Real Mallorca lost a highly controversial game 2-1 away at Zaragoza’s La Romareda on Sunday. It’s difficult to know where to start this column because even 48 hours after the game I’m still, along with thousands of Real Mallorca fans, furious about the performance of Madrid referee Pizarro Gomez. His showing on Sunday was described on social media as cataclysmic: Real Mallorca had two men sent off – one on and one off the pitch – also our goalkeeping coach Miki Garro got his marching orders, plus Pereira (who’s now suspended for next week’s game). Lago Junior, Oriol and Kassim all saw yellow.
It all started so well for Real Mallorca. After 11 minutes a move between Company and Sissoko saw Arana free in the area and he volleyed in our opener. Then, as usual when we take an early lead, instead of capitalising on our advantage we took the foot off the gas and allowed the home side back into the game. It all began to go wrong in the 38th minute when Hector Yuste picked up an injury and was forced to leave the pitch. Kasim Adams took his place and a minute later Zaragoza equalised. The home side won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area near the goal-line, and when the ball was whipped in, Dorca managed to squeeze it past Wellenreuther – a soft goal which should have been defended better.
In the second half honours remained even, indeed both sides looked like cancelling out each other as possession was 50/50. It all kicked off around the hour mark as the referee completely lost control of the game. In the 63rd minute in a nothing untoward challenge near the corner flag, he flashed a yellow card at our captain Lucas Aveldaño. He pleaded his innocence then unbelievably was shown a second card for protesting, so it was adios to him. By now the Mallorca bench were incensed. Yuste, who sat in the dug-out after his substitution, was red-carded for protesting and the goalkeeping coach likewise – the bath tub was looking busy.
Mallorca by now were really up against it and it was no surprise when Zaragoza took the lead. Once again it came from a poorly defended free kick which should have been an easy save for the young German Timon Wellenreuther in the islanders’ goal. He made a hash of a ball he should have claimed and again Dorca was first to react. Ten-man Mallorca didn’t go down without a fight and in the 92nd minute it was head in hands time for us. Campabadal crossed from the left, the home defence failed to clear, it came to Colunga on the right, he chipped a pass to Arana who incredibly managed to head over from a yard out – heartbreak for a gutsy Mallorca as it finished 2-1.
SUMMING UP: After the game it was reported that Mallorca are thinking about making an official complaint to the Spanish league authorities about the inept showing by referee Pizarro Gomez – good luck with that one, chaps. All good TV programmes need a villain and at La Romareda, one man seemed more desperate than anyone to play that role. Pizarro Gomez and his well-twitchy assistants made a series of bizarre, flabbergasting and more-often-than-not wrong decisions as they played their part in both ruining and dramatising this game of football.
I watched the game with two avid expat fans, Billy Morris and Tom Cummine, and we were all shell-shocked by the official’s decisions. His gross incompetence cost Real Mallorca dearly and denied them any chance of all three points. It was what bumbling officiating’s all about. I try not to get on the officials’ backs as they have a tough job to do. However, when some clearly have such a loose understanding of the rules, it’s difficult not to have a whinge. We had hoped to banish the fears of relegation on Sunday and are still only four points better off than fourth bottom Almeria. We need more self motivation and a winning mentality for Sunday’s game at home to Osasuna.
Their strikers must be rubbing their hands in anticipation when they realise our two central defenders are missing (pending an appeal during the week), plus several other players took hard knocks. Strangely enough, Aveldaño’s sending off galvanised us as the players came so close to snatching a last-minute, well-deserved point. We were the better team.