Real Madrid danced to the samba tune as they tore apart Real Mallorca 4-1 in a La Liga encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Two sublime individual efforts from Federico Valverde and Rodrygo were deemed enough for the hosts to subdue their opponent at their fortress. Vinicius Junior and Antonio Rudiger too joined the party as Los Blancos have now cemented their place at the top of the La Liga table with five straight wins.
Despite their dominance, Madrid conceded an unlikely goal from a set-piece situation as Vedat Muriqi headed past a hapless Thibaut Courtois to stun the Bernabeu crowd.
It took only a couple of minutes as Valverde produced one of the greatest goals the stadium has ever witnessed. He received the ball in their half and swiftly passed three Mallorca players before latching a powerful drive to the top corner.
With Eden Hazard unable to pull strings as a false nine, Carlo Ancelotti introduced three of his key players around the hour mark and it changed the dimension of the game as Madrid gained control of the match.
At the stroke of the 72 minutes, the breakthrough finally arrived for the home side as Rodrygo showed some brilliant skills to set up his fellow Brazilian who lobbed the ball over Mallorca shot stopper Predrag Rajkovic.
Rodrygo then went on to have his goal of the afternoon as he dazzled past two Mallorca defenders to defeat Rajkovic once more. Summer entrant Antonio Rudiger scored his first goal in the white jersey as he slammed home from Toni Kroos’ inch perfect free kick.
The reigning European champions had some problems in the game initially but the result proved that the post-Karim Benzema era is here to dominate games for years and they didn’t panic even after being a goal down in the match.
The Hard Tackle runs the rule over Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Thibaut Courtois: 6/10
The Belgian keeper wasn’t at fault for Mallorca’s goal as he hardly could do anything. He remained sharp throughout the game but didn’t have to be involved much.
Ferland Mendy: 5/10
The left back had an off day in the office. He didn’t seem interested in bombing forward and looked clumsy in defending too. He should have made an effort at the time of Mallorca’s goal as he left Muriqi unmarked who scored the goal.
Antonio Rudiger: 7/10
The German defender kept a strict watch on the Mallorca advancing players and didn’t allow any kind of distraction. On the top of it, he will be quite happy to register his name on the score sheet.
David Alaba: 6.5/10
Marshalled the defence pretty decently. He made some forward runs and went on to slot in the left back position during the final few minutes.
Lucas Vazquez: 6/10
Could have done more to join the attack. Carried the ball forward but lacked the needed intent.
Toni Kroos: 8.5/10
In the absence of Camavinga and Tchouameni, Kroos had the responsibility to steer his team from the middle of the pitch and he did that very well. He fed some delightful long crosses from the deep, sprayed passes across the pitch and finally got his reward as Rudiger added a fourth from his freekick.
Dani Ceballos: 7.5/10
Was given a rare start and the midfielder to tried to make it count. He snatched balls several times while also contributing vigorously to the offence. The player should start more games as he has the capability to bring a nice balance to the team.
Federico Valverde: 8/10
The young Uruguayan had another great game under his belt. His solo goal levelled terms at the Bernabeu and brought back the mojo of the team. Could be a real asset if he is nurtured properly.
Vinicius Junior: 8.5/10
Was very lively on the left flank throughout the game. He took on the opponent’s defenders and was even knocked down a couple of times. Rounded up the evening with a well-worked goal. He has now four consecutive goals in four La Liga matches.
Eden Hazard: 5/10
Despite the attacking unit blazing all guns, Hazard looked clueless and couldn’t recover in time to find anything positive. He perhaps should be tried in some other positions.
Was one of the standout players as he tried to get into a number of dangerous positions. He combined well with Vinicius and got an assist for his goal. His nippy footwork once again worked magic as he netted the third in the game.
Luka Modric: 6.5/10
The midfielder’s presence was immediately felt as he brought a sense of calm to the middle of the pitch.
Nacho Fernandez: 6/10
Moved to the central defence as David Alaba had a good run-in on the left side of the defence.
Eduardo Camavinga: 6/10
The midfielder looked composed on the ball.