Real Mallorca lost one-nil away at second top Granada in an exciting second division game on Sunday night. A stunning 25-yard goal from (on loan from Sevilla) striker, 19-year-old Alex Pozo (Granada’s only shot on target in 93 minutes), sealed Mallorca’s fate but in all honesty we deserved a point after a lung-busting second half performance. We had a terrific start forcing Granada's keeper to make a save as early as the tenth minute. The home side slowly got into a rhythm and they looked a slick outfit. Then on the half hour came the game's solitary goal which has to be put in the world-class bracket, it was that good, Pozo's howitzer effort whistled past Reina's outstretched left arm and into the postage-stamp top right corner of the net. Mallorca then started to blow what chances they created. Aridai sliced one wide, then miskicked with the goal at his mercy. Dani Rodriguez then got in on the act, hooking over with only the goalkeeper to beat. Half time arrived with Granada and their fans knowing they were up against serious opposition.
Marc Pedraza took a hard knock on the knee towards the end of the first half and it was no surprise when the rubber-legged Baba replaced him after the break. The second half belonged to Mallorca. We played out of our skins creating several more chances but without a clinical finisher we were always up against it. Granada, who had looked taller and fitter than us, suddenly were on the receiving end of a Mallorca onslaught. More chances went a-begging as we missed golden opportunities to grab a draw but couldn’t convert.
Our best goalscoring option came in the 56th minute. Lago Junior turned his marker every which way but loose, got his cross over and left back Salva Ruiz found himself alone on the penalty spot. His effort went into orbit and as of Sunday night at 11pm was still spinning around the Andalusian night sky. Granada started time-wasting tactics and it was all hands to their defensive pumps as they hung on to their unbeaten home run.
This was a really exciting game to watch and plucky Mallorca just came up short of producing a shock result. The January transfer window means we have to try and get a proven goalscorer to keep us in with a shout of at least the play-offs. Striker Carlos Costa travelled with the team and sat on the bench after being left out of the squad in the last two games. Perhaps he should have been introduced some time in the second half. Coach Vicente Moreno has put together a team that can stay in the play-off positions, with a few tweaks here and there, until the end of the season. Firm favourites for promotion look to be Malaga and Granada or Deportivo La Coruña.
Granada showed on Sunday why they are the bookies' favourites for promotion. Tall, skilful players who didn't give the ball away once and looked the business, finding Real Mallorca a tough nut to crack, they held on to snatch a win they barely deserved.
After all the weekend's fixtures in La Segunda, when Nastic Tarragona's home game against Alcorcon was abandoned in the second half due to torrential rain and flooding, the remaining 38 minutes were played last night at 4 o’clock. Mallorca still remain in sixth (a play-off position) as they await Extremadura next Sunday.