Without its king, Real reigns all the same.
Karim Benzema came out grimacing in the 18th minute of the game against Real Sociedad on Saturday, visibly injured in the left leg, but his replacement Luka Jovic largely held his rank.
The Serbian served as a pivotal assist for Vinicius on the return from the locker room (0-1, 47th), then scored his first goal of the season, with a header, ten minutes later (0-2, 57th).
What to soften the bitterness of the injury of the top scorer (12) and best passer (7) in Liga, who could miss a capital month of December, with the reception of Inter Milan on Tuesday in C1 to dispute the first place of the group D in C1, then the derby of the Spanish capital against Atlético, next weekend in La Liga.
Liga fixtures and results
With this success, the Merengue are a real blow to the standings: they reign over La Liga with eight points ahead of their first pursuer, the Sevilla FC of Julen Lopetegui, winner of the Villarreal of Unai Emery 1-0 in the 'afternoon thanks to a goal from ex-Marseillais Lucas Ocampos (16th). Real are also 10 lengths ahead of Atlético (4th, 29 pts) and 16 over Barça (7th, 23 pts). Earlier in the evening, Barça and Atlético, in fact, had similar fates during this Saturday-marathon in La Liga, with two defeats and two injuries, a few days before decisive meetings in the Ligue des champions.
The Colchoneros suffered their first defeat of the season at home, in La Liga, against the promoted Mallorca (2-1). Atlético however opened the scoring thanks to a gag goal of the Brazilian Matheus Cunha, who managed to push the ball into the cages with the tip of the right foot while he was on the ground (68th). But the Argentinian Franco Russo equalized in the 80th, heading up a perfect free kick from Kang-In Lee, then the former merengue Takefusa Kubo offered the victory to his team with a goal in the 90th + 1.
An unwelcome stop for the men of Diego Simeone, who are preparing to play their place in the knockout stages of C1 Tuesday in Porto before moving on to the Madrid derby against Real in La Liga next weekend.
A diptych that they will undoubtedly have to face without their central defender Stefan Savic, visibly the victim of a tear and released in the 11th minute of the match against Mallorca on Saturday night.
What to give headaches to Diego Simeone to concoct his central defense.