MADRID - Real Madrid came from behind to beat Mallorca 4-1 at the Bernabéu in LaLiga on Sunday and continue their perfect start to the season.
A solo effort from Federico Valverde on the stroke of halftime leveled the scores after Vedat Muriqi had stunned the home crowd by nodding the visitors ahead. Vinícius put the hosts in front before Rodrygo and Antonio Rüdiger completed the rout.
Federico Valverde Goal Vs. Mallorca
VALVERDE WHAT HAVE YOU JUST DONE!!! pic.twitter.com/81mVC4zn6n
Vini Jr. Goal Vs. Mallorca
Beautiful team goal from Real Madrid pic.twitter.com/55CmU1rxb9
Rodrygo Goal Vs. Mallorca
STUNNING SOLO GOAL FROM RODRYGO pic.twitter.com/RMp5vzOX3r
Real returned to the top of the table, two points ahead of second-placed Barcelona.
"We knew they'd cause us issues, they defended well and scored from a set piece and it was difficult for us to gain a foothold," Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "But we kept cool heads and had enough quality to go ahead in the game. We didn't play in the best way that we could've in the first half, but we were much better in the second."
A much-changed Real initially struggled to gain a foothold and sorely missed injured talisman Karim Benzema in attack throughout a below-par first half. Muriqi, who was denied by Thibaut Courtois inside the opening 40 seconds, headed in unmarked at the back post after 35 minutes and it appeared the champions would go in trailing at the break for the first time this campaign.
Mallorca take lead against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu pic.twitter.com/dipkwqSimi
That changed, however, in added time at the end of the half when Valverde ran the length of the pitch before firing home a left-footed shot from the edge of the box. After the break the hosts monopolized the ball, but were fortunate when Antonio Sánchez fired wide from six yards out with the goal gaping on a rare foray forward from the Balearic Islanders.
Rodrygo’s mazy run fed Vinícius 18 minutes from time and the Brazilian forward netted for a fifth consecutive game to put Ancelotti's side in front, before Rodrygo, who capped off a delightful run with a perfect finish, and a first goal in Madrid colors for Rüdiger added late gloss to the scoreline.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)