After a week when a friend hosted an early Christmas dinner and invited his family who were encouraged to bring all their children; throughout the meal, one four-year-old girl stared at her uncle sitting across the table, who checked his tie, felt his face for food, patted his hair in place but nothing stopped the little girl from staring at him, so finally he asked her “Why do you keep staring at me?” and everyone at the table went quiet awaiting her response – the little girl said “I just want to see how you drink like a fish!” – Real Mallorca fans were handed their worst possible Christmas present on Sunday lunchtime when they capitulated in the second half to an average Granada side, going down 4-1.
The damage was done by 39-year-old striker Jorge Molina (40 in April) who rolled back the years he’d spent at Real Betis and Getafe by banging in a hat trick, his first in a long career in Spanish football, showing just what Real Mallorca are missing in the goal-scoring department. At the start of the transfer window last August, Molina was up for grabs on a freebie and only Granada took up the option to sign him.
On Sunday he showed what a mistake we’d made in not making him a Mallorca player.
Molina, who’s two years older than Salva Sevilla, ran our central defenders ragged. The home team went ahead in the 20th minute.
Kang In Lee, who didn’t have his best game for Mallorca, made a mistake in midfield, the ball was given away with Granada setting up a fast counterattack that ended up with the ball at Molina’s feet and he made no mistake, 1-0.
However, Mallorca made a swift reaction and their equaliser was class personified. In the 23rd minute came our goal of the season so far.Take Kubo (who was being hacked down left, right and centre) sent over an exquisite 50 metre pass out to Jaume Costa down the left flank, his inch-perfect cross was met by Dani Rodriguez’s head and he nodded in the equaliser, 1-1, the Galician’s third goal of the season. Half time arrived with Granada slightly ahead on points.
Into the second half and Mallorca seemed to disintegrate. Granada scored a second – a gift. We failed to clear a ball that spent too long in our penalty area and Machis’s effort looked goal-bound. Somehow it was blocked but the ball fell into the path of Molina and he made no mistake with the spillage, 2-1.
By now the second half turned into a game where nothing was happening until the 90th minute. Big lanky nonentity Fer Niño came on for a final fling and missed a sitter after substitute Salva Sevilla had hit the far post.
Granada got the ball back, broke away down the other end and Molina (who else !) didn’t forgive as he scored only his first hat trick in a long, chequered career in Spanish football, 3-1. He became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the top five European leagues ever as his three goals saw off a nervy Real Mallorca.
As if us fans hadn’t suffered enough, Granada got a fourth in the 94th minute when Puertas walked in the fourth. Final score 4-1.
SUMMING UP: Mallorca went missing in the second half after equalising with a quite brilliant goal instigated by Take Kubo.The Japanese sensation was head and shoulders above anybody else on Sunday and in the first half was a joy to watch.
His Asian team-mate, South Korean Kang In Lee, didn’t have such an impact. He’s still only 20 years old, as is Kubo, but Kang In needs to learn there are areas of the pitch where you mustn’t make mistakes, especially in the centre circle.
Despite the result, Mallorca have 20 points from 18 games and lie 14th in the classification, five points away from the relegation zone with six sides below us. The team are back in training on December 27 and the second half of the season will be difficult unless our director of football, Pablo Ortells, can bring in some much-needed reinforcements. Much has been written about our need for a striker but we also require a goalkeeper and a centre back.
In the first week of the new year, Mallorca have three games in six days, Barcelona (H) January 2, Eibar (A) Copa del Rey, January 5, and Levante (A) January 8.
Sunday was a game to forget for Mallorca.
The defeat was only the third time in the previous seven meetings Granada (Los Nazaries) had scored more than once against the Palma side.
AND FINALLY, while driving home in his golf cart, a man swerved to avoid hitting a deer, lost control and landed in a ditch, severely banging his head. Dazed and confused, he crawled out of the ditch to the edge of the road when a shiny new convertible pulled up with a very beautiful woman driver who asked “Are you okay?” “I think so,” he replied. She suggested “Get in and I’ll take you home, so I can clean and bandage that nasty scrape on your head.” “That’s nice of you,” he answered, “But I don’t think my wife will like me doing that.” “Oh, come on, I’m a nurse,” she insisted. “I need to see if you have any more scrapes and then treat them properly.”
Being shaken and weak, he agreed, but repeated “I’m sure my wife won’t like this.” They arrived at her place which was just a few miles away and, after a couple of cold beers, and the bandaging, he thanked her and said “I feel a lot better now, but I know my wife is going to be really upset so I’d better go now.” “Don’t be silly,” she said with a smile. “Stay for a while. She won’t know anything. By the way, where is she?” “My guess is that she’s still in the ditch.”