Real Madrid secured a well-deserved victory against Mallorca, with Antonio Rudiger’s late header proving to be the decisive moment.
Mallorca had some close calls in their match, with Antonio Sanchez’s header hitting the underside of the crossbar and bouncing off the goalline. Samu Costa also had a near miss, hitting the post for the visitors.
Unfortunately, those missed opportunities ended up being quite costly when Rudiger scored a header from Modric’s well-placed corner in the 78th minute.
Real Madrid’s impressive run continues, as they remain undefeated in their last 18 matches across all competitions.
In a thrilling match, Real briefly took the lead at the top of the table. However, their position was short-lived as Girona managed to level the points with a last-minute winning goal against Atletico Madrid.
Real and Girona are currently tied at the halfway point in the Spanish league season, both with 48 points from 19 matches. However, Real Madrid holds the top spot due to their superior goal difference.
Rudiger’s rare goal proves to be the deciding factor
This was the first game following boss Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to extend his contract with Real Madrid, putting an end to the rumours about him joining the Brazil national team. His commitment to the club now extends until at least 2026.
Ancelotti received a positive boost with the return of Vinicius Jr, who played his first club game in nearly two months after recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered while on international duty with Brazil in November.
Vinicius had two shots saved by Predrag Rajkovic – one from a difficult angle and another from outside the penalty area.
However, Mallorca, who are currently 14th in the table, came close to scoring on two occasions as they aimed to secure an unexpected victory.
England’s Jude Bellingham has been in exceptional form this season, leading the scoring charts in La Liga with an impressive tally of 13 goals. One of his standout moments was a remarkable diving header, expertly timed from Modric’s cross. However, the away custodian Rajkovic made an incredible save, denying Bellingham a well-deserved goal.
Following Mallorca’s near miss, Real Madrid took control of the game, displaying their dominance as they aimed for their fourth consecutive victory in all competitions and their ninth win in their last 10 matches.
It would have been a golden opportunity for them to take the lead, as Rodrygo’s shot was deflected into Brahim Diaz’s path. However, the substitute’s diving header hit the post when faced with an open goal just a few yards away.
Fortunately for Diaz, Rudiger came to the rescue with a goal, marking his first in La Liga since September 11, 2022 during a 4-1 win against Mallorca.
Despite Morata’s impressive hat-trick, Atletico fell short of victory.
Girona, a relatively new team in the Spanish top-flight, has yet to achieve a higher finish than 10th place in their history.
Nevertheless, their point tally is equal to that of Real, with a comfortable 10-point lead over both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, although Barcelona still have a game to play.
In the match against Atletico, Girona wasted no time in taking the lead with Valery Fernandez’s impressive curled shot from 20 yards. However, their joy was short-lived as Alvaro Morata quickly equalised with a well-placed finish from Antoine Griezmann’s pass.
Savio scored to put Girona back in the lead, capitalising on Martin’s shot that was saved. Daley Blind, a former Manchester United defender, then scored a close-range volley to extend the lead to 3-1.
Ex-Chelsea forward Morata showcased his skills once again, finding the back of the net twice with the help of two assists from Rodrigo de Paul. This impressive hat-trick brought the score to a thrilling 3-3. However, despite Morata’s efforts, Martin delivered a stunning last-minute goal, securing a dramatic victory.