Real Madrid’s unbeaten run has come to an end in La Liga at the hands of Real Mallorca, who scored an early goal and were able to withstand the pressure until the final whistle against an extremely shuffled Los Blancos side.
Zinedine Zidane named a shockingly offensive lineup with one natural midfielder in Carlos Casemiro. The starting eleven consisted of:
Thibaut Courtois, Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Carlos Casemiro, Isco, James Rodriguez, Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema, Luka Jovic
Real Mallorca –
Lago Junior (7′)
Real Madrid –
The match against Real Mallorca was supposed to be one where Zidane could rest important players but with the news recently of El Clasico being postponed (initially scheduled for October 26), it gave Los Merengues some breathing room but the French manager decided to go with the Casemiro and Isco pivot knowing extremely well that it won’t work due to positioning and the fact that Isco simply is not anywhere near good enough this season.
Another game and another disappointment from Luka Jovic who is undoubtedly finding it extremely frustrating at the moment. Against Real Mallorca, he was practically non-existent for most of his time on the pitch and whenever he did get the ball, he was unable to do anything worthwhile with it. I’ll still stand by what I said in regards to him needing just one goal to get the pressure off his shoulders but until that goal comes, this side of Jovic is very worrying.
Probably the only player who was extremely impressive against Real Mallorca as James Rodriguez continues proving himself to Zidane with each appearance. The Colombian’s crosses were almost always on point and his positioning caused problems for the Real Mallorca defense. Unfortunately, I highly doubt that he’ll ever get the full trust of Zidane but at least things have been improving between the two.
If it was anyone else with the opportunities Vinicius Junior had, Real Madrid would not have lost the game. His finishing is still terrible and with time, he is expected to improve. His runs and skill made life difficult for the opponents but his decision-making was what gave them a sigh of relief every time.