Ansotegi, who scored for Mallorca against Levante on Saturday.


Real Mallorca lost to league leaders Levante 2-1 over in Valencia on Saturday night. The home team's Colombian player Jefferson Lermas's spectacular second half thunderbolt strike from outside the penalty area sank a lacklustre Real Mallorca and kept unbeaten Levante top of La Segunda. Mallorca couldn't replicate the form they showed in beating Huesca 3-0 last weekend and failed to respond to their cup exit by UCAM Murcia on Wednesday.

The cup match defeat was down to two defensive errors and it was a case of deja vu on Saturday night. Things looked good for Mallorca when they took the lead in the thirteenth minute. Moutinho swung over a free kick and Basque centre-half Ion Ansotegi nodded the islanders ahead. As usual with the Palma side, their inability to hold on to a one-goal lead took centre stage. Would we be able to capitalise or would we do the usual thing and capitulate?

We only had five minutes to find out as Mallorca lost yet another soft, badly defended goal. Levante won a corner kick which found their centre back Chema unmarked on the penalty spot and he headed in past a helpless Cabrero. Yet again Real Mallorca's defence had gone to sleep, allowing an ever-improving Levante back into the game. There was no way that the home side were going to lose this game now. After the break, Vazquez made a forced change. Biel Company was having a nightmare at left back and got a bang on the head just before half-time. As a precaution he was replaced by Arsenal's Pleguezuelo who filled in more than adequately.

In the 60th minute Levante won a throw-in on the left. Lerma, who'd come on just after the interval, took two steps and hit a screamer from distance; the ball was just a blur as it sped past Cabrero. Mallorca tried to get an equaliser but most of their efforts went high and wide. That's ten points from ten games for the Palma side – simply not good enough.

Summing up: Real Mallorca have won so many corners this season, I've lost count, yet we've still only mustered seven goals. A draw on Saturday night would have been a fairer result but once again we shot ourselves in the foot with some terrible defending and failed to create a clear-cut chance in 90 minutes.

Last week against Huesca, Mallorca played their best attacking football for ages, the reason for that being our front trio of Brandon, Oscar Diaz and especially Lago Junior, who played for 20 minutes as an out-and-out striker before being put back on the wing where he was wasted. That system worked a treat, but on Saturday it was back to the boring old 4-5-1 formation with Brandon cutting a forlorn figure up front. There was no way we'd break down a resolute Levante defence with one lone striker, which meant that Moutinho and Lago Junior hardly saw the ball and Oscar Diaz didn't even get a game.

Mallorca's next two fixtures are against teams that are below us in the league (not that that means a lot). First up it's Madrid club Alcorcon at the Son Moix on Sunday, followed by an away game at bottom side Nastic on 30 October. After these two games we'll see just where our season's going because at the moment we're inconsistent, defending poorly and not scoring enough goals which is giving us die-hard fans relentless grief.

Mallorca haven't won away from home since beating Valladolid 3-1 on 4 June to secure the place in La Segunda. We came up short against the classiest team we've faced so far this season and Levante had promotion written all over them. Slick passing, good solid defending and in the Brazilian Martins and Colombian Lerma they looked at times like a La Liga outfit. At the moment, the islanders are a team lacking in confidence with Culio in midfield showing what we're missing -quality - a trait we don't possess in large amounts.

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