Javier Aguirre is an old hand at football. The Mexican coach saved Mallorca and this season he is determined to keep them in the Primera Division by making the most of the talent in his squad. And Muriqi, the Kosovo striker who has been entrusted with the ability to score goals.
Aguirre knew that the "Vinicius case" was on the table at Real Madrid and in the media. There was a lot of noise about the Brazilian because of the number of fouls he received and his behaviour on the pitch.
The result was 29 fouls given to Mallorca and five yellow cards. The same number of cards that Real Madrid saw for half of them. And this statistic does not take into account the law of advantage that applies when players prefer to play rather than roll around on the ground.
Another good game from Real Madrid, dominating the ball, passing, stepping into the box and taking corners. But in front of them was a very "Basque" team who looked comfortable with a goal in their favour as a result of bad luck. A hanging ball in front of the passivity of the white defence that Nacho grazes with his head in the jump with Muriqi and beats Lunin.
Courtois was injured in the warm-up. The Ukrainian goalkeeper, who will be in the starting line-up for the Club World Cup in Morocco next week, was forced off with abductor discomfort.
Without Benzema, Real Madrid were without a goal in Mallorca. Vinicius ended up out of the game subjected to a string of fouls that are hard to keep quiet about as some are calling for. The Brazilian has the defence and the affection of Ancelotti, who does not want him to stop dribbling or being an unbalanced player.
He may have gestures to take care of, but that does not justify him being singled out as a provocateur or forced to become just another player to avoid fouls. The hunt for Vinicius is media, not football. On the pitch, it is up to the referee to decide whether the fouls he is given are yellow or red, but off the pitch there is no control over the outbursts and provocations that are made in the name of journalism.
When the row passes, Real Madrid will have to decide whether to renew Asensio. The same player who gave them the win against Valencia, but missed a penalty in Mallorca. Ceballos' deal seems to be tied up and it remains to be seen whether the goal will remain at the feet of Mariano or whether the club will sign a nine-goaler to replace Benzema.
Thanks to this striker, Barça are flying in La Liga and are already eight points clear of Real Madrid. A ruined club that was able to sign Lewandowski and secure more than 30 goals a season. Something impossible for Madrid, who have lived for years respecting the present of their strikers without looking to the future.
Barça beat Sevilla and the Spanish League discovers how it will never be great. The two locomotives are not joined by any team. Valencia and Sevilla are flirting with the second division and Atlético are wandering around the competition. The signings in the winter transfer window are ridiculous and no big names are expected in the summer.
Alba, Xavi and Raphinha left Sevilla dry and put the season on its face. Although the team is not at Champions League level and it remains to be seen how it performs against Manchester United, in domestic competition the levers have helped to avoid bankruptcy.