Mallorca's scorers Kang In Lee and Muriqi in action on Saturday. | Carlos Gil-Roig


After a weekend when a UK tourist told me “I’ve been saving up for years to take my family on a once-in-a-lifetime world cruise, topped off with a month down under in Australia, but I’ve decided to cancel it and put the heating on this Winter instead!” – Real Mallorca ended a ten-year win-less hoodoo in Rayo Vallecano’s dilapidated Estadio Vallecas when they beat the Madrid side 0-2 on Saturday night.

Two defensive mistakes by the home side saw RCD Mallorca win their first game of the season, after a respectable 0-0 draw at Athletic Club Bilbao and an unlucky 1-2 home defeat by Real Betis. On Saturday night Mallorca fought a magnificent rearguard action with all three central defenders, Raillo, Valjent and Copete, getting a three-star rating in the Bulletin’s sister publication Ultima Hora. Gol TV also said after the game that Mallorca were impenetrable at the back and menacing upfront.

Rayo had made a great start to their season drawing 0-0 at Barcelona and then beating Espanyol 0-2 on match day two. However, they came into this game without their diminutive talisman in midfield, Isi Palazon, who was injured and no matter how much Rayo huffed and puffed they just couldn’t break down our defence. Stats

showed at the end that the home side didn’t have a single shot on target in the 96 minutes played. Rayo’s confidence took a massive hit in the 13th minute when Mallorca took the lead with a real cracker. Dani Rodriguez picked Pathe Cisse’s pocket in midfield, broke down the left and sent over a “worldy” cross to Muriqi who made it two goals from two games as his bullet header went in past Dimitriesvski right in front of Rayo’s Ultra “Los Bukaneros.”

On the half hour mark Rayo’s captain (and ex Mallorca player) Oscar Trejo saw his effort hit Copete before deflecting onto the post – a real let off for us.

The omnipresent Muriqi really earned his wages on Saturday night, he was all over the pitch and his aggressive style really got into the faces of a beleaguered Rayo side who were running out of ideas as to how to get through our rock-solid defence.

“El Pirata” came close to being man of the match but for me he was pipped at the post by South Korean Kang In Lee.

I wrote last week about how he’s come out of the shadow of Take Kubo (now at Real Sociedad) and Kang was a real pain in the “butt” for Rayo’s defence. He must now be close to being picked for South Korea in the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, and had another virtuoso performance, being the best player on the pitch. So it was fitting he scored our second and like the opener it was a belter.

In the 64th minute our almost-redundant goalkeeper Pedrag Rajkovic lumped the ball into the Rayo half, they failed to deal with the bouncing sphere before Kang-in-Lee latched onto it. The ball took a slight deflection off a Rayo defender as Kang cut in from the left to drill home our second from a tight angle, 0-2. That goal caused another mini-eruption in, and outside, a packed Mallorcafé as local fans were really enjoying this impressive display from the team.

With time running out coach Aguirre started to shuffle the pack. Sanchez, Javi Llabres (from Binissalem), Abdon and Galaretta all came on to replace tired legs as Mallorca ran down the clock for a fantastic win.

It was great to see Galarreta come on for his first game for six months after recovering from ruptured knee ligaments (for a third time in his career). His surprise return is a real boost for our midfield because present incumbent Clement Grenier looks to be struggling, finding the pace of La Liga a bit of a problem. On Saturday he picked up his third yellow card in as many games.

Next up on Saturday it’s the first of three fixtures we’ll be playing with a 2pm kick-off (an absolutely stupid and dangerous time to be playing football with daytime temperatures on the high side !!!) when Girona are the visitors.

With only a few days left before the transfer window shuts on Friday, technical director Pablo Ortells has been busy strengthening our squad. 26-year-old, 6ft, Zimbabwean striker Tino Kadewere has arrived on loan from top French side Olympique Lyon. Again a bit of an unknown quantity but so was Muriqi!!

Also mentioned as being on Ortells’ shopping list is a left wing back, Elio Capradossi, from Italian side Spezia. If he comes here I’m gonna call him Fandabidossi !