Real Mallorca made it 15 games unbeaten, kept their 13th clean sheet, have still conceded only three goals AND went back into top spot in La Liga SmartBank when Arta-born Abdon Prats scored with a spectacular overhead kick (Chilena) in the 91st minute to beat (the most feared team in the second division) Almeria 0-1 on Thursday night. This win sees Mallorca now established as a serious promotion contender.
Abdon, who looked to be going out of the “puerta de salida” in the January transfer window, scored his second goal in two games to seal all three points for Real Mallorca. With time running out, coach Luis Garcia Plaza made his last two substitutions bringing on Abdon for Cufre and Lago Junior for Amath. Lago’s cross from just inside the penalty area on the left saw Abdon launch himself in the air with an overhead screamer that whizzed past a startled Almeria goalkeeper who was rooted to the spot. Before that the game was heading for a goalless draw as both sides looked to cancel each other out. That goal will be a huge candidate for La Segunda’s goal of the season, catch it if you can on You Tube.
Almeria started this game on a six-game-unbeaten run which in this tight league is an almost impossible achievement. Up front they played Umar Sadiq who they signed from Partisan Belgrade for 6 million euros and he hardly got a kick with Raillo and Valjent keeping the 6ft 3 ins Nigerian giant in check. The intensity of this high tempo game saw five yellow cards, three for Almeria and two for us.
In the second half, Almeria took control without creating any damage to our resolute defence. In mid field once again Galaretta looked the business and in the short time he’s been here he’s become irreplaceable. The Basque player looks like he’s got magnets in his boots when he gets the ball and his distribution is excellent.
Salva Sevilla’s introduction in the 55th minute once again showed what a class act he is. His free kick late in the second half saw the home goalkeeper make a super save up to his left.
The unity in the Real Mallorca squad under Luis Garcia Plaza is something we haven’t seen for a long, long time. When somebody loses the ball, team mates get it back immediately and it’s one of the keys to the team’s present success. I can’t ever remember, in 34 years of watching Real Mallorca, a time when we brought on two substitutes in the last ten minutes and both were involved in our winning goal.
The league table looks good for us with another game on Monday in Palma at 9 o’clock against struggling Castellon. We’ve now played all of the top eight with the exception of Leganes. What a season we’re having so far – our goal came late on Thursday night but, boy, was it worth waiting for!
PS Gravel-voiced singer Chris Rea has asked the government to urgently clarify current travel restrictions so that he can set off on his annual car journey and be safely home in time for Christmas. Middlesbrough-born Rea claims he is confused as to whether he can begin his traditional drive home now or wait until lockdown restrictions are eased on December 23!