Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid team have perfected the art of doing just enough. A 78th-minute goal from Antonio Rudiger was enough to seal all three points and maintain their place at the top of the La Liga table. Up until that point, Mallorca had had the better chances to score but could not take them and ultimately, the game ended 1-0 in favour of Los Blancos.
Rudiger has been Real Madrid's best defender this season by far. And now the German centre-back is making a difference on the other end of the pitch as well.
As reported by Managing Madrid, Real Madrid made it 19 home games in a row without defeat with their win over Mallorca, matching Ancelotti’s club record. They have won 16 and drawn 3 of those matches.
That is an excellent run of form. Even more impressive is that they are doing it under such difficult circumstances. On paper, this is not the strongest Real Madrid side ever. On top of that, they have had to deal with a long injury list all season and have continued to deliver results regardless of that.
Real Madrid equal record with win against Mallorca
Ancelotti faced a lot of criticism last season. Hopefully he will get all the plaudits in the world this time around. He quite certainly has earned it.
Of course, the Italian manager was rewarded recently with a contract extension. For a long time, he was expected to leave Real Madrid in the summer, with managers like Xabi Alonso being linked with the job. On the other hand, Ancelotti was being viewed as the favourite to become the next manager of the Brazil national team.
Parting ways with Ancelotti, when the team are continuously performing under his management would have been a mistake though. The Italian has made the most of a difficult situation and will hopefully continue to do so.