume Costa 5; Rodrigo Battaglia, Inigo de Gallareta 6, Dani Rodriguez 6; Lee Kang In 7, Vedat Muriki
Subs: Idrissou Baba 6, Antonio Sanchez 6, Clement Grenier 6, Abdon Prats 5, Lago Junior 5.

Best and worst performer

Best: Rodrygo, Real Madrid

Visibly growing as a player week by week. Aim and help here. Surely it is worth trying through the middle in the absence of Benzema?

worst: Rajkovic, Mallorca

He started well but ended up conceding four times, wishing he had done much better with Rudiger’s goal.

Highlights and Highlights

After the match: What the managers said, the players said

Ancelotti in the match:

“The goals, they were great, all three goals (Valverde, Vinicius, Rodrygo). Rodrygo and Vinicius combined well for his goal, it was important to move on, and then it was easier. The fact that we gave up a fixed piece, all that was expected but in the end We kept calm and little by little we came back to the game and won.”

Ancelotti on Valverde:

“Being a leader is when you’re a role model and Federico is a very important player for us, he’s doing a good job, he’s very humble…Leaders are by example and not by words, that’s important.”

Ancelotti in the top three:

“The idea was to move Hazard from the center of the attacker so that others would move on to him. Valverde did it once, it could be Rodrygo, Vinicius, we played sideways very slowly and I wanted to change that. I had the idea of ​​Rodrygo in the center of attack.”

Ancelotti on Hazard:

“It was difficult in the first half not because Hazard was in the center of the attack. It was difficult because the position when he fell was not occupied by others. In the future I have the same idea, sometimes I can play with Rodrygo in the center striker or Hazard in the center of the attack with Rodrygo on Wide range. It’s difficult to do that with Valverde out on a wide scale.”

Key Statistics (Provided by ESPN Statistics and Information)

Of the 42 goals Vinicius scored with Real Madrid, 32 were while playing as a left winger, while 5 goals were in the left attacking center, 4 in the left center and 1 as a striker.

Vinicius scored in 5 consecutive games in all competitions, extending the longest streak of his career

Daniel CeballosThe assist is his first league contribution with Real Madrid since 2019. He broke a streak of 16 league games without a goal contribution.

next one

Real Madrid: Ancelotti’s team will continue to defend its Champions League title with a home match against Leipzig, who scored an impressive 3-0 victory at home to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday after a turbulent start to the season. Then there is the small matter of the Madrid derby against Atletico at the Metropolitano next Sunday before the two-week international break.

Mallorca: With no European matches left, Mallorca will only play one before the two-week UEFA Nations League returns. They will host Almeria on Saturday.