Barcelona, 25 June 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Real Madrid moved back to the top of La Liga with a comfortable 2-0 win over Real Mallorca on Wednesday.
Goals from Vinicius Junior and Sergio Ramos helped Los Blancos secure the points at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium at their Valdebebas training facilities, sending them back ahead of Barcelona.
Both teams have 68 points from 31 games and if Madrid win the seven remaining, they will wrestle the title from the current holders.
Zinedine Zidane picked an attacking line-up, with Gareth Bale earning his first start since football resumed after the three-month break because of the global health pandemic.
The Welsh winger was quiet as part of an attack which also included Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema and Vinicius.
It was the latter who broke the deadlock, with an impressive dinked finish, although Mallorca complained in vain about a foul by Dani Carvajal in the build-up.
Vinicius hit the bar shortly afterwards with another lob as Madrid piled on pressure.
Eventually, captain Ramos, who has scored three goals in four matches since football resumed in Spain, doubled the lead with a perfectly placed free-kick after 56 minutes.
Madrid held Mallorca comfortably at bay for the rest of the game, despite the best efforts of the impressive Takefusa Kubo, on loan from the league leaders to the island club.
Mallorca also handed a debut to Luka Romero, who became La Liga’s youngest-ever player at 15 years and 219 days old.
“It’s normal there’s a lot of noise, it’s generated because we are leaders, before they didn’t talk so much,” said Ramos of complaints about Madrid benefiting from refereeing calls.
“I don’t think any decisions are predetermined, it seems we have to thank the referees for being leaders, it would be better if people didn’t make stuff up.”
Earlier Celta Vigo earned another vital win in their bid to avoid relegation from La Liga as they won 1-0 at Real Sociedad on Wednesday.
Iago Aspas slotted home from the spot just before half-time to wrap up the three points for the Galicians at the empty Reale Arena, building on their 6-0 win over Alaves on Sunday.
Aspas went down just inside the area under light pressure from Aritz Elustondo and was awarded the penalty despite La Real protests.
Celta, in 16th, moved seven points clear of the drop zone with the victory, while seventh-place Real Sociedad lose ground in the race to reach the Champions League.
“We had a very complete game, something that’s not easy after winning the one before 6-0,” said Celta coach Oscar Garcia.
“We suffered in the first minutes, something we knew might happen, but later the game turned out how we had planned it.”
Elsewhere, Osasuna beat hosts Alaves 1-0 in a mid-table battle thanks to Toni Lato’s 64th minute goal.