European roundup: Rüdiger’s first Real Madrid goal helps knock Barça off top | European club football

Real Madrid came from behind to beat Mallorca 4-1 at the Bernabéu in La Liga on Sunday and continue their perfect start to the season.

A solo effort from Federico Valverde on the stroke of half-time levelled the scores after Vedat Muqiri had stunned the home crowd by nodding the visitors ahead. Vinícius Jr put the hosts in front before Rodrygo and Antonio Rüdiger completed the rout.

Real returned to the top of the table, two points ahead of second-placed Barcelona.

A much-changed Real initially struggled to gain a foothold and sorely missed injured talisman Karim Benzema in attack throughout a below-par first half.

Muqiri, who was denied by Thibaut Courtois inside the opening 40 seconds, headed in unmarked at the back post after 35 minutes and it appeared the champions would go in trailing at the break for the first time this campaign. That changed, however, in added time at the end of the half when Valverde ran the length of the pitch before firing home a left-footed shot from the edge of the box.

After the break the hosts monopolised the ball, but were fortunate when Antonio Sánchez fired wide from six yards out with the goal gaping on a rare foray forward from the Balearic Islanders.

Rodrygo’s mazy run fed Vinícius 18 minutes from time and the Brazilian forward netted for a fifth consecutive game to put Carlo Ancelotti’s side in front, before Rodrygo, who capped off a delightful run with a perfect finish, and a first goal in Madrid colours for Rüdiger added late gloss to the scoreline.

Atalanta wasted a chance to reclaim top spot in Serie A when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by promoted Cremonese.

The result left unbeaten Atalanta second but level on points with Napoli and third-place Milan, the defending champions.

Cremonese defender Emanuele Valeri equalised in the 78th minute off a rebound for his first goal in the Italian top division, four minutes after Merih Demiral had put Atalanta ahead by redirecting a free-kick from Teun Koopmeiners with a header. Atalanta also had a goal disallowed by VAR after when it was determined that Caleb Okoli had used his hand to deflect in a free-kick from Koopmeiners.

Cremonese, playing in the top flight for the first time in 26 years, had gained their first point last weekend against Sassuolo after opening the season with four straight defeats. Atalanta produced twice as many shots as Cremonese (14 to seven) and dominated the possession but had trouble finding the target.

Napoli beat Spezia 1-0 on Saturday and Milan won 2-1 at Sampdoria. Juventus host Salernitana later on Sunday.

This story will be updated through the day

Source link