At Santiago Bernabeu it was a goal-fest where Real Madrid enjoyed scoring goals after goals to stamp their authority in this season’s La Liga – they are not only a serious title contender but are well poised to challenge the might of the best teams in Europe. Carlo Ancelotti promised an attacking and fluid football and till now, he has kept his promise.

Mallorca made seven changes to their side, with only Reina, Valjent, Olivan and Kubo keeping their places in the starting line-up, as they looked to put their recent results behind them.

Ancelotti made four changes to his Real Madrid team, with Miguel Gutierrez, Marco Asensio, Camavinga and Rodrygo Goes coming into the starting line-up, with Dani Carvajal, Casemiro, Luka Modric and Eden Hazard all dropping out.

Real Madrid could not have asked for an easier start, as a slip from Josep Gaya gift-wrapped a chance to Benzema, who promptly swooped upon the loose ball and finished for an early 1-0 lead.

The errors and bad bounces kept coming for Mallorca and Asensio was happy to take advantage against his former club, taking a ball that deflected off a defender and goalkeeper Manolo Reina and firing into the net to make it 2-0.

The Real Madrid fans were wrapping up their celebration when suddenly it was 2-1, as Lee Kang-In took a pass from United States international Matthew Hoppe and hammered a shot past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Back came Los Blancos and it was almost too simple for Asensio to find a second, with Eder Militao playing up-field to Benzema, who laid off a pass to the running Asensio and the finish was perfect for a 3-1 lead.

Only some last-ditch defending from Valjent prevented Asensio from notching a first-half hat trick, with the Mallorca man cutting off Asensio’s one-timer from a yard out after a pass headed back by Benzema.

The Asensio hat-trick would come though early in the second half when he collected a ball from Benzema and with ample time and space, rocketed a left-footer into the net for a 4-1 advantage.

With a comfortable three-goal cushion and a full half-hour to go, Ancelotti went to his bench for the first time, relieving Camavinga for Antonio Blanco, followed later by hat-trick hero Asensio being replaced by Isco, plus Lucas Vazquez on for Rodrygo.

Benzema then basically finished off his day the way he started it, splitting the Mallorca defence and sweeping home a shot that took a deflection and beat Reina to extend it to 5-1.

The Frenchman and Nacho were promptly substituted out in place of Luka Jovic and youngster Sergio Santos with 10 minutes to play, but it was Isco who provided the final score with a finish off a Vinicius pass to round out the 6-1 scoreline.

The previous match was marked by Asensio’s anger at a lack of minutes, yet he made his case perfectly well on Wednesday when his coach generously offered him more minutes.

Asensio was flawless from central midfield, scoring two goals in the first half and adding a third in the second, and he didn’t let his performance level drop, ironically becoming the first Spaniard to score a Real Madrid hat-trick since 2009.

It was the first time in 1,015 days that Casemiro, Kroos and Modric all missed a game together. Real Madrid’s midfield was put in the hands of Fede Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Asensio, all three of which proving the task was comfortable for them.

Camavinga took the standing ovation for his energetic display, but the reality is that the trio combined really well together and certainly offers Ancelotti alternate options as the veteran trio continues to age. It’s like we won’t be waiting another 1,015 days for the trio to all miss out again.

One of the keys to Los Merengues’ excellent start to the season is the hard work they put in during pre-season. Antonio Pintus’ return has left Real Madrid with an incredibly fit and fast squad, which is being shown on the pitch.

Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr, Valverde, Militao and Miguel are all performing at lightning speeds, which is a noticeable difference from the sluggish feel to the team in 2020-21.

“We started well,” Carletto said after the game.

“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.”

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