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Maintaining the league lead: Rudiger saves Real Madrid against Mallorca

Maintaining the league lead: Rudiger saves Real Madrid against Mallorca

Real Madrid continues to lead the Spanish League. Against Mallorca, Rudiger and the aluminum gave Madrid three important points in the title race.

Match winner: Antonio Rudiger.

Just in time for Christmas, Carlo Ancelotti's side, who recently secured a new contract, took top spot thanks to a late 1-0 win over Deportivo Alaves – and of course he wanted to defend that in the new year. However, against a Mallorca team that was very brave to begin with, it took some time before the returning Vinicius Junior, who was called into attack in place of Brahim Diaz, scored the home side's first good chance in the 20th minute.

Vinicius Junior failed twice

The Brazilian was one of four new players compared to the last-minute win in the Basque Country, after which an already devastated Madrid backline had to do without Nacho, who was sent off with a red card. Substitutes Chouamini, Carvajal and Lunin, who came on for Vazquez and Kepa, did not have much to do at the start, and after a good 30 minutes they saw Vinicius Junior's next shot, which was blocked by Rajkovic (37).

The crossbar and the post save Real Madrid

Shortly before the half-time whistle, Mallorca coach Javier Aguirre, who had to replace the suspended Jaume Costa in the 3-2 home win against Osasuna van der Heijden, was able to examine his pupils' attacking moments – and they were difficult. Suddenly the RCD turned up the heat and almost turned the game on its head during a short period of pressure. First, Antonio Sanchez's header bounced off the crossbar and into the goal line (42'), before Larin shot outside the penalty area in the second minute of stoppage time.

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Nothing changed in the second round in Madrid. The favorites dominated, but apart from an innocuous free-kick at the end from Kroos (53rd), they had no impact offensively. Mallorca was different and was not lucky again in a direct return. Samuel Costa shot a ball from a long distance, hitting Lunin's goal and hitting the post (54).

After Brahim Diaz's amazing miss: Rudiger replaces Real Madrid

This was followed by 15 minutes of inactivity, after which Brahim Diaz submitted an early application for all the evaluations of the still young year. After Rajkovic brilliantly blocked Rodrigo's shot, the home side managed to head the ball into the inside post, one meter away from the empty goal, as it jumped outside the penalty area (69).

So a corner kick was needed to help again, which actually sealed the stoppage-time win over Deportivo Alaves. But this time, it was not Kroos and Vazquez who were the heroes of the match, but Modric and Rudiger. The midfield strategist served as the captain of the defense who headed in an unstoppable shot to make it 1-0 (78th). A blow to which Mallorca can no longer find an answer.

The Spanish League will have a break next weekend due to the approaching round of 16 of the Copa del Rey. Real Madrid will be a guest at CF Arandina Stadium (Saturday, 9:30 pm), then Mallorca at Burgos CF Stadium the next day (12:00 pm).