Real Mallorca 3 – 0 CD Lugo: Mallorca keeps pace in the race for la Liga 🇬🇧

¡Hola mallorquinistas! Hoy estrenamos una nueva sección en RCDM.es destinada a todos los fans de habla inglesa de nuestro club, ¡qué no son pocos! Esta nueva sección estará escrita íntegramente en inglés para que los aficionados extranjeros puedan seguir la actualidad de nuestro equipo. A continuación, os presentamos a nuestro nuevo colaborador y os dejamos con su primer artículo. ¡Esperamos que os guste!

Hi Mallorca fans! Today we present a new section in RCDM.es for our foreign fans. This new section will be written in English, so foreign fans can follow the RCD Mallorca news. And now, we present our new collaborator and his first article. We hope you like it!

Alex Fitzpatrick: A football fanatic, coach and sports teacher all of my life, I moved to Mallorca 6 months ago. Having always followed my UK team, Derby County, home and away, there was a big football sized hole in my life. Luckily, living close to Son Moix, Real Mallorca was an excellent addition.

I’ve quickly fallen in love with the team and watch every week home and away (on TV). A keen watcher of European football and particularly English football.

I work as Director of Sport in a Mallorca international school and coach a range of sports daily, particularly football. Always watching with an analytical eye, I hope I can bring a different view of Real Mallorca in a time where success returns to Son Moix.

Real Mallorca 3 – 0 CD Lugo: Mallorca keeps pace in the race for la Liga

The side’s form away from Son Moix has meant that so often their time at home has been ‘must win’, and today was no different in that respect.

What was different though was the focal point in attack. After half a season of frustration at a lack of goals to match their dominance at home and a lack of bite away from home, Mallorca had moved in the transfer market. Croatian Budimir having signed to act as competition for Abdon Prats and Alex Lopez.

Compete he did. In his first game he showed battle and fight to retain the ball, ability to lay it off and bring others into the play and a calmness to score from the penalty spot in audacious fashion. Unfortunately, he also showed a lack of appreciation of the sometimes wildly inconsistent standards of refereeing in Spain, leading to a red card for two minor offences.

Mallorca toiled away from home last time out as Budimir sat out his suspension but he returned today and, despite not getting a goal, his contribution at every turn made a difference to the side. From the off, Budimir was battling with defenders, winning fouls moving the team up the pitch with his strong hold up play and bringing others into the game. In contrast to Alex Lopez, when the ball gets to Budimir, it sticks.

It didn’t take long for Mallorca to feel the benefit of his work. A ball played into his feet wide in the box, he turned his man and slid it across to Dani Rodriguez for the first goal of the game who slotted simply home.

With their noses in front early in the game, the expectation from there was that they would go on and win convincingly. However, time and time again first half, Mallorca were slack in defence, allowing Lugo time in perilous situations and giving it away cheaply.

Tactically Mallorca had joy down the left in the early stages, looking dangerous every time they attacked. That was until Lago and Aridai switched, presumably under instruction from Vicente Moreno, leading to no joy down either side.

Lugo came into the game more and looked dangerous on set pieces with their height, missing one clear opportunity in front of goal, totally unmarked and only 8 yards out. Later, Estupiñan put Raillo in trouble with a bizarre throw back to him which he could only volley, scuffing it into our own box to present an opportunity to shoot for Lugo. Again they didn’t challenge Reina.

Whilst Mallorca were clearly the stronger side, one nil is a dangerous score line, particularly against a side with height where just one set piece can be your undoing. Despite this Mallorca made their way in satisfied with their half time lead, knowing the next goal would be crucial.

A slack start to the second half from Mallorca in attack almost brought a goal through a collection of errors from both sides. Lago broke down the left as he often does, crossed and a mishit shot fell to Sastre who in turn mishits his shot wide from a great position in front of goal. Lugo clearly showed that they would present Mallorca with chances if put under enough pressure, the best form of defence for Mallorca being attack.

However, Mallorca allowed the game to go flat and the longer it stayed one nil, the longer there was hope for Lugo for one mistake, one chance, one set piece as they continued to play the ball long.

In the end, as is often the case, the officials intervened to make a decisive contribution to the game. On the half way line the ball was clearly miscontrolled by Budimir for a Lugo throw, yet the officials give the ball to Mallorca to the clear frustration of the Lugo side. From the following move, Lago ran away from three defenders on the left, chipped a ball into the middle to Dani Rodriguez for his second of the game. He ghosted in, totally unmarked with a looping header, which kissed the post and fell into the back of the net.

This spelled game over for Lugo, but they wouldn’t give up, pushing more now with the defecit at two goals. This allowed space on the break for the home team and the enthusiastic Suarez, on for the hard working but ineffective Aridai. Suarez immediately added a spark and incisive passing, and you can see that once up to full fitness he will be a real asset for the side, linking well with Budimir.

In the space on twenty minutes Suarez is able to sprint the length of the field and try to chip the goalkeeper, create a clear shot on goal for Budimir who narrowly misses the top corner, as well as having a shot on goal deflected. With more minutes on the pitch this young man will surely create the chances Mallorca need to fire their way to 6th position.

Following his narrowly missed chance laid on by Suarez, Budimir finally gives way to Alex Lopez who seems to have been inspired a little by Budimir’s fight and never say die attitude, chasing lost causes more readily and putting himself about more than usual. This competition in the squad in the attacking positions can only be a good thing for the remainder of the season.

In the final minutes of the game, gaps open up with Mallorca’s fresh legs and Lugo pushing forward. Despite getting into a number of good positions today, Lago and Sevilla have on the whole not been able to find the final touch, pass or shot to convert the chances into goals. Another day the team may have scored 5 or 6.

Despite this, there is still time for one more. Two goal hero Dani Rodriguez this time makes his way inside the box on the left and is brought down by the defender for a clear penalty. The fans behind the goal cheer for Dani to take the penalty and complete a rare hat trick for a midfield player. However, in shades of the arguments of the last game at Son Moix, Sevilla and Lago cannot agree on who is to take it. Eventually Lago wins out and calmly slots home to help the goal difference of the team.

Mallorca will be delighted with the scoreline and, for large parts of the game, the performance. Coming into a crucial time of the season with three home games in a short space of time, they look to be hitting good form. However, there are some difficult decisions for manager Vecinte Moreno to make in the coming weeks to try to keep pace with the top six and integrate the new signings to push the team forwards. The signs are positive, on to the next challenge.

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