During a week when England’s Women’s Team beat Luxembourg 10-0 in a World Cup qualifying game – the Luxembourg coach said afterwards “It was the eighth goal that killed us off !” – Real Mallorca, in front of their American owner Robert Sarver, suffered their third worst defeat in the club’s 106 year history when they were “battered” 6-1 by a rampant Real Madrid on Wednesday night. Los Meringues breezed past Real Mallorca and it was the latter’s ex player from El Toro, Calvia, Marco Asensio, who headlined the victory with his first Real Madrid hat-trick.
Also on the scoresheet was a brace from debatably the world’s best striker at the moment, Karim Benzema, and a late strike by the forgotten man Isco showed the supremacy of Real Madrid and the fragility of a very poor Mallorca defence. Both coaches applied the rotation system they mentioned on Tuesday but the seven new players our coach Luis Garcia Plaza selected were always up against it.
When the Mallorca team was announced, I was surprised and worried when LGP selected a rookie centre back Josep Gaya, who made his first division debut alongside Martin Valjent. Gaya had the opportunity on Wednesday night to fulfil his dream after he knew he was in the starting XI.
He probably will have played the game in anticipation in his head hundreds of times but not even in the worst scenario will he have imagined that his world would collapse at his feet in the second minute ! He slipped trying to stop an attack allowing Karim Benzema to open the scoring. My heart went out to Gaya, who went in the space of 48 hours from the local third division and the Son Bibiloni to playing in the legendary Santiago Bernabeu. The game was up for Mallorca after just two minutes and when Gaya was taken off in the 58th minute he must have been mighty relieved. He won’t forget Wednesday night but I’m told he has great qualities and I’ve no doubt he’ll have more opportunities to show it.
LGP’s forced changes struggled to keep up with the speed and skill of Real Madrid. Valjent was below his best and in midfield the Febas/Battaglia pairing failed miserably. Febas in attack caused some problems but in defence his level is unacceptable.
How we missed Dani Rodriguez, Baba (apart from 10 minutes at the end) and even Salva Sevilla. These players are vital to our La Liga cause and needed to be rested for Sunday’s 2 pm kick-off game in the Son Moix against Osasuna. Take Kubo, back at his parent club, failed to have any sort of impact Mallorca would have hoped for and he was anonymous for large parts of the game.
Our other Asian star, Kang-In Lee was our best player and his Messi-esque strike immediately after Real Madrid went two up gave us some scant hope. He was excellent, superb and not only because of the great goal he scored but also because of the magic touches he spread all over the pitch. But the home side were simply too hot to handle. Mallorca’s makeshift defence were in disarray as the game turned into a 6-1 humiliation. We were carved open time and time again, especially down the left flank where we had no answer to Vinicius Jnr’s electric pace.
Marco Asensio had no mercy for his former team and scored an easy hat-trick. When he scored his second, a fight started in a packed Mallorcafé. Unbelievably, in amongst all the Mallorquinistas was a “gobby” Real Madrid fan. When Madrid doubled their lead, one of our Ultras saw the red mist and had a go against the Madrid intruder. Tables and chairs went flying and an elderly gent chewing his free cacahuetes was knocked to the floor. Eventually peace was restored and the aggrieved Mallorca Ultra grabbed his motorcycle helmet and left the scene.
In one night Mallorca had conceded twice as many goals as in our previous five games. LGP’s big job now is to raise the team’s morale, as they have only a couple of days to stew over this result. Osasuna on Sunday will be a tough nut to crack and after Wednesday night’s “drubbing” we need to find that spark again which was sadly missing in the Bernabeu.
AND FINALLY, the Bulletin’s sister publication, Ultima Hora, ran a story the other day about a disturbed woman who boarded an EMT Palma bus without a mask. The driver told her to put her mask on, but she refused and proceeded to remove all her clothes, to the astonishment of other passengers. The driver called the police who rushed to the scene and reported they encountered the passenger “As God brought her into the world !” She was duly carted off to the funny farm.