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Zidane loses credibility in Mallorca

As Madrid surrendered their lead at the top at Son Moix, Zidane’s standing took a knock. Vicente Moreno is a modest figure in charge of a side that, still with the nuts and bolts of its Segunda B set-up, beat Madrid in the opening exchanges and, as it transpired, the whole game. Ahead of their visit to Galatasaray and with the FIFA virus kicking in, Zidane rested a number of starters and assembled a lopsided team. Frankly, only Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and Militao warranted resting. The full-backs were more attack than defence, both Isco and James are playmakers, and there were three forwards on the pitch. Mallorca took to the field sensing something was awry…

Mallorca's early lead and confusion 

And Mallorca got it right. They took the lead through the excellent Lago Junior and scored a second, which was chalked off for offside. The 1-0 scoreline was forged early on and Madrid had the whole game, with a group of talented players, to create danger and turn things around, and that was the disappointing thing. A sense of ease and comfort was followed by a sense of confusion. Vinicius waved the flag of rebellion but only managed to anger his team-mates in his incessant attempts to resurrect the age-old figure of the 'ball hogger', and as things turned out badly not looking to pick out his team-mates becomes harder to justify - Jovic raised his arms in frustration on more than one occasion and Benzema scolded him for being overlooked.

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Zidane's formation, Odriozola, Barcelona and Galatasaray

Zidane sought to remedy the situation by bringing on Valverde for Isco and Rodrygo for Jovic, who was visibly frustrated, and after that Brahim replaced Vinicius. Yet with or without these changes, the most surprising thing was Madrid’s inability to make it an uncomfortable night for Reina with their quality on the pitch, and their inability to pounce on Mallorca's tired legs towards the end. Even more damaging was the the dismissal of Odriozola, at fault for the goal, for a second yellow. In short, we had party time in Mallorca and Barça ending the day as leaders, and now a daunting trip to Turkey looms.