Mallorquinista: Best Start for Years
Real Mallorca have made their best start to the season for a number of years with three wins and one defeat out of the opening four games. This puts them clear in second place behind Malaga who have made a perfect start with four wins. At home last Friday against a strong Cadiz team the fans had to wait until the 89th minute when substitute Alex Lopez scored the winner. The first half was a cagey affair although Abdon Prats missed the proverbial sitter on 25 minutes. The islanders came out strongly after the break with midfield maestro Salva Sevilla back to his best pulling the strings. Fullbacks Fran Gamez and Salva Ruiz made surging runs into opposition territory and former Mallorca goalkeeper Alberto Cifuentes made a number of excellent saves. With time running out Lopez slotted home from a corner and nearly 9,000 fans went into raptures.
After winning their opening two matches Real Mallorca succumbed to a one-nil defeat at Alcorcon in the suburbs of Madrid on Friday 31 August. This followed the win earlier in the week at Majahahonda, also in Madrid, the previous Monday. In La Liga 2 games are played over a four-day span between Friday and Monday and Mallorca spent a lot of time travelling and in hotel rooms. They did appear jaded at Alcorcon and conceded an early goal to veteran striker Jonathan Pereira. There was a good response from the islanders although Salva Sevilla had one of his poorer games in midfield and wasn’t able to get the ball out often to his wide players. Fullback Fran Gomez hit the post before half time. On 63 minutes Carlos Castro, the hero of the piece four days before, turned into a villain when he blazed a gilt edged chance wide with only the home keeper to beat.
On the final day of the transfer window Mallorca rescinded the contract of Javier Bonilla which meant that in total there were no less than fifteen departures from last season’s squad and eleven arrivals. Head coach Vicente Moreno is in his second season in charge and is happy that he has a competitive side.
Mallorca played Oviedo at home in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday 11 September. These games are now a one-legged affair and Moreno made ten changes to his starting eleven. The “second” team acquitted itself reasonably well and another one-nil victory saw the islanders progress into the next round. Ferran Giner scored the winner in the second half with a well placed shot from the edge of the area. This was his first competitive start since a serious injury last season. He will certainly be pushing for a place in the first choice starting eleven.
Mallorca are away at Elche this Sunday 16 September and home to Albacate on Sunday 23 September with a 12 noon kick off.