29 August 2010
Fernando Porrero / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid were determined to win tonight's match from the start, looking to score at all times. Higuain's chance on the 8-minute mark was saved by keeper Aouate. Mallorca focused on defending hoping to make a steal and pull off a successful counterattack.
During most of the first half, Casillas was a mere spectator and his defence hardly had any work to do. Mallorca had to resort to rather harsh tackles on Cristiano Ronaldo, Di Maria and Higuain to stop them, therefore breaking the pace of Mourinho's game.
The match slowed down and Mallorca used this to try their luck in Madrid's box before half-time through Castro, whose shot was off target.
The locals seemed more sure of themselves in the second part and Victor put Casillas to the test with a header in the 50th minute. Ronaldo tried to score from a free-kick nine minutes later, but a solid Aouate saved the day again. It seemed the Whites lacked focus in attack, forcing Mourinho to make some changes.
Benzema and Ozil came on for Di Maria and Canales. With a two striker system Real Madrid were more offensive and Higuain had another chance on the 63-minute mark, but Mallorca's stellar keeper guessed his intentions and cleared the ball yet again.
Khedira replaced Arbeloa with 20 minutes left in the game, forcing Lass to play as a right back. Benzema served Ronaldo a great assist in the 78th minute, but the ball missed the mark before the goalkeeper came out to clear it.
Mallorca also tried their luck to no avail. Higuain tried to defeat Aouate again, but was unsuccessful, and Khedira nearly scored a header towards the end. Benzema came close to netting a victory strike in injury time, but his chance was thwarted again by the keeper.