“Worldy” goal sees R.C.D. Mallorca lose 0-1
In what turned out to be a tedious game of football, a spectacular 35-metre shot from Sevilla’s Serbian midfielder Nemanja Gudelj in the 53rd minute proved enough to give the struggling Andalucian side three valuable points, and only their second win of the season in front of 15,300 fans on Saturday night.
It belongs in the realms of speculation as to what might have happened in the opening 10 minutes if our No. 1 player Vedat Muriqi had been playing instead of sitting out a two-match ban in the stand.
Two chances from Abdon Prats were brilliantly saved by Bono in the visiting goal and the big Moroccan keeper was the man of the match.
In the third minute Mallorca played a quick passing move down the right. Our best player on the night (again), Pablo Maffeo, put a great pass through to Sanchez who sent the ball inside the 18 yard box to Abdon and his goal-bound effort was superbly saved by Bono.
Abdon didn’t miss that chance, it’s just that the goalkeeper made a wonder save, and more was to come. A training ground move from a corner saw Galarreta launch a fabulous cross that Abdon again got on the end of, only for Bono to pull off another blinding save.
In the first half Sevilla were incapable of creating a single chance of any note. Full credit to our defence, especially captain Antonio Raillo playing his 200th game for the club. In reality the first six minutes of this game seemed like a “mirage” as the first half petered out into a midfied scramble. We were guilty of giving the ball away on numerous occasions, especially culpable was the normally reliable Dani Rodriguez who came on near the end.
After the break, things didn’t really get any better until the 57th minute when Gudelj in acres of space (with nobody closing him down) hit a speculative shot which would, under normal circumstances, have been lucky to stay in the stadium. The shot took off like a rocket gaining speed and height and crashed into the back of the net, 0-1. You could have heard a pin drop when that shot bulged the onion bag!
By now our coach Javier Aguirre decided to make changes, bringing on Amath for Sanchez and Lago Junior for a tiring Kang In Lee. He was very disappointing but he had a good excuse. It turned out he’d lost four kilos during the week after a severe bout of flu and only at the last minute he decided he was fit to play. Another casualty was French midfielder Grenier who also went down with the dreaded “lurgy” just before kick-off.
In the 85th minute the game fired back into life. Amath set up Angel Rodriguez but Bono once again performed a miracle between the sticks.
With time running out, a move between Lago Junior and Amath almost saw the equaliser but somehow Marcao made a goal-line clearance – too much, too little and far too late!
SUMMING UP: Only in the last 12 minutes did our coach change the script and go from a defensive line of five, to one of four. There were minutes towards the end when we scared Sevilla and we had yet again the chances to achieve what would have been a deserved point. Unfortunately we found Bono in one of those goalkeeping performances that, if we had played all night we still wouldn’t have scored.
Now we face Real Sociedad in San Sebastian on Wednesday night at 8pm. The squad will stay in Bilbao after the game before travelling down to Valencia where we’ll play on Saturday at 18:30.
Our next home game is against Espanyol on Friday 28th at 21:00 hrs.
Sevilla brought 300 vociferous fans (sometimes making more noise than us), some of whom were their notorious radicals. Before the game they started throwing chairs and bottles around outside the Mallorcafé. The National police intervention unit charged in, smashing a few idiots with their batons. Although there were no arrests, the police have identified six well known ring-leaders and some kind of sanction is expected.
The club gave away commemorative and personalised scarves to season ticket holders in the newly completed and spectacular East tribunal stand. Everybody I’ve spoken to who sits in that area is more than delighted with the results.
Only down side, a long-term lady supporter complained bitterly about the state of the women’s loos in the new area. She said she was sending an email to the club complaining that the aforementioned facilities hadn’t been cleaned for weeks. As she so eloquently put it “The toilets are well minging !!!”
PS After the weekend’s fixtures, Mallorca stay in 12th place, level on points with Sevilla and Espanyol. Played 9, won 2, drawn 3, lost 4.