After a weekend when Grand National winning jockey Rachael Blackmore caused a bigger stir than Lady Godiva did riding naked through the streets of Coventry – I felt sorry for her horse Minella Times, it did all the hard work and barely got a mention ! –
Real Mallorca opened a huge eight point gap over third placed Almeria on Sunday night when they beat Galician minnows Lugo 2-0.
This wasn’t just any victory in a game where we didn’t pull up any trees (we were far from our best) but who cares ? Real Mallorca came that bit closer to the pinnacle of Spanish football (La Liga Santander) when Almeria surprisingly lost at Zaragoza 2-1 just before we kicked off.
Mallorca went ahead in 54 seconds, we won a throw-in down the left, covered stand side. Sastre’s throw saw Lugo’s defence allowing the ball to bounce, it broke to Dani Rodriguez and he was the quickest to react, prodding the ball into the net, 1-0.
It was good to see Dani back to his best after a few weeks in the doldrums. From then on the game became “flojo” (sluggish). Once again Mallorca failed to take advantage of going ahead after scoring early doors, taking the foot off the gas.
It was another lackadaisical (good Scrabble word that !) performance. After the easy opener social media users were ready for a goal bonanza but it just didn’t happen. Fortunately Lugo were rubbish although they did force a couple of saves from Manolo Reina before the break.
During half time unbelievably the ground staff put on the sprinklers which had already been on before kick-off and after two days of rain. Players were slipping and sliding all over the shop.
After the interval Lugo looked more like the home team and the reality was the Galician outfit were hungrier and more active without doing anything of real note. Sitting at home I began shouting at the computer screen (have I lost it or what ?) pleading with coach Luis Garcia Plaza to make changes.
On the hour mark he went for it big time making three and boy did they make a difference. Off went Sedlar (who couldn’t tackle a fish supper without getting a yellow card !), Abdon, who never had an impact upfront, and Mboula who had an “off” day. In their places came Galarreta, Alvaro Gimenez and “Uncle Fester” Victor Mollejo.
He scored with his first touch in the 62nd minute. After a combined move between Dani Rodriguez and Brian Olivan (my man of the match) who crossed the ball into the middle of the penalty area, Mollejo’s first attempt was an air shot, however he latched onto the rebound, swivelled and sent a left foot shot just inside the right hand post, 2-0. Game definitely over.
SUMMING UP : After the weekend’s results the big shock (much to our advantage) was Almeria surprisingly losing to “going nowhere” Zaragoza 2-1.
Social media was buzzing on Sunday night, not so much on the match result or our performance, but the significance of being eight points above third-placed Almeria who play at home to league leaders Espanyol next weekend.
They struggled past fourth-placed Leganes 2-1. Next Saturday at 4 pm we’re away at Castellon. Missing will be Antonio Sanchez and Lago Junior, both of them having had positive Covid-19 results last week. Lago picked his symptoms up playing in Africa for the Ivory Coast on International duty.
Both players are in isolation and won’t be back for at least a fortnight. Mallorca got away with what looked like a clear hand-ball in the area from Raillo in the first half. We’ve had more than our fair share of luck over the past few weeks.
More good news for Mallorca was the return of Galarreta after being out for six weeks. He came on just past the hour mark and his introduction steadied the midfield that was looking decidedly nervous.
PS After watching games over the weekend I don’t suppose it’ll be too long until tackling in football is outlawed entirely.
AND FINALLY, it is with great regret that I have to mention the loss of a few local businesses as a result of Covid-19.
A local bra manufacturer has gone bust, a submarine company has gone under, a manufacturer of food blenders has gone into liquidation, a dog kennel has had to call in the retrievers and a company supplying paper for origami enthusiasts has folded.
A local strip club has gone t*ts up, interflora is pruning its business and dynarod has gone down the drain. The saddest one though is the ice cream van man, found dead covered in nuts and raspberry sauce. He couldn’t take it any more and topped himself.