Real Madrid too good for Mallorca
Three goals in six second-half minutes propelled Real Madrid to a seventh consecutive victory as they twice came from behind to beat Mallorca 5-2 on Saturday.
Emilio Nsue had headed the visitors into a shock lead and after Gonzalo Higuain had briefly levelled for Madrid, Alejandro Alfaro restored Mallorca's advantage midway through the first-half.
However, the introduction of Mesut Ozil at half-time proved crucial as Cristiano Ronaldo headed home the German's corner before a wonder goal from Luka Modric put Madrid in front and Ozil played in Higuain to score his second of the evening.
And Karim Benzema slotted home from Higuain's pass in stoppage time to round off a fine evening for Los Blancos' previously out of form strikers.
Although still in the bottom three, Mallorca had won their two previous games and started brightly as Giovani Dos Santos saw an effort from distance fly just over Diego Lopez's goal.
And just six minutes in the visitors took the lead as Giovani burst down the left and his cross was brilliantly headed into the bottom corner by Nsue.
Higuain came close to an immediate reply as his prodded effort from close range bounced to safety off Dudu Aouate's face, but the Argentine was on hand to level on 14 minutes as Modric's pass released Pepe clear on goal and he squared for Higuain to roll home.
However, Mallorca were still posing a threat and after Lopez got down to save a tame effort from Giovanni, the Mexican produced another fine cross from a corner that was flicked on by Pedro Bigas and headed in at the back post by Alfaro.
Ronaldo ought to have levelled again shortly afterwards as he blazed over from Kaka's through ball and Alan Hutton had to make a fine interception to prevent Higuain having a tap-in from a low Ronaldo cross.
The Portuguese then clipped the bar at the end of a fine Madrid move as Kaka fed Higuain inside the box and he laid it back for Ronaldo, who just couldn't keep his effort on target.
Hutton came within inches of putting Mallorca further ahead just before half-time from another corner as Madrid continued to struggle from set-pieces.
Jose Mourinho reacted at the break by bringing on Ozil and Benzema for Alvaro Arbeloa and Alvaro Morata. However, it was again Mallorca who had the first opportunity of the second-half as Bigas spooned an overhead kick over the bar when completely unmarked just six yards out.
And that miss was to prove crucial as a rapid three-goal salvo decisively swung the game in the hosts' favour.
Firstly, Ronaldo leapt highest to nod in an Ozil corner from the right before Modric volleyed in a wonderful strike from fully 30 yards three minutes later.
And Ozil's presence was felt once more moments later as he showed great composure to lay the ball across the face of goal for Higuain to fire in his second of the evening.
The chances continued to come for Madrid and Aouate produced a wonderful save to prevent Higuain from sealing his hat-trick seven minutes from time.
However, Lopez and Fabio Coentrao then had to make desperate blocks from Giovani and Michael Pereira respectively to prevent a nervy finish for the champions.
Madrid then finished with a flourish as Higuain crossed for Benzema to round off the scoring as they cut the gap on Barcelona at the top of the table to 10 points ahead of the Catalans' clash with Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.
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