Real Mallorca hauled themselves off the bottom of the Spanish second division with a well-earned 1-0 win against Catalan side Llagostera on a sunny Sunday evening in Palma. The result was only our second win of the season but Mallorca should have scored a lot more, creating over 20 goal opportunities, especially in a one-sided second half. The visitors had the ball in the net after just two minutes but the goal was chalked off for a marginal offside decision: replays viewed afterwards showed the goal was legal. Bianchi, Ros, Araña (whose shot hit the post) and Campabadal all came close early doors but Mallorca looked a different team after the break, and it was no surprise when Abdoul Sissoko finally broke the deadlock in the 67th minute. When that went in the euphoria from the Palma side and the home support verged on the palpable.
There were a few worried lines on foreheads at half time from the Son Moix faithful but eventually Mallorca came good in the second half after a goal-less first 45 minutes. Stats showed that Mallorca had 21 goal attempts, won the possession count 61% to 39%, corners twelve to four and totally dominated the second half. The islanders confirmed their recent progress with three golden points, playing a 4-3-3 formation. The difference on Sunday was down the right flank where full-back Biel Company and Edu Campabadal, converted into a right winger, had fantastic games. Young local lad Company has burst on the scene recently and his contribution on Sunday was immense. He made two brilliant tackles in the second half and was the motivator in Sissoko’s winner. After he scored, the Mali-born French player made a bee-line for coach Ferrer, embracing him and gesticulating that the players were all behind the coach. It was a great team effort with every player wearing red and black putting in a good shift.
Just why coach Ferrer waited until near the end to bring on Michael Pereira is anybody’s guess. When the Frenchman came on for Araña, he caused havoc in the visiting defence. Araña for long periods didn’t look fit and when he came off had an icepack applied to his leg, but he burst a gut for the cause. His only failing on Sunday was the time he took to take corner kicks, most of which were nonchalantly executed at walking pace but he did come close to scoring early in the game.
Mallorca are now fourth from bottom and heading out of the basement area. We showed signs of revival two Sundays ago at Oviedo and there were more green shoots again last Sunday, especially in the second half, so we have to be optimistic. Two back-to-back wins would put us up in the higher echelons of La Segunda – onwards and upwards! On the way out of the ground many fans commented they were exhausted watching the game, which of course was a satisfactory result, but with a plethora of missed chances. This is something we need to rectify, starting next Saturday away at Mirandes 6pm. Then comes probably our biggest game of the season so far, a noon kick-off at the Son Moix against Almeria on Sunday, 25 October.