Jovic concerns, lack of consistency on Zidane's mind post Madrid's first LaLiga loss this season

The Opta data concerning Luka Jovic's display in the defeat to Real Mallorca highlight some of the problems for the Real Madrid striker.

Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic   -  Getty Images

Luka Jovic has found it hard to kick-start his Real Madrid career and Saturday's LaLiga defeat to Real Mallorca showed how much work the striker still has to do.

The 21-year-old, a reported €50million signing from Eintracht Frankfurt in the transfer window, has struggled to make an impact under Zinedine Zidane thanks largely to the continued good form of Karim Benzema.

Speaking on Friday, Zidane insisted Jovic was "not discouraged" at having previously started just two LaLiga matches and promised the forward would be given his chance.

READ : Jovic ready to answer biggest demands at Real Madrid

He duly was for the visit to Son Moix, where Madrid's unbeaten start to the league season came to an end thanks to a fine first-half goal from Lago Junior seven minutes in.

Jovic started alongside Benzema in attack as Zidane made a number of changes, most likely with one eye on next Tuesday's Champions League trip to Galatasaray, but the two-pronged attack was a blunt one.

In his 66 minutes on the pitch, Jovic failed to have a shot or a single touch in the Mallorca penalty area, created no chances for team-mates and touched the ball just 25 times overall.

He only exchanged four passes with Benzema, too, highlighting just how much of a disconnect there was between the strikers on a day where Madrid's final ball was far too often wayward.

This was Mallorca's first win over Madrid in LaLiga since May 2009 and its first at home since February 2006, while it ended Madrid's unbeaten domestic run to leave it a point behind leader Barcelona after nine matches.

The return of injured stars such as Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale will be welcome, but finding a way to spark Jovic into life might be a more pressing concern.

Zidane insisted the absences were no excuse for their display as he laid down a challenge to his squad players to step up a show they are worthy of a place in the team.

The Madrid head coach said it is a lack of consistent performances that is holding his side back at present, even if he is not overly concerned by the result.

"The problem is that we have to show every three days that we're good," Zidane said. "That's the difficulty - we don't do it.

"I won't say that I'm worried because I don't like the word, but if we want to win something this season, we need consistency."

READ: Real Mallorca 1-0 Real Madrid: Lago condemns Los Blancos to first LaLiga defeat
 

Real Madrid hurting after Mallorca loss, says Marcelo

Marcelo said Real Madrid's shock loss to Real Mallorca "hurts" as the LaLiga giant lost top spot to defending champion Barcelona. 

"We lost but we must keep going," Marcelo said. "It hurts to lose because we played well, but we conceded early on and then looked to make our comeback but it was not possible.

"We did not have time to think, they scored a goal and they defended and waited for the counter, that's no excuse though.

"We need to play well until the final whistle. We have won some games while lacking something. We're trying to do everything possible to win but LaLiga is tough these days."

Karim Benzema hit the crossbar before substitute Rodrygo Goes squandered a presentable chance and Madrid's hopes of a comeback were all but over when Alvaro Odriozola saw red 16 minutes from the end, with Mallorca holding firm to claim its first win over Los Blancos since 2009.

"We knew about Mallorca," Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said. "The coach warned us they would come out with grit and real intensity. In the first five or 10 minutes, we were caught short.

"We had chances but lacked that final touch. The goal scorer is right footed and he sent it in at the far post. It is a shame, we should have won here."

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