Real Mallorca, after a two-wins-in-a-row resurgence, went down 3-2 to bottom team Bilbao Athletic in front of 10,000 fans at the Son Moix on Sunday night. Before this game, I told a friend of mine that we were about to face a possible banana-skin team, who hadn't won a game away from home all season. Our record against teams below us in the league is not one to be proud of, and so it turned out as Mallorca made an unprecedented slip up, after dominating the game for long periods.
The visitors came out with all guns blazing as we repelled a couple of forays into our penalty area. Then after 12 minutes Mallorca took the lead through a counter attack. Company's shot was palmed away by Bilbao 'keeper González, Pereira latched on to the rebound, put over a pearler of a cross and Lago Junior's outstretched leg made it 1-0. This was the Ivorian's first goal for Mallorca: he had a good first half then was moved to the wing in the second half before coming off injured. Bilbao then had a passage of play which made a mockery of their lowly league position. In the 20th minute Etxeberria, son of the Athletic Bilbao legend, put the Basques level, with a well-taken goal when he was left with way too much space. You could have heard a pin drop when that went in, as the score stayed level at the interval.
Two minutes after the break, Mallorca centre half Aveldaño got his head to another Pereira corner and we were back in front. Again our lead didn't last long and six minutes later Bilbao pulled level with the game's first piece of controversy. Our goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther went up for a corner kick and missed the ball. It looked from where I was sitting that he had been impeded and I'm sure I saw somebody tugging on his jersey, but the referee was unforgiving, allowed the goal to stand and booked the goalkeeper for his protestations. The bottom line of all this altercation was that if the ball is in the air in the six yard box, the custodian has to claim it. Timon didn't and the goal stood.
Bilbao by now had their tails up and scored a brilliant third through Vesga and they were in dreamland. Now it was all hands to the pump from Real Mallorca in the last 20 minutes. We hit the post, had three great chances spurned, Yuste got sent off and then, right at the death, Sissoko was pulled down in the area. All the Ultras, to a man, woman and child, were off their feet in indignation as this terrible referee waved away appeals and booked Sissoko for simulation. As the final whistle blew, Timon lost it completely, sarcastically applauding the referee, he was shown a red card and then, apparently, in the tunnel called the referee a name and laid a hand on one of his assistants which could mean a longer than usual suspension.
SUMMING UP: What wasn't acceptable was our defeat. Two many gaps appeared, especially down the right where you could have driven a Playa de Palma bendy bus through, and defender Oriol had a nightmare. Towards the end new signings Oscar Díaz and Salomao came on and we played much better, but Bilbao's goal led a charmed life. What we need now is better form from Brandon Thomas who again had a pretty insignificant game. If he plays well, Mallorca tend to do the same.
Next up it's Numancia next Sunday at 7:15. For the trip we will be missing Timon and our midfield of Yuste and Sissoko.
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