Real Mallorca continue to have the automatic promotion wobbles but added one more point with four games left to play, DRAWING 1-1 against a depleted Malaga in La Rosaleda on Saturday night. Before this game we needed seven points from five games, now it’s six points from the four remaining nerve-shredding encounters before we can uncork the cava.
The Palma side made club history by reaching 72 points with four remaining fixtures on the agenda. Once again we conceded an early goal when Brian Olivan accidentally handled the ball in the area. The referee missed the incident but the boys in the VAR room didn’t. After the match official viewed the video footage, the penalty was awarded with Lomban sending Manolo Reina (playing in his home city) the wrong way, 1-0.
Welcome back Lago Junior. The big surprise in coach Luis Garcia Plaza’s team selection was the return of fans’ favourite Lago Junior who made his first start in four months. The Ivorian international responded to the coach’s confidence by brilliantly heading home the equaliser in the 28th minute. Right wing back Joan Sastre (in his best game of the season) put over an inch-perfect cross which saw Lago nod in, 1-1.
Just before that goal, a revitalised Sedlar came close to putting us ahead. His header looked goal bound but the ball hit the chest of the Malaga ‘keeper Soriano (who didn’t know much about it) and was cleared. That miss was one of five chances that Mallorca should have scored from but couldn’t, either through bad finishing, inspired goalkeeping or just bad luck.
Sedlar, Valjent, Amath (twice) and Lago all failed to put away reasonably easy opportunities. Mallorca were playing some good football as Malaga, minus six regulars, hung on for dear life, their season fizzling out into mid-table obscurity. Lago continued to torment the home defence and for a player who hadn’t been in the coach’s thoughts since February, he noticeably tired after the break.
In the second half the home coach made three changes at once, giving his team more attacking bite. They looked a threat on the counter attack as Mallorca kept chasing the winner down the other end. Substitute Luis Muñoz nearly put the home side back in front but Reina pulled off a great save.
The game was now very even and it was time for LGP to ring the changes. This is where Mallorca have been struggling since the New Year, our “bench” players have failed to impress and Saturday night was no exception. The whole tempo of our game changed and in the end we were hanging on. Right at the death, Malaga won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area inside the “D.” It was time to hide behind the sofa, but luckily from the resultant kick Lomban’s effort skimmed the top of the bar and went over.
SUMMING UP : After the game, LGP said he was happy with the point but it should have been three. We lacked depth and players were getting tired. He spoke about our next game, Alcorcon 21:30 Son Moix next Sunday. The coach described this encounter as being “vital; if we are able to win, we will be very close to achieving our dream.” Mallorca will be without Joan Sastre as he’s suspended.
I must give a special shout out to centre back Antonio Raillo. He spent most of the game wearing a big bandage around his head after being caught by a flying Malaga boot. Several times he went on the charge upfield with the ball at his feet, a sight to put fear into any opponent ! In all the five seasons at the heart of our defence, he’s never had a bad game.
This match was spoiled for me with incessant whistle blowing by the referee for the slightest contact. Players fall to the ground and do several roll-overs in agony as if death itself was surely about to take them. Clutching their faces, legs or indeed any appendage, they’ll roll around until enough time has passed for them to receive attention then limp off to run back on again. It’s called cheating. Referees, especially in our division, should stop blowing their whistles and halting play every time some numpty falls to the ground.
AND FINALLY, this one is really bad !
Three little pigs are in a posh restaurant and the waiter is taking their drinks order. The first little pig order a G&T, the second a V&T and the third asks for a pint of beer. The waiter points out that this is a classy place where they don’t normally serve pints, but the pig insists.
The drinks are brought, the first two pigs sip theirs and the third gulps his down in a oner and asks for another. The waiter heads off, brings another pint, and takes their orders for starters. The first pig chooses oysters, the second foie gras, but the third asks for a pint of lager. The waiter raises his eyebrows but takes the main course order, one rare steak, one salmon and a pint of Guinness.
After the main course is finished the waiter returns to take the dessert orders, one crème brulee, one banoffee pie and a pint of bitter. It comes to paying the bill time and the waiter asks them if they enjoyed their meal. They all say “yes.” The waiter then asks the third pig why he didn’t eat anything, instead quaffing lots of beer.
The first pig tells the waiter the third pig is “on duty.” The waiter then says they often have groups where one member stays sober because they’re the designated driver, but he’s never seen anyone eat no food and only drink beer. The third pig replies “It’s my turn to go ‘wee, wee, wee all the way home’ !!”