Zinedine Zidane complained of Real Madrid‘s inconsistency after his side lost their unbeaten La Liga record to Real Mallorca and top spot to Barcelona.
Real suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at promoted Mallorca and had full-back Alvaro Odriozola sent off 17 minutes from time.
Lago Junior’s superb seventh-minute strike – his first in La Liga – settled the contest to cap a thoroughly miserable day for Real.
Barcelona had leapfrogged them earlier on Saturday with a 3-0 win at Eibar and now hold a one-point advantage over Real after nine games.
“The problem is that every three days we have to prove that we’re a good side,” Real manager Zidane said at his post-match press conference.
“That’s our problem and it’s what we’re not doing. We need to have more continuity.
“We did some things well, to be honest. But, in truth, we can’t play a game like that. I’m not going to tell you I’m concerned, but we need to have more continuity.
“We need to bring a bit more life to our play if we want to achieve big things this year.”
Although Real had won five and drawn three of their opening eight league games, they have struggled in Europe this season.
Real lost their Champions League opener 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain before being held 2-2 at home by Belgian outsiders Club Brugge.
Their latest setback came with Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos all sidelined by injury and Eden Hazard missing after his wife gave birth.
Karim Benzema struck the crossbar in the first half but Real were running out of ideas when they were reduced to 10 men by Odriozola’s second yellow card.
“Injuries are part of football. We had other players and they need to do better,” Zidane said.
“Having players out is the circumstances we face and we have to overcome that. There are other players, who are good. We need to show that every player has the ability to play here.
“We didn’t play the game we wanted. When we start a game the way we started this one it makes it tough.
“They scored, then they sat back and we couldn’t find the solution. We need to analyse it properly. We can’t be happy with the match.”
Real return to Champions League action on Tuesday with a trip to Galatasaray in Turkey.
“We know what we’re playing for,” Zidane said.
“We need to play to win because there’s no other option there. We need to focus on winning on Tuesday.”
Mallorca’s third win of the season took them out of the relegation zone and in to 14th place.
Goalkeeper Manolo Reina had few serious saves to make, even though Mallorca had to defend for long periods.
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Real Madrid went down to their second defeat of the season as they were downed 1-0 by promoted Mallorca.
Lago Junior scored the only goal of the game after just seven minutes. Madrid predictably had more possession and chances but offered precious little in the way of a response, bar Karim Benzema striking the bar.
Real would have gone back to top of La Liga with a win, having being displaced earlier in the day by rivals Barcelona.
Real, previously unbeaten away from home this season, were without experienced quartet Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez, while Eden Hazard missed out because he was at the birth of his second child and Raphael Varane was left on the bench, but they still had an experienced enough side out to defeat the newly-promoted side.
But they lacked incision, flair and focus as the tireless hosts kept them at bay throughout the 90 minutes.
Zinedine Zidane’s men trailed early to a quite brilliant goal from Junior. The Ivorian collected Aleix Febas’ lofted ball in space on the left flank and ran at the Madrid defence, taking advantage of slack marking before bending an inch-perfect shot around the helpless Thibaut Courtois and into the bottom corner.
Real toiled thereafter, hitting the bar through Benzema, but in truth they carved out precious few chances in a frustrating performance. Vinicius Junior and Benzema looked the most likely candidates to get Los Blancos back into the contest, but there was a desperate lack of ingenuity.
And it was party time for the side from the famous holiday destination at the final whistle, who recorded a first win over Real in a decade.
Here is how we rated the men in white:
Thibaut Courtois 6: Dived but was helpless for the goal. Made a quick and correct decision late on to come out and thwart a Mallorca breakaway by heading clear.
Alvaro Odriozola 2: Started bright in attack down the right flank, but gave goalscorer Junior far too much space and he made him pay. Looked bright in attack but struggled in defence. Second yellow for wild dive on Junior was naive in the extreme.
Eder Militao 5: Turned away from Junior’s shot. Tried to leave his mark – quite literally on some Mallorca attackers – at both ends of the field. Did little wrong, commanding in the air.
Sergio Ramos 5: Comfortable in possession, but not commanding as lively Mallorca posed problems. Blazed one free-kick wildly over. Summed up Madrid’s night that he had most shots (3).
Marcelo 6: Looked to get on the ball and drive his side forward and jolt them into life. But just could not penetrate a stout home defence.
Casemiro 6: Provided muscle as usual, but looked devoid of ideas going forward, and struggled to cope with vibrant Mallorca midfield runners. Made team high seven tackles and five interceptions.
James Rodriguez 6: Showcased his range of passing with a beautiful lofted long ball that was perfectly into Benzema’s pass – one of 19/19 passes completed in first 45. Faded after the break.
Isco 3: Much like Jovic, failed to get into the game. What happened to a player who once glided about the pitch, but now is barely visible?
Luka Jovic 3: Anonymous first half, the ball seeming to ping off him at every touch. Constantly looked uninterested and exasperated. Sacrificed for Valverde.
Karim Benzema 8: At the heart of everything decent for Real, often dropping deep to link with midfield or making incisive runs. One such run saw him get the end of James’ delightful long ball, but he struck the bar with his effort.
Vinicius Junior 7: If Real were going to spark something, he was going to be the fuel. The problem is his Real career is still flickering rather than firing. End product needs refining, but better is to come.
Federico Valverde 6: Made an interception and was neat in possession, little impact in attack.
Rodrygo 6: Nearly an instant impact when he sprinted into space on a Real counter, cut back gathered by Manolo Reina though.
Brahim Diaz N/A: Brought on after the red card, so confusing as to what his role was.
Real Madrid and France defender Raphael Varane spoke to SNTV about his successful international career with ‘Les Bleus’ and his Real Madrid role.
Varane helped France to clinch its second World Cup during 2018 summer after beating Croatia 4-2 in the final.
The 26-year-old defender started his career at Lens, making his debut aged just 17-years old before moving to Madrid in 2011.
With ‘Los Blancos’, he has won four Champions League titles, four Club World Cups, one La Liga and one Copa del Rey among others.
France is set to play against Turkey in a Group H Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday.