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Madrid stay perfect with La Liga victory

Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo have overcome the absence of Karim Benzema to keep Real Madrid perfect this season.

Vinicius and Rodrygo scored second-half goals as Madrid came from behind to defeat Mallorca 4-1 for their fifth straight win in Spain’s La Liga on Sunday.

Mallorca scored first at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium with a header by Vedat Muriqi in the 35th minute.

Madrid equalised three minutes into first-half added time with a well-placed shot by Federico Valverde into the top corner.

Vinicius put Madrid ahead from inside the area in the 72nd, then Rodrygo found the net himself in the 89th after a couple of nifty moves to get past three Mallorca defenders inside the area.

Defender Antonio Ruediger closed the scoring in the 93rd with a shot from close range.

The 22-year-old Vinicius, who also scored against Celtic in the Champions League, became the youngest Madrid player to score in four consecutive league matches since 21-year-old Gonzalo Higuain in 2009.

“He’s a special player with the way he plays,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said.

“He always looks to dribble regardless of whether the team is winning or losing. At times when an opponent is losing, they can get angrier than usual. It’s all part of football and he’s going to learn gradually from his experiences.”

Madrid are the only team in the top five European leagues with five straight victories. They hadn’t won five in a row to start its season since 2009-10.

The 21-year-old Rodrygo has participated in 11 goals in his last 11 matches with Madrid.

“Vini and I have a great understanding,” Rodrygo said.

“Our start couldn’t have been any better.”

The victory left Madrid two points ahead of Barcelona while Real Betis moved to third place with a 1-0 home win over fourth-place Villarreal.

Rodri Sanchez scored a second-half winner for Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis, who have won four of their first five league matches. Their only loss was at Madrid last weekend.

Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao recorded their third win in five and moved closer to the top with a comfortable 4-1 win at winless Elche.

Getafe picked up their first win of the season by defeating Real Sociedad 2-1.

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