April 13, 2024

Madrid see off Mallorca to stay on title course

Madrid see off Mallorca to stay on title course

Real Madrid’s French midfielder #18 Aurelien Tchouameni (R) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal with Real Madrid’s Croatian midfielder #10 Luka Modric during the Spanish league football match between RCD Mallorca and Real Madrid CF at the Mallorca Son Moix stadium in Palma de Mallorca on April 13, 2024. (Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP)

Aurelien Tchouameni’s long-range strike earned Real Madrid a 1-0 victory over Copa del Rey runners-up Mallorca on Saturday to send Carlo Ancelotti’s side 11 points clear at the top of La Liga.

The France midfielder, who is suspended for the second leg of Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final away to Manchester City next week, scored three minutes into the second half with a deflected 25-metre drive.

Jude Bellingham rattled the crossbar in the first half with a rasping effort from just outside the area as Ancelotti reshuffled his attack with Wednesday’s trip to England in mind, leaving out Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.

Tchouameni’s third goal of the season put Madrid ahead, with Brahim Diaz denied a second by the legs of Mallorca goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic and Fede Valverde’s attempt cleared off the line.

Vinicius appeared off the bench for the last 30 minutes but Rodrygo and Toni Kroos were unused substitutes after a pulsating 3-3 draw with City in Tuesday’s first leg.

Sergi Darder’s spectacular dipping shot forced a flying stop from Andriy Lunin as Madrid extended their unbeaten league run to 25 games, keeping Barcelona a safe distance behind ahead of next week’s Clasico in the Spanish capital.

Atletico Madrid completed a good four days as they followed their midweek Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund with a 3-1 win over third-placed Girona.

Antoine Griezmann scored twice as Diego Simeone’s men moved to within four points of their opponents and pulled five clear of fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao in the race for Champions League qualification.

The Basques play Villarreal on Sunday.

Atletico won the home leg of their European tie 2-1 on Wednesday and visit Dortmund for the second leg on Tuesday.

Girona took the lead in Madrid with a fourth-minute goal from close range by Artem Dovbyk that took him on to a league-leading 17 goals.

Griezmann responded by converting a 34th-minute penalty.

Angel Correa then gave the home side the lead six minutes into added time at the end of the first half.

Griezmann extended his lead five minutes into the second half, taking advantage of a defensive error to fire home his 13th league goal of the season.

With an eye on the game in Germany, the France attacker was then replaced shortly after the hour mark by Marcos Llorente.

Girona’s fifth defeat away from home gives Barcelona, buoyed by their midweek 3-2 Champions League win at Paris Saint-Germain, the chance to tighten their grip on second when they visit struggling Cadiz in the last game of the day.

Rayo Vallecano and Getafe drew 0-0.

Vanguard News