Matthew Hoppe

Matthew Hoppe assisted Mallorca’s lone goal in an otherwise dismal loss to giants Real Madrid, while Sergiño Dest put in a solid shift for Barcelona in their disappointing draw at Cádiz.

Real Madrid 6 – 1 RCD Mallorca

Matthew Hoppe helped give Mallorca a faint ray of hope of earning an improbable result at Real Madrid on Wednesday, before a brutal display of clinical ferocity saw them fall by a five-goal margin.

The hosts were off to a flying start when Karim Benzema broke free of the defense for a third-minute strike for the 1-0 lead, and looked well on their way when Marco Asensio made it two after putting away an initially-deflected cross by Rodrygo in the 24th minute.

Mallorca struck back quickly, pulling back to within a single goal one minute later from the ensuing kickoff. Takefusa Kubo hit Hoppe in the middle, who needed a single touch on the turn to free Kang-In Lee for a dangerous run into the area. The Korean international calmly slotted his shot to the lower left corner, past the fingertips of keeper Thibaut Courtois.

This would be the last bright moment for the visitors, as Los Blancos dominated for the remainder.

Asensio netted his second of the night just before the half-hour with a strike from the edge of the six-yard box, then completed his hat-trick nine minutes after halftime with a cool finish from 20 yards to bring the score to 4-1.

Hoppe was pulled in favor of striker Abdon as Mallorca coach Luis García sought to add a pair of fresh legs to the field, but it had little effect in stopping the onslaught.

The hosts still weren’t finished yet, as Benzema scored his second of the night with 12 minutes left on the clock after fighting off two Mallorca defenders to beat the keeper from the right side, and late substitute Isco made it a half-dozen with seven minutes remaining after some fine set-up work from Vinicius Jr.

Hoppe and Mallorca, who now occupy 11th place after the loss, will hope to bounce back from the result on Sunday when they host tenth-place Osasuna.

FC Sevilla 3 – 1 FC Valencia

Yunus Musah was a halftime substitute for Valencia on Wednesday evening, as they were unable to come back from a disastrous start against their hosts Sevilla.

What promised to be a tightly-contested game between two strong teams near the top of the table ended up being a one-sided affair after Sevilla jumped to an early 3-0 lead.

Papu Gómez gave his team a third-minute lead with a fine strike on the counter from the right of the area, then Gonzalo Montiel made it 2-0 at the quarter-hour on a flukey deflection that bounced over Valencia keeper Giorgi Mamardashvili.

Rafa Mir’s 22nd-minute lob over Mamardashvili for the 3-0 lead effectively put the game out of reach, although Hugo Duro’s off-balance effort just past the half-hour from ten yards out following a long free-kick left the visitors with a faint glimmer of hope.

Musah was brought into the game at the half by Valencia coach José Bordalas as he attempted to mount an improbable comeback. While the young American did put enough pressure on the Sevilla defense to draw three fouls, his impact was relatively limited, with his only real moment of danger coming when he fed Dimitri Foulquier into the right side of the area to force a save from Yassine Bounou in the 48th minute.

The 3-1 loss drops Valencia to fifth place. They next face Athletic Bilbao on Saturday afternoon.

Cádiz CF 0 – 0 FC Barcelona

Sergiño Dest was in Barcelona’s starting lineup on Thursday night, albeit shifted to the left side of the defense, as the Blaugrana struggled to a scoreless draw at Cádiz.

Even though Barcelona have hardly been imperious world-beaters this season, few would have expected them to struggle so much against a Cádiz side that has spent most of the last 30 years toiling around Spain’s second- and third-division.

Nevertheless, the team from near the southernmost tip of mainland Spain were a major nuisance for their guests, and earned an impressive point in 0-0 result.

Dest provided the first moment of danger for Barcelona with a weaving run in from the left side of the area in the third minute, but his subsequent shot was sky-high.

The Blaugrana were increasingly stifled by their tenacious hosts, although Barcelona hardly did themselves any favors. Memphis Depay wasted a perfect chance from the left side after 51 minutes when he scuffed what could have been the go-ahead goal.

Then midfielder Frenkie de Jong put his team at a severe disadvantage, picking up two yellow cards in rapid succession shortly after the hour, forcing Ronald Koeman’s squad to play the final 25 minutes with only ten men on the field.

Dest was subbed out in favor of attacking option Riqui Puig with ten minutes on the clock, however the move did little to improve their fortunes, with the hosts holding on for the result.

The point leaves Barcelona in seventh place, with winnable home match against visiting UD Levante on Sunday.

Notes

Matt Miazga was a garbage-time substitute for Alaves on Wednesday for their 1-0 loss at Espanyol Barcelona. The result leaves them rock-bottom of the standings on zero points from five games, and a tough match against visiting Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

By David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: