The Santiago Bernabeu opened wide its stadium gates this evening to welcome visitors Mallorca for another LaLiga clash, with Carlo Ancelloti’s side entered the game second in the table in the wake of Atletico Madrid’s late win at Getafe last night, with Mallorca sitting tenth in the table. Los Blancos confidently sauntered through the match, emerging with a 6-1 trouncing of their rivals to send themselves top of the table.
For this match, Carletto the maestro chose a 4-2-3-1 lineup with Thibaut Courtois starting in between the sticks behind an impenetrable back four of Nacho, Eder Militao, David Alaba and Miguel. Eduardo Camavinga was gifted his first start in midfield beside Fede Valverde, behind an attacking trident featuring Marco Asensio, Rodrygo and Vinicius. Karim Benzema led the entire formation, needless to say.
At the whistle, Madrid whizzed off to a quick start, surging into the lead inside three minutes through mercurial frontman Benzema, who was wearing the skipper’s armband. Asensio, a former Mallorcan stalwart, needed another 20 minutes before doubling Madrid’s lead. Mallorca’s Kang-In Lee managed to pull one back for the visitors seconds later, only to be outdone again by Asensio who conjured up his second on the half-hour mark.
In the second half, Asensio completed his hat-trick in the 55th minute while Benzema promptly added his second of the evening, before Isco stepped up a gear and got in on the act in the 84th minute.
“We started well,” Carletto said after the game in comments carried by Marca. “We alternated play a little and played with a lot of intensity. We were more aggressive and on the front-foot. We hadn’t worked on it, but we did talk about it and the players understood it well. The players who hadn’t played much were prepared and that’s a good sign for the whole squad.
“[Asensio] can do very well there, in that position between the lines,” the Italian continued. “It’s a position in which he can do a lot of damage, because he has quality, he shoots very well, he combines very well with the forwards. I think this is his position.”
It really sounds and looks like not only has Asensio found where his true calling is at Real, as the renowned Italian doyen himself, Carletto, has also come back home to his favorite club to roost.
It is definitely the delightful scenario of a most contented Italian gentleman in sunny Spain.