5 Goals For Madrid, None For Mallorca: The Visitors Dazzle In A Difficult Venue

David Ramos

A good performance from Michael Essien, brilliance up front from Higuaín and Ronaldo with a pair of goals and assists each; and Özil, Modric and Xabi Alonso pulling the strings: Madrid dazzle in the Iberostar Stadium.

Mourinho lined up his men in his usual attack-minded 4-2-3-1, with Modric and Alonso on the double pivot, Özil behind the strikers, Higuaín up front and Essien reappearing at left-back.

It was supposed to be a difficult visit away from a Real Madrid that has been struggling from injury. It ended in a shower of goals and an entirely dominating performance from Los Merengues.

Mallorca were no threat to Iker Casillas. Pepe and Varane in the centre of defence both had solid games, winning every aerial challenge. Alonso, Modric and Özil had the midfield entirely under control and the team pressed as a unit, forcing Mallorca (playing a 4-4-2) to work their way up the pitch by earning a series of throws in the early moments.They also earned 3 corners before the 5th minute in what was, in hindsight, to represent their only threat near Madrid's penalty area.

In the 8th minute Madrid went ahead through Higuaín and never looked back. The opening goal came off a defence-splitting pass by di María. In the 22nd minute, Cristiano Ronaldo struck the second - a beautiful team goal involving di María, Modric, Özil and Higuaín.

Mallorca held out until after the break, when Higuaín scored again off a pass by Cristiano Ronaldo in the 69th. Four minutes later in the 73rd minute, Higuaín returned the favour by setting up Cristiano Ronaldo's second. Callejon put the icing on the cake in stoppage time off a perfect cross from Özil involving good work from substitute Morata.

Things to note: Alonso (who picked up a booking and is suspended next week) left the field with a hip injury. Substitute Morata had a wonderful few minutes, showing some very nice touches on the ball and taking part in the third goal. Michael Essien, after struggling against the German champions midweek, had a solid outing at left-back.

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