Carlo Ancelotti defends Vinivius Junior following Mallorca loss

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Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has defended Vinicius Junior following their bruising 1-0 defeat at Mallorca.

Nacho Fernandez’s bizarre own goal secured a second La Liga defeat of 2023 for the defending champions as they lost more ground to league leaders Barcelona.

Los Blancos struggled to make an impact in Palma as Vinicius and co were unable to find an equaliser as Marco Asensio saw a late penalty saved by Pedrag Rajkovic.

Vinicius was once again targeted by a opposition defence, with 10 fouls against him, equalling a club record from 2013.

Despite persistent fouling against the Brazilian, and a renewal of his tense battle with Mallorca captain Antonio Raillo, it was Vinicius who was cautioned by referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez before half time.

Ancelotti came out in support of is star man, after another bout of criticism towards the 22-year-old, with the Italian unhappy with the lack of protection for him.

“The referee forgot about the repetitions of fouls. It’s a yellow card if a foul is repeated, repeated and repeated again, but we came out with two cards at half time, and Mallorca with zero,” as per reports from Diario AS.

“Not everything that happens is Vinicius’ fault. The only thing he wants to do is play football but there is an atmosphere that provokes and rivals that press him.

“We have to change the focus. We have to look at what happened to him in today’s game.”

Real Madrid will depart for Morocco in the 48 hours as Ancelotti aims to secure a first title of 2022/23 in the FIFA Club World Cup.

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