Atlético Madrid 1-1 Real Mallorca
A fourth penalty in three games saw Real Mallorca earn another point against Atlético Madrid in the Vicente Calderón. Despite having the vast majority of possession and chances, the home side were unable to beat Mallorca in what transpired to be a very frustrating evening for Manzano’s team.
Caparrós had several selection headaches before the game. Pablo Cáceres, Kevin García, José Nunes, Gianni Zuiverloon, Pep Martí and Víctor Casadesús were all missing through injury. This meant Pedro Bigas could continue at left back with Pau Cendrós deputising at right back. Sergio Tejera took the role in attacking midfield whilst Pina partnered Tissone in central midfield.
The match was 23 seconds old when Mallorca were awarded a penalty. Things could not have started better for Caparrós’s men at the Vicente Calderón. Straight from the kick-off Tissone headed into the left-hand side of the area and his cross struck Silvio’s arm. Fernández Borbalán had no doubt and blew up for a penalty for the islanders. A wonderful start got even better when, for the fourth consecutive match, Hemed placed the ball on twelve yards out and converted the penalty (0-1).
Mallorca’s pressing nullified Atlético’s threat in the final third. The islanders were in control of the game in the early stages and could even have gone further ahead through a shot from Tejera from the edge of the area. The man from Catalonia ran onto a perfect pass from Cendrós from the wing and almost scored the second.
With no clear chances for Atlético, Mallorca gradually sat back in order to maintain the advantage for as long as possible. Manzano’s men kept plugging away and finally Falcao drifted into the area, there was contact with Ramis and the Colombian went down. The referee pointed to the spot again, this time for a penalty to Atlético. Falcao, el Tigre, ended his goal drought by converting the penalty (1-1).
In the second half, Mallorca continued to look strong at the back and looked dangerous on the counter with Nsue and Castro using their pace on the flanks. Caparrós had brought on Alfaro for Tejera at the break and he later brought on Aki for Hemed. A very defensive Mallorca continued to sit back in the face of the Atlético attacks. Adrián had a great chance to score a second goal for Atlético, but his effort went just wide of Aouate’s left-hand post.
There was a heart-in-mouth moment when Chico went to head a ball clear and became sandwiched between Aouate and Reyes, and the man from Andalucía fell motionless to the floor. The medical teams raced onto the pitch and he was taken off on a stretcher. However, after a few minutes, it was confirmed that he had suffered a blow to the chest but was OK.
Atlético continued to search for a winner and pushed harder than ever in the final stages, with every Mallorca player defending the penalty area. As usual, Dudu Aouate was magnificent every time he was called on.
“We must improve and we have to compete,” Joaquín Caparrós told press after the game. It was somthing the Head Coach couldn’t ignore. Marca certainly didn’t either, saying that Mallorca’s lack of attacking prowess was the worst part of the game. “Hemed could not bring any danger to the counter attacks and nor could the chances Caparrós made later in the game.”
Atlético Madrid (4-1-4-1): Courtois; Sílvio, Miranda, Godín, Luis; Mario Suárez ; Adrián (Salvio 52′), Tiago (Reyes 53′), Diego, Turan (Pizzi 79′); Falcao.
Substitutes: Asenjo (gk); Domínguez; Koke, Salvio, Reyes, Assunção; Pizzi.
Goal: Falcao 43′ pen.
Real Mallorca (4-2-3-1): Aouate; Cendrós, Ramis , Chico (João Victor 70′), Bigas ; Pina, Tissone ; Nsue, Tejera (Alfaro 45′), Castro ; Hemed (Aki 59′).
Substitutes: Calatayud (gk); Martí Crespí; João Victor, Pereira, Aki, Alfaro; Álvaro.
Goal: Hemed 2′ pen.
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán (ESP).
Stadium: Vicente Calderón, Madrid.