Vincenzo, Rodrigo leads Real Madrid to defeat Mallorca

Vincenzo, Rodrigo leads Real Madrid to defeat Mallorca

MADRID (AP) — Vinicius Jr. and Rodrigo came through in the absence of Karim Benzema to keep Real Madrid perfect this season.

Vincenzo and Rodrigo scored in the second half as Madrid beat Mallorca 4-1 for their fifth straight win in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Madrid were without the injured Benzema and other regular starters as coach Carlo Ancelotti shuffled his squad ahead of the team’s Champions League clash against Leipzig on Wednesday.

Mallorca got on the board first at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in the 35th minute with a header by Lee Kang-in from Vedat Moriki during a set piece.

Madrid equalized three minutes into the first half when Federico Valverde headed in a top corner.

Vencius put Madrid ahead inside the area after a good pass from Rodrigo in the 72nd, then Rodrigo found the net himself in the 89th after some nifty moves to pass three Mallorca defenders in the area.

Defender Antonio Rudiger stopped the ball with a shot from close range after a set-piece was taken by Toni Kroos in stoppage time.

Madrid is the only team with five consecutive victories in Europe’s top five leagues. It hasn’t won five in a row to start its season since 2009-10.

It was Madrid’s seventh consecutive victory in all competitions. It also defeated Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup final and Celtic in the opening of its group in the Champions League.

Benzema, the team’s best player last season, missed the match against Mallorca after picking up an injury in the team’s Champions League game against Celtic on Tuesday. The injury was not serious but there is no official timetable for his return.

Luka Modric and Eduardo Kamwenga were among the regulars who started on the bench.

The win left Madrid two points ahead of Barcelona, ​​who have won four in a row, including Saturday’s 4-0 drubbing of last-place Cadiz. Atletico Madrid won 4-1 at home against Celta Vigo for their third league win.

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