Mallorca 1-0 Real Madrid: Los Blancos fail to close gap on Barca
Marco Asensio saw his penalty saved as Nacho's own goal condemned Real Madrid to a surprise 1-0 defeat against mid-table Mallorca in LaLiga on Sunday.
Madrid fell behind when stand-in captain Nacho deflected Vedat Muqiri's header beyond Andriy Lunin — a late replacement for the injured Thibaut Courtois — 13 minutes in.
The champions toiled for long periods without absent striker Karim Benzema and they missed a golden chance to level when Predrag Rajkovic saved Asensio's second-half penalty.
The result meant Los Blancos missed the chance to close the gap on LaLiga leaders Barcelona ahead of their fixture against Sevilla later on Sunday, handing the Blaugrana the chance to move eight points clear.
Fresh from three successive home wins, Mallorca wasted little time in taking the lead. Muriqi met Dani Gonzalez's inswinging cross, and his flicked header deflected off Nacho before looping over Lunin.
Madrid controlled the remainder of a scrappy first half but failed to register a single shot on target before the break, with the likes of Federico Valverde and Antonio Rudiger restricted to ambitious long-range efforts that cleared the crossbar.
The visitors were presented with a wonderful opportunity to equalise on the hour mark when a VAR review ruled Rajkovic had fouled Vinicius Junior. However, the goalkeeper atoned for his error by guessing correctly to brilliantly deny Asensio.
Carlo Ancelotti introduced the likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in a bid to inspire Madrid, who had lost just once in their nine previous away games against Mallorca prior to Sunday's meeting.
Substitute Mariano Diaz volleyed narrowly over and Rudiger sent a header wide late on but the stubborn hosts clung on to deal a huge blow to the champions' title defence.
What does it mean? Wasteful Madrid punished by Mallorca
Despite enjoying almost three-quarters of the possession, Madrid failed to convert any of their 20 shots on goal and could trail Barcelona by eight points by the end of Sunday.
As for Mallorca, their impressive home form continues after a memorable win, which ended a run of four successive defeats in this fixture.
Madrid fire a blank without Benzema
Ancelotti's side failed to score for the second time in three games as Benzema's absence was keenly felt. Los Blancos' only shot on target throughout the contest came courtesy of Asensio's saved penalty.
The champions thus failed to register a shot on target during the first half – doing so in a LaLiga match for the first time since September 2021 (against Villarreal).
Vinicius fails to inspire
Vinicius had been involved in a goal in each of his four previous LaLiga appearances against Mallorca — scoring three and assisting one — while only netting more against Levante (six) and Valencia (four) in the competition.
However, he was unable to continue that streak here. His tally of 13 passes was the lowest recorded by any Madrid starter, while he failed to register a single shot on goal.
Although, his mission was constantly disrupted as he was fouled 10 times — the most any Madrid player has suffered in a LaLiga match since Isco against Real Betis in August 2013 (also 10).
Madrid's attention turns to the Club World Cup when they face Al Ahly in Rabat on Tuesday, while Mallorca aim to build on their LaLiga momentum away at Sevilla four days later.