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Primera División

  • January 15, 2012
  • • 03:00
  • • Iberostar Estadi, Palma de Mallorca
  • Referee: Pedro Jesús Pérez Montero
  • • Attendance: 20000
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Mallorca 1-2 Real Madrid: Higuain & Callejon the heroes as Mourinho's men earn late win to move eight points clear at the top of La Liga

Mallorca 1-2 Real Madrid: Higuain & Callejon the heroes as Mourinho's men earn late win to move eight points clear at the top of La Liga

Jose Callejon - Real Madrid

The home side were unlucky to come away from the game with nothing as Higuain and Callejon both scored late goals to send Madrid provisionally eight points clear

Real Madrid staged a comeback to ensure they remain at least five points ahead of rivals Barcelona at the top of La Liga by the end of the weekend with a dramatic 2-1 away win against Mallorca at the Iberostar Stadium.

The opening goal of the game came in the 39th minute when Chori Castro's low cross was met with a stooping header from Tomer Hemed to send the home crowd delirious. However, Gonzalo Higuain's chipped finish 18 minutes from the end saw the away team draw level.

Jose Mourinho's men then completed a late turnaround when Jose Callejon slammed the ball into the net with five minutes to play after Mallorca failed to clear their lines.

With Barcelona not in action until Sunday when they entertain Real Betis, the result gives Jose Mourinho's men an eight point lead at the top of the table, with the two giants of Spanish football due to meet in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Madrid struggled to create anything of note in the opening half hour although Mallorca nearly scored in the 28th minute. Chori Castro ran clear of the Madrid defence before sliding the ball through to Hemed, who screwed his shot wide of goal 15 yards out under pressure from Sergio Ramos.

However, it was not long until the same two players linked up again and this time they did so to devastating effect. Castro played a one-two from a corner before whipping the ball towards the near post for Hemed to meet with a superb diving header to guide his effort into the bottom corner, past the outstretched hand of Iker Casillas.

A shell-shocked Madrid did nearly equalise on the stroke of half-time when Xabi Alonso's free-kick found the head of an unmarked Ramos. However, the defender's effort rebounded off the post before Mallorca cleared the danger to keep their lead intact at the break.

Mallorca continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack and should have been 2-0 up in the 59th minute, only for the linesman to wave his offside flag. Victor was played through one-on-one with Casillas before sliding the ball into the net from eight yards out after the Madrid keeper had stopped play. However, replays showed that the striker was behind the last defender when the pass was released.

Despite the islanders' best efforts to defend their one-goal lead, it wasn't to be as Madrid equalised in the 72nd minute. After some slick build-up play from Benzema and Mesut Ozil, the German playmaker slid the ball through to substitute Gonzalo Higuain who clipped his shot over the onrushing goalkeeper, via a deflection from Fernando Tissone, and into the net.

The visitors then broke the hearts of the home faithful when they scored the winning goal with five minutes to go. The Mallorca defence failed to clear the danger after Benzema's effort was blocked by Dudu Aouate and the ball bounced to Callejon who slammed it home from the edge of the box to give his team all three points.

Madrid are in Liga action again next Sunday when they entertain Marcelo Bielsa's Athletic Bilbao while Mallorca will be hoping to bounce back from defeat when they travel to Rayo Vallecano the same day.

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