The brilliant Frenchman Antoine Griezmann headed in the game’s only goal. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


Atletico Madrid continue their 100% home record in La Liga this season with a hard-fought win over Real Mallorca in front of 60,000 fans in the Civitas Metropolitano on Saturday night. As expected, the home side dominated for long periods with Mallorca chasing shadows. But they put up a stubborn rear guard action that was only breached in the 63rd minute when the brilliant Frenchman Antoine Griezmann headed in the game’s only goal.

I lost count of the number of chances Los Colchoneros missed in the first half with top Spanish striker Alvaro Morata the main culprit.

Mallorca struggled to create any chances in the first period and were giving the ball away too easily but they were resolute in defence, frustrating the high-scoring Atletico time after time.

After the break, Atletico moved up a gear and Mallorca struggled to stay in the game and when the Atletico talisman Griezmann nodded in, Mallorca’s heads dropped. Rajkovic pulled off a great save from a Morata header as the home side attacked in waves.

Abdon Prats cut a solitary figure up front and as usual he ran his socks off for the cause. His presence is essential for Wednesday night’s must-win tie against Cadiz in the Son Moix at 9pm. Mallorca by this time looked out on their feet and when they did manage to get the ball forward seemed unable to know what to do with it.

Canadian striker Cyle Larin (of whom much is expected with Muriqi being out for up to six weeks) came on in the 61st minute and saw an effort hit his own player who was lying on the ground as it looked more and more likely to be mission impossible for the Palma boys.

Then in the 82nd minute a miracle almost happened. Sergi Darder slipped a great pass to Senegal player Amath Ndiaye and he was off heading towards the Atletico goal unchallenged. He went one on one with the Atletico keeper Oblak and a goal looked certain.

However, his weak effort (similar to the one Larin missed against Barcelona in the 98th minute a couple of months ago) went wide when it looked easier to score. I’ll bet every Mallorquinista watching that miss would have put their head in their hands in disbelief. You don’t know what you’re going to get with Amath but at this top level in La Liga and against a team with the quality of Atletico Madrid, you have to score any chance that comes your way.

Coach Aguirre continues to have faith in Amath but in my opinion he never measures up and once again showed his limitations when given a golden chance to score.

This narrow defeat was hard to take but we must now put this loss behind us as the most important week of the season is coming up.

With the three teams below us at the foot of the league all losing, we’re still fourth bottom. With the Cadiz match on Wednesday followed by Alaves on Sunday 3rd at 2pm we simply cannot afford to drop points in either of these games.