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Mallorca Vs. Real Madrid, La Liga 2012: Madrid Earns Gritty Comeback

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Real Madrid pulled out another very important win in dangerous territory against Mallorca. The first half played by Mourinho's team was simply atrocious as Mallorca was able to score and protect their goal perfectly during all 45 minutes.

Mourinho probably played the best possible lineup, but the team showed that their focus was already on Wednesday's game against Barcelona. The coach knew this could happen, but he sure expected something more from his team in that first half.

It's not easy to blame any one player when the whole team plays that badly, but Mourinho might be starting to worry about Xabi Alonso's form. The Spanish midfielder is known to be a player who gets in shape very slowly, but this was probably too much after Christmas break.

Madrid's fan base should really be asking for Nuri Sahin to get some minutes given Alonso's circumstances. Alonso is very important in Madrid's scheme and the team is really missing his offensive presence. He needs to get in shape and do it quickly.

The Alonso-Lass couple looked terrible today, as the Frenchman could not produce a single play offensively as well. The team is going to miss Khedira a lot, and Lass Diarra should be considered a right back instead of a midfielder. His games in the defensive part of the wing have been really consistent and good, while every time Mourinho places him in the midfield he tries to do too much.

His place in the midfield could be taken by Altintop or Coentrao. The Portuguese player was a lot better than Lass alongside Xabi in the beginning of the season and has not played in that position again. With Khedira's absence we might see some Coentrao in the middle again. Given Arbeloa's bad moment and the team's lack of players in the right back, Lass should take on that role from now on.

After some serious chances by Mallorca, Caparrós' team scored in a set-piece play in the 39th minute. Xabi could not reach the ball and Hemed delivered a nice header inside Casillas' goal. The team has not been defending these plays very well lately, so Mourinho needs to focus on this aspect of the game for the upcoming matches.

The end of the first half arrived and Mourinho introduced Higuaín for Lass to start the second. The team had the ball but could not create a single opportunity, so Madrid's coach decided to do the other two substitutions in the 59th minute. Coentrao and Kaká joined the game for Arbeloa and Marcelo. This was definite proof that Real Madrid needed desperately to get the three points today.

Özil then began to look better with Kaká on the pitch, and the German was Madrid's playmaker during the second half.

The referee disallowed a Mallorca goal due to offsides but the replay showed that Mallorca's striker was on his own part of the pitch when his partner passed the ball, so no one knows whether Casillas would've stopped it or not.

Özil passed the ball to Higuaín in the 72nd minute and the Argentinian shot it. The ball passed through the defender's legs and finished inside the net. The team was lucky to get that one, but then gained full control of the game and its scoring chances.

Cristiano, who had a bad game overall, could have scored from long range if his shot was a little bit lower, but the ball hit the post.

The team was looking better, and earned a second goal. Callejón got the ball outside the box after a missed chance by Real Madrid and shot it fiercely to the goal. Luckily for Real Madrid, neither the defenders nor Aouate could stop the goal for going in.

It's nice to see the team come back from a loss again, but Madrid needs to be careful when facing these kinds of opponents at home. Mourinho and his players were able to get the win before Barcelona's game, but with Bilbao coming to Madrid next weekend and with la Liga in play, Real Madrid should play at full speed against Bilbao instead of doing so against Barcelona. The Copa del Rey is not a major target anymore, and la Liga is probably in the team's hands.

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