Real Mallorca, with a somewhat experimental starting XI, overcame a poor Alcorcon 0-2 to move up into third place in La Liga SmartBank. Once again, we kept a clean sheet making it seven in a row, a club record. Coach Luis Garcia Plaza made no fewer than six changes from the lacklustre 0-0 draw against Albacete last Thursday. Mallorca had never won in Alcorcon’s tiny Santo Domingo ground in six visits but they well and truly buried that statistic with a comprehensive victory. The home side almost got off to a dream start as early as the third minute when Hugo Fraile’s point blank shot crashed into the post, although it looked like Reina had it covered. Mallorca went ahead with the first clear cut chance they had in the 19th minute. Galarreta put a deep pass over to Antonio Sanchez and the Palma-born youngster hammered in the opener from a tight angle, a brilliant goal, 0-1.
Three minutes later Mallorca doubled their lead. Joan Sastre broke down the right wing and his cross was met by Marc Cordona whose outstretched left leg pushed in the second. At last a Mallorca striker had scored a goal for the first time this season, 0-2. Mallorca by now were in total control in a game which saw their most flamboyant display. In mid field the new partnership of Febas and Ruiz de Galarreta ran the show with panache and guile. The islanders passed the ball with pace and nearly scored a third just before half time, when a corner kick saw Raillo’s headed effort rattle the cross bar. Valjent blazed over the rebound.
After the break Sastre who’d been booked (again !) was replaced by Fran Gamez as Mallorca continued their superiority looking comfortable against an Alcorcon side who were outclassed.
By now our extraordinary defence (which has to be one of the best in Europe, one goal conceded in eight games) dealt easily with any sporadic attacks the home team could muster.
The moustachioed Abdon Prats came on near the end (he looks like a Mexican bandito, all that was missing was a sombrero !) and he chanced his luck with an effort from the halfway line which wasn’t too far away. Two goals ahead is always comfortable but with half an hour left Alcorcon still looked to snatch a consolation. Everything they threw at us was no problem for our resolute defence with Reina untroubled in goal.
SUMMING UP : With Mallorca expected in the promotion shake up next May it was good to see the team with so many changes getting back to scoring goals after 180 minutes of drought.
Lago played his 175th game for Real Mallorca. The last player to come close to that milestone was Dudu Aouate in 2014.
Two of our toughest opponents are now on the horizon. On Thursday a rejuvenated Malaga, fifth in the league and four games unbeaten, come to Palma – kick off 7 pm. Then we’re off to La Romareda to play Zaragoza on Sunday at 4 pm.
Malaga are in desperate financial trouble and are not allowed to buy players. Their owner, an Arab sheikh, along with his family, have become hated figures by the fans after bleeding the club dry of money and using it to fund their lavish lifestyle. They owe 9 million euros to the club and on Wednesday he sent a message to the French president using highly incendiary language. The authorities are investigating his racist rant and Malaga FC have disassociated themselves from his comments.
We’re now in third place on 15 points tucked in just behind Sporting Gijon on 16 and leaders Espanyol on 17. More changes are expected from LGP for the Malaga game and its good to see that the six changes made on Monday night performed so well, especially Febas in mid field who I thought was man of the match.
PS When I got home after the game I flicked through the sports channels coming across an FA Cup match on BT Sports between Bishops Stortford and St Albans City. There were several hundred fans in the ground and TV pictures showed there was little or no social distancing and hardly anybody was wearing a face covering – unbelievable !
AND FINALLY, a young woman was so depressed that she decided to end her life by throwing herself into the sea from Portsmouth docks. But before she could do so, a handsome young man stopped her. “You have so much to live for,” urged the man. “I’m a sailor and we’re off to Barcelona tomorrow. I can stow you away on the ship. I’ll tale care of you, bring you food every day and keep you happy.”
With nothing to lose, combined with the fact that she’d always wanted to go to Barcelona, the woman accepted. That night the sailor brought her aboard and hid her in a lifeboat that was covered with a tarpaulin. From that night, every night he would bring her three sandwiches, a bottle of wine and they’d make love until dawn.
Three weeks later she was discovered by the captain during a routine inspection. “What are you doing here ?” asked the captain. “I have an arrangement with one of the sailors,” she replied. “He brings me food and I get a free trip to Barcelona.” “I see,” said the captain. Her conscience got the better of her so she added “Plus he’s screwing me.” “He certainly is,” agreed the captain, “This is the Isle of Wight ferry.”