Soccer-Nacho blunder gifts Mallorca upset win over Real Madrid

Soccer Football - LaLiga - RCD Mallorca v Real Madrid - Visit Mallorca Stadium, Palma, Mallorca, Spain - February 5, 2023 General view of RCD Mallorca fans in the stands REUTERS/Juan Medina

(Reuters) -Champions Real Madrid suffered a shock 1-0 loss at Mallorca in LaLiga on Sunday thanks to a bizarre own goal by defender Nacho early in the first half.

Nacho left his team mates stunned as he tried to clear a cross in the 13th minute and headed the ball high over his own goalkeeper and into the net.

Real dominated the match but missed several chances including a golden opportunity to equalise in the 59th minute when Mallorca goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic saved a poor penalty from Marco Asensio.

"I put my head in the way and bad luck that ball goes straight through the top left angle... This is football," Nacho told Movistar Plus.

"But we also missed a penalty, had some clear chances that we have not managed to score.

"It was a very difficult match. They defended very well throughout the game... A pity, because we are missing three points."

Real, bidding to retain the title, are under pressure from their arch-rivals Barca who are unbeaten in their last 14 matches in all competitions and on a four-game winning streak in LaLiga and could extend their lead atop to eight points.

Real are second in the standings on 45 points, five behind leaders Barca who have a game in hand and host struggling Sevilla later on Sunday. Mallorca stayed 10th after earning their fourth consecutive home win, all of those won by 1-0.

A windy afternoon in Mallorca was bad news for Real Madrid before the match started.

Missing forward Karim Benzema and defender Eder Militao to injuries through injury, coach Carlo Ancelotti had another selection headache when goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois suffered a groin injury during the warm-up.

It was 23-year-old Ukrainian keeper Andriy Lunin who had the misfortune to watch Nacho's header looping over him but he had little to do as Real dominated Mallorca from the start.

They had almost 75% of possession against a side who recorded their only shot on target in the 84th minute, mustering 20 attempts on goal to Mallorca's four.

But Real's only effort on target was Asensio's spot-kick, a low strike to the left of the goalkeeper who easily palmed it round the post.

The champions travel on Monday to the Club World Cup in Morocco and they face Egypt's Al Ahly in Rabat on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas, editing by Ed Osmond)

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