Real Mallorca made it a hat-trick of pre-season wins on Saturday night when they beat near island neighbours UD Ibiza 2-1 on Saturday night in Benidorm. Goals from Jordi Mboula and Lago Junior saw “Los Bermellones” score twice in the second half after going in at the break 0-1 down. The game saw the debut for our new signings, Jaume Costa from Villareal and Angel Rodriguez from Getafe.
Neither of our past two pre-season wins, or indeed this one, have been of any particular significance, as we’ve played all three with a makeshift attack that will have nothing to do with the final team selection when the season starts against Real Betis on August 14.
Senegalese international Amath Ndiaye has still to make an appearance due to muscular problems and our search for a “battering ram” no. 9 continues at pace.
It’s been rumoured that director of football Pablo Ortells has his beady eyes on someone from outside Spain.
Saturday night’s initial line-up for Mallorca contained many players who look to be bench warmers next season, including Aleix Febas and Lago Junior, both of whom made outstanding contributions on Saturday night.
UD Ibiza, who’ve only been in existence for six years, have come on leaps and bounds since being taken over by ex Valencia president Amadeo Salvo in 2015.
In 2018, after being in the regional third division, they took the place of Lorca who went bust. The Salvo family paid Lorca’s debts and achieved an administrative promotion. In May they completed the dream with a first time ever promotion to La Segunda via play offs.
They took a spectacular lead after 27 minutes when ex Mallorca B striker Angel Rodado hit a 40 metre screamer into the Mallorca “onion bag” with rookie ’keeper Leo Roman rooted to the spot. As the game progressed, the stand-out player on the pitch was Mallorca’s Aleix Febas, who I’ve always considered a lightweight. On Saturday he showed touches of class he hasn’t shown in the two years he’s been here.
As usual in the second half there were changes galore and at last we saw new signings Jaume Costa and Angel Rodriguez. Their introduction saw an upsurge in Real Mallorca’s fortunes as they began to take control. In the 53rd minute a slick move involving B team striker Pablo Galvez (son of ex Mallorca striking legend Pepe Galvez, who now runs a low-cost petrol station on the Son Bugadellas industrial estate in Santa Ponsa) and Febas saw Jordi Mboula toe-poke in the equaliser.
Eight minutes later Mallorca doubled their lead with a typical Lago Junior strike.
He started the move in his favourite position, cutting into the penalty area down the left and curling in a right-foot effort that gave German in the Pitiusas’ goal no chance, 2-1.
Ibiza tried to get back into the game with a few sporadic efforts but Mallorca ran out worthy winners, 2-1.
“Trialist” Daniel Sturridge didn’t even make the bench. I think it’s best not to build our hopes up about him becoming a team member on a professional basis.
The fact that it’s been well over a year since he’s played any competitive football doesn’t auger well. Under normal circumstances he would be far from our reach financially.
Tonight in Benidorm at 8 pm and on Fibwi Live TV, Mallorca play newly-relegated Eibar in the fourth of their pre-season kick-abouts!!
In Saturday’s Fan’s View I’ll be writing more about the possibility of Japanese wonder kid Take Kubo coming back to play here next season.