AFTER a weekend when I read in the UK if they put vaccine in beer and opened up the pubs, the whole country would be vaccinated by Friday! – Real Mallorca suffered from a huge dose of over-confidence on Sunday night when, after going 0-2 up in the first 20 minutes, they couldn’t hang on to claim all three points in the pouring rain in Oviedo after a 2-2 draw.
The pitch can only be described as a quagmire, which didn’t suit Mallorca’s style of play in a game when we gave away two goals to set-pieces.
We’ve now conceded five goals in two matches, when before, we conceded four goals in 18 games.
Mallorca can have no excuses about the game’s outcome. Before kick-off the Asturian wind, rain and especially mud almost had the game postponed but, thanks to the heroics of the ground staff working overtime to mop up the puddles, the match went ahead.
With the ball regularly sticking in the mud in the centre of the pitch, Mallorca continued to try and play through the swamp rather than having more aerial passes, while Oviedo got more used to the adverse conditions. Lago Junior at last scored a goal from open play to put us ahead after 15 minutes, then Sastre hit a 30-yard howitzer into the net five minutes later, 0-2. Mallorca looked to be on easy street. Once again Galarreta crashed a shot against the goal frame (his third this season) on the half hour mark but just before half time the home side pulled one back.
A free kick wide on the left was met first time by Oviedo striker Javi Mier who brilliantly steered the ball first time past a helpless Reina 1-2 at half time.
That was the fourth goal in two games that we’ve given away from set pieces.
MALLORCA started the match with a pile of absentees. Six of our regular players were out through suspension, injuries and Covid-19 quarantine restrictions.
Eight minutes into the second period Mallorca’s coach Luis Garcia Plaza made a change, taking off an ineffective Febas and bringing on Amath.
Brian Olivan went down in what looked like an innocuous shoulder charge, and stayed down.
He complained he had breathing difficulties and was replaced by Fran Gamez.
The shape of Mallorca by this time looked all over the place and Oviedo were pushing forward looking for an equaliser.
We nearly scored a third when Russo’s header was pushed over by Oviedo’s Manacor-born goalkeeper Joan Femenias.Then in the 69th minute – disaster!
Another set piece free kick wide on the left saw Arribas rise the highest to draw Oviedo level, 2-2. A match we all thought we’d won was now tied and hanging by a thread, with more than a quarter of an hour to go as the rain continued to hose down.
It almost got worse when Obeng (with a boxing promotor Don King hairstyle) saw his header come off the bar as Mallorca hung in for a point, 2-2.
SUMMING UP : This result felt like a defeat for us and a win for Oviedo.
Being brutally frank, a team like Real Mallorca with big aspirations for promotion should NOT be dropping two points in the way they did on Sunday night after going two up early doors.
We were minus the backbone of the team with centre backs Raillo and Valjent absent, and it showed.
Their replacements, Sedlar and Russo, were not in the same class.
In just over an hour of the game, Mallorca had conceded more goals away than in all previous trips.
Conditions which, of course, affect both teams were appalling, the pitch getting muddier by the minute.
Despite having given away five points in two games, we’re still joint top of La Segunda with Espanyol, who lost 1-0 at Las Palmas, having a marginally better goal difference.
FELLOW socio John Ballard (the Wearside wit) messaged during the game : (1) The middle third of the pitch looks like me Nana’s Christmas Pudding, brown and claggy ! And (2) Baba’s wandering about like one of the Wise Men following a star on a cloudy night!
Next up we have a cup match on Wednesday in Madrid against Fuenlabrada, kick off 9 pm. Then we welcome Las Palmas to Son Moix next Sunday at 4 pm.
AND FINALLY, people ask me which joke/story in Fan’s View have I got the most mileage out of over the years – it’s got to be this golden oldie. Prince Charles and Camilla arrived at their first engagement on a whistle-stop tour of Scotland, starting in a small town called Auchtermuchty (where the Proclaimers come from). As he stepped out of the limo, he donned a hat made from the finest fox fur.
The provost of the town welcomed the royal couple then asked Charles “Your Highness, welcome to our town and may I say that is truly a magnificent hat you have on, but why are you wearing it today ?”
“Well,” replied Charles, “I was telling Camilla at breakfast this morning we were visiting Auchtermuchty and she said ‘Where the fox hat,’ so that’s why I’m wearing it today!!!”