Real Mallorca played their best football for a long, long time, but for all their pressure (14 corners) failed to put away a shed full of chances against an average Oviedo at a vibrant Son Moix on Sunday night.
This game was frustration personified. We dominated possession, passed the ball well, won it back on several occasions and created enough opportunities to win in a canter but once again the islanders failed to hit the target. It's now obvious to all the Son Moix faithful (of which 9,500 turned up on Sunday) that coach Fernando Vazquez likes to play with two attacking wingers. On Sunday Moutinho and especially Lago Junior ran the visiting defence ragged but in order to put away the numerous chances they created, Vazquez must pick two strikers. Oscar Diaz, who ploughed a lone furrow up front, just couldn't put away the chances that went begging and didn't look the answer to our goal drought crisis. Brandon Thomas, although not a striker, is probably our best player and should also start in games. So too should the big, leggy Serbian striker Lekic: his height and long legs could well have put away a few half chances. There's no point in signing him if he's only going to play the last 15 minutes. Don't think the result 0-0 meant this was a boring game; far from it. It was a really entertaining game and the 93 minutes flew past.
The stats for Mallorca are now - played three, lost one, drawn two - but alarmingly we have only scored a single goal. It's all well and good the hierarchy at the club saying they have the utmost confidence in our strikers. That's fine if they're banging in chances, but on Sunday for all the team's efforts, the end product wasn't forthcoming.
SUMMING UP: This game had everything but a goal. The Oviedo goalkeeper Juan Carlos played an absolute blinder and saved Fernando Hierro's side from a drubbing. Having said that, the Asturian 'keeper made a complete numpty of himself just after the break. Oscar Diaz and Juan Carlos got into a minor fracas - nothing intentional - but the 'keeper decided to make a meal of it and went down like he'd been bazooka-ed from Row Z. After that incident he was barracked every time he touched the ball. In all honesty he should have been at least booked for trying to get a fellow professional sent off.
For Mallorca, Culio was a master class in midfield. The 32-year-old Argentinian looks quality even with his different coloured boots. Lago Junior, as usual, ran himself into the ground; he must have covered every blade of grass on the new playing surface, which still looks good. After being booed off the pitch two weeks ago when we lost 0-1 to Reus, this time around the team were given a standing ovation at the end. There's still a lot of mystery involved in the coach's initial line-up but the team are certainly, if Sunday night is anything to go by, playing good football.
Another downside for me, apart from the lack of goals, was seeing Santamaria, our goalkeeper, standing on the halfway line in the last ten minutes with his back turned away from the play. All that was needed was for Oviedo to muster a quick counter attack with a long punt at goal and we would have lost.
All in all, thoroughly enjoyable, great entertainment. For the first half hour we were brilliant but it's the same old Real Mallorca; we're all over the opposition like a rash but we can't put away our chances.
Oviedo, who were reckoned to be one of the favourites for promotion this season, never had a shot on target and their coach, Fernando Hierro, was magnanimous in praise of us, saying: "We played against a good team tonight who were much superior to us and obviously I'm pleased with the result."
Mallorca play a cup match against Reus on Wednesday at 22.00, then they're away at bottom club Rayo Vallecano in Madrid next Sunday at 12.00.