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Real Madrid Suffer Major Blow In LaLiga Title Race As Marco Asensio Misses Penalty

Real Madrid suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Mallorca on Sunday. The defeat hits a major dent to Real Madrid's title contention.

Real Madrid

Image: AP

Real Madrid suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Mallorca on Sunday. Los Blancos went goalless in a match where they dominated possession and had several opportunities to close the game. Nacho's own goal that came early in the first half remained the difference till the end of the match.

The defeat hits a major dent to Real Madrid's chase for the top position in the La Liga league table, where current leaders FC Barcelona are now 8 points clear at the top. In the match, the European Champions entered as the favorites to take all three points but Nacho's wavered attempt to clear a cross in the 13th minute saw Mallorca take the lead. Keeping 60% of the ball possession Madrid were always in the hunt to equalize but the finish was lacking. In the 58th minute, the 35-time La Liga winners had the golden opportunity to bring the game back to balance, however, Marco Asensio's poor effort to convert the spot kick from 12 yards out left Mallorca in the lead. 

Speaking about the game Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti said, " “It’s a loss that hurts a lot, but we expected the game would be like this, difficult with lots of fouls and interruptions. We prepared for a game like this. We suffered because of the early goal conceded. Then, the missed penalty obviously affected the final result too. I don’t think it was a bad game, but I think it was a different kind of game from usual, atypical. There should have been more yellow cards for them, not because the fouls were particularly bad but for consistent fouling. Now, we focus on the Club World Cup and then we’ll come back to fight for LaLiga until the end.”

Madrid's starting line-up did not include three of the foremost starters as Forward Karim Benzema, Centre-Back Eder Militao, and Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois are out injured. The team seemingly missed the presence of both at Son Moix on Sunday and may even have to travel without them to Morocco for the Club World Cup. A statement from Carlo Ancelotti about the final injury update before the start of the FIFA Club World Cup is expected to come out soon. With four titles Real Madrid are FIFA Club World Cup's most successful team.

FC Barcelona continue winning run

Late on Sunday, FC Barcelona showcased a clinical performance against Sevilla FC, beating them 3-0. Goals from Jordi Alba, Gavi, and Raphinha helped the team's cause. This was FC Barcelona's 10th straight victory in all competitions. Following some excellent display in the league and Madrid's inconsistent results, the Catalan side is sitting pretty at the top with 52 points, 8 points clear of the second-placed Real Madrid. Fc Barcelona will next face Villareal on weekend.