Mallorca's Merveil (left) in action against Almeria.

06-01-2019La Liga

Real Mallorca played their worst game of the season losing 2-0 in Almeria. The Palma side just about managed to play 20 minutes of football, the rest was dismal, abject and above all pathetic. The score could have been double what it was if it hadn’t been for two brilliant penalty saves from Captain Marvel in goal, Manolo Reina. He was the only Real Mallorca player who exited the pitch at the end with any credit. Almeria had three clear penalties (the first time Mallorca have conceded three in a game since 1917), caused by three glaring defensive errors. We looked and played like eleven players who’d never started together as a team before.

The first half was pretty uninspiring stuff but at least Almeria had one shot on target; we couldn’t even muster a half chance. Our dearth in the striking department was made even more apparent on Sunday. Alex Lopez leading the line is simply not the answer and just why Sergio Buenacasa didn’t even make the bench was a head scratcher. Almeria took the lead on the stroke of half time. A sloppy pass given away by Lopez near the centre circle saw Almeria pour forward. In an effort to avert the danger, Martin Valjent bundled over ex-Mallorca player Alvaro Gomez, Almeria’s leading goalscorer. He stepped up licking his lips like Hannibal Lector during a Vaseline shortage as his effort from eleven metres sent Reina the wrong way.

The second half for Mallorca was more or less the same as the first. Time and time again we gave the ball away with Salva Sevilla being the main culprit - he had an absolute mare. Never was it more obvious that when the “Silver Fox” doesn’t deliver, Mallorca don’t deliver.

Our defending got worse in the 72nd minute. Marc Pedraza was caught in possession, losing the ball. Almeria took full advantage, allowing Juan Carlos the chance to double their score and he made no mistake. Raillo then made a schoolboy error, bringing down Gimenez in the box. His tame effort saw Reina make the first of his spot kick saves to spare Mallorca’s blushes. Things then went from bad to worse near the end when Estupinan fouled Aguza in the area. He’s normally more deadly than a flu epidemic, but Reina pulled off a blinding save to at least earn his wages. The game finished 2-0- Mallorca were lucky it wasn’t more - a lot more.

Fortunately, weekend scores went our way and we’re still eighth in La Segunda, four points off the last play-off place. The result wasn’t the best preparation for this Saturday home game against Deportivo La Coruña. Depor could only draw 0-0 against nine-man Lugo. Moreno has a lot of work to do on the Son Bibiloni training ground this week.

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