Real Madrid close in on LaLiga title after edging to victory over Mallorca

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Real Madrid close in on LaLiga title after edging to victory over Mallorca

Tchouameni scoring the winner for Real Madrid
Tchouameni scoring the winner for Real MadridAFP
Despite having one eye on big fixtures soon to come, Real Madrid maintained their stroll towards the La Liga title by beating RCD Mallorca 1-0 at Estadi Mallorca Son Moix – their second win by that scoreline against the Copa del Rey finalists this season.

With this match sandwiched between two UEFA Champions League quarter-final ties with Manchester City, and El Clasico on the horizon, Carlo Ancelotti made six changes to his line-up.

It clearly showed as Real looked disjointed going forward despite dominating territory. It took half an hour for the game’s first shot on target to arrive – a Dani Rodríguez corner for the hosts was headed goalwards by Antonio Raillo, but Andriy Lunin kept it out.

That seemed to be the wake-up call Los Blancos needed, as two minutes later Aurelien Tchouameni fed Jude Bellingham, who curled a 20-yard effort onto the Mallorca crossbar. But any hopes the visitors had of clicking into gear before the break didn’t materialise as they failed to work Los Piratas goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.

However, that first-half display had been forgotten two minutes into the second period when a clearance fell to Tchouameni, who took it upon himself to strike for goal from 30 yards out. His effort deflected off Antonio Sanchez, which took it away from Rajkovic, who could only watch the ball sail into his top corner. 

Real Madrid - Mallorca match stats
Real Madrid - Mallorca match statsFlashscore

Real twice came close to doubling the lead in the next 15 minutes, but Rajkovic denied Brahim Diaz either side of an opportunity for the home team, with Nacho crucially blocking Abdon Prats’ strike after Matija Nastasic cut the ball back to him.

In the final 20 minutes, substitute Vinícius Junior was slaloming his way through the Mallorca defence before the ball broke to Federico Valverde; he took it round the goalkeeper but somehow failed to score thanks to brilliant defending on the line by Nastasic.

Javier Aguirre’s men almost made Los Merengues pay within minutes when Sergi Darder chested the ball down and unleashed a powerful half-volley from 30 yards, but Lunin reached his top corner to make the save. 

Ultimately, Mallorca could not force a late equaliser, making it their fifth consecutive league match to feature one goal or fewer as Real took the three points at San Moix, something neither Barcelona nor Girona could manage this season.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid)

Check out all the match stats with Flashscore.

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