Real Madrid failed to win against Mallorca on the opening day. Due to the late start date of the Spanish league, this match will have little impact on Madrid’s rhythm for the rest of the season, as the players will now join their national teams before returning to action in two weeks.

Additionally, because of the way that La Liga does tiebreakers, using head-to-head results rather than goal difference, as well as the gulf in class and consistency between the top two and the rest of the league, the two Clásicos will likely decide the winner. Real Madrid can likely afford to drop two points occasionally as long as it does not become a habit.

While I, along with many pundits, believed that Mallorca’s disastrous financial situation, the loss of several key players in the offseason and their woeful preseason form meant we would see Real Madrid roll over them on the way to three points, Michael Laudrup and his men proved us wrong. The Danish legend excelled at giant-killing during his time at Getafe and his team was compact and resilient today, relentlessly pressuring us on the ball.

Mallorca were an excellent team last season, finishing fifth partly due to their extremely strong home form, losing at San Moix only to Real, Barça, and Sevilla. Their strength last year was predicated on their tough defense, which has remained mostly untouched by the summer sales. That was on display today as Dudu Aouate, the Israeli keeper, made a number of crucial saves to keep his side in it, while Rúben and Nunes, the Mallorca central defensive pair, harried and jockeyed our forwards every step of the way.

As Mourinho said after the match, the problems are a result of one major factor, the extremely limited amount of time that he has been afforded to work with his players so far.

Because of the World Cup, injuries, and new signings, many players are either unavailable or only very recently became available for selection. We knew Madrid would not be playing at their best, and in order to win, even under such circumstances, a team must be tidy at the back so as not to concede and take advantage of the chances proffered.