A painful defeat for Real Madrid before heading to the Club World Cup
Monday – 15 Rajab 1444 AH – 06 February 2023 AD Issue No. [
Nacho and the heartbreak of scoring an own goal (AFP)
Madrid: «Asharq Al-Awsat»
Real Mallorca dealt a painful blow to Real Madrid by defeating it 1-0 yesterday, in the twentieth stage of the Spanish League, and before the Royal Club (European Champion) headed to Morocco to meet Al-Ahly of Egypt, Wednesday, in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup.
Real fell away from home with friendly fire, with the goal of its defender Nacho by mistake, in the 13th minute, in a match during which his winger, striker Marco Asensio, missed a penalty kick that was blocked by Serbian Mallorca goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic in the 60th minute.
And the royal club, which received its third loss this season, failed to reduce the difference to two points hours before Barcelona, the leaders’ match, against its guest, Seville, to freeze its score at 45 points in second place.
Mallorca, who returned to the winning streak after losing to Cadiz 0-2 in the previous stage, advanced to tenth place with 28 points.
And the curse of injuries continued in the ranks of Real, as Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was injured in his thigh during the warm-up period, so Ukrainian Andrei Lunin replaced him. Courtois joined a long list of injured in the capital’s club, which lacks the efforts of its veteran French striker, Karim Benzema, who won the Golden Ball last season, after suffering a thigh injury, similar to fellow Brazilian defender Eder Militao.
Benzema was injured during the last match, which Real won over Valencia 2-0, to go out in the 60th minute, heading directly to the dressing rooms, while Militao left in the same match after a collision with Samuel Leno in the 36th minute.
Real also announced on Saturday that Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard had injured his left knee, while Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti was forced to put together a squad that French Ferland Mendy and Lucas Vasquez also missed for the same reason, and German Toni Kroos and Croatian Luka Modric sat on the bench to rest 3 days before the expected confrontation. In front of Al-Ahly of Egypt in the Club World Cup.
Barely 13 minutes had passed since the starting whistle, when Mallorca opened the scoring with friendly fire, after Dani Rodriguez pushed Real Nacho defender (33 years old) to commit a mistake and hit his goalkeeper.
The royal club’s disappointment continued, as Asensio missed a penalty kick awarded by the referee after Raykovic impeded Brazilian striker Vinicius Jornyor inside the area, but the keeper of the den made up for his mistake by blocking a Spanish shot in the 59th minute. Ancelotti pushed the trio of Modric, Kroos, and Dominican striker Mariano Diaz to activate the team’s lines, so the latter almost snatched The equalizer, however, his ball passed over the goal in the (87th) minute, on the impact of tremendous pressure in the most dangerous opportunities from the header of German defender Antonio Rudiger, which did not result in a goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time.