Another frustrating away day for Real Mallorca. | Jose Luis Contreras

Real Mallorca suffered their sixth consecutive away game defeat on the road when they went down 1-0 to Real Betis in front of a 50,402 crowd and in blistering March heat of 25ºC. Away from Son Moix it’s the same old story and if fans of the beautiful game turned on their tellies to watch football, they would have been disappointed because if you were after entertainment this probably wasn’t the game for you !

Betis, after their defeat to Man. Utd. in the Europa league on Thursday night, offered little in front of their fanatical fans despite the fact that a good win would see them climb into the top four. The first half was soporific with Real Mallorca flat in attack and wobbly in defence against a Betis side who didn’t deserve to take a “lucky lead” just after half time. A speculative shot from Senegal defender Sabaly looked to be going wide but a very attentive Borja Iglesias stuck out a boot which saw the shot deflect off its trajectory and past a helpless Rajkovic to put Betis one up.

After that went in coach Aguirre (who got himself a fifth yellow card meaning he’ll miss our next game at home to Osasuna on Friday March 31 at 9pm) began to ring the changes, none of which made any significant impact to our non-existent attack. That stroke of fortune for the Betis opener (and ultimately the match winner) seemed to demoralise Mallorca.

As usual when we play away from home, we found stringing two passes together difficult and we lacked any ideas about how to reach and consolidate in the final third. Aguirre’s substitutions contributed absolutely nothing to the cause and any chances we could have had were conspicuous by their absence. Once again VAR was the protagonist and the whole idea of hand ball has left me completely clueless about what is going on, it’s all become footballing gibberish. In the end its another tale of woe on the road which means the Osasuna game in Palma is truly key.

Every week away from home I have a rant about how Muriqi is being starved of the ball. Against Betis it was more of the same. He’s a charismatic striker and his place of work on a football pitch is in the opposition penalty area. Before the World Cup he’d scored eight goals and most of them were provided by wing backs, Maffeo and Costa getting to the goal-touchline and crossing the ball for “El Pirata” to head into the net. It’s not rocket science but somehow that idea appears to have all but disappeared.

I felt sorry for the large contingent of Mallorquinistas who made the journey to the Benito Villamarin stadium (where we haven’t won in 10 years) to witness a bloody awful game. Included in the travelling support were “Billy’s Jolly Boys and Julie” who were celebrating their 20th anniversary of away trips following RCD Mallorca. I’m sure the before and after game imbibing of liquid refreshments more than compensated for the outcome !