Real Mallorca ended their barren run of four straight defeats when they overcame a poor Mirandes side 2-0 on a freezing cold Three Kings fiesta Friday night in front of 8,000 brass monkeys. Two late goals from Lekic and Lago Junior saw the Palma side climb out of the relegation bottom four on goal difference. The three points were the perfect Three Kings present.
It certainly was a case of leaving it late as somehow after a few changes Mallorca managed to snatch all three points in a game that, apart from the last ten minutes, could be summed up as purgatory. This was a match we just had to win with two tricky away fixtures on the horizon against a resurgent second top Getafe in Madrid next Sunday lunchtime then at Reus on 22 January.
The game changer for Mallorca came as early as the 28th minute when playmaker Culio went down injured and had to leave the pitch. On came lanky striker Dejan Lekic and he gave the home side another option playing up front in what became a 4-4-2 set up. At last we had a target man to ping the ball up to. It looked like the game was heading for stalemate but somehow Mallorca found their mojo and won.
The star of the show was twenty-one-year-old Palma-born left winger James Davis, who has an American father and a mother from Equatorial Guinea. The combination of James, who regularly cut a swathe through the visiting defence, and the newly-signed Saul Garcia looks an interesting pairing. In the case of James, we finally had somebody who could run at defenders and he always looked a threat. He took a knock in the 68th minute and was replaced by another debutee Angel Sanchez. The game suddenly came to life in the 87th minute, Saul crossed from the left and Lekic nodded in a brilliant header. The second from Lago Junior was a wee bit special as he played in his best position – through the middle.
Summing up: The smile came back to the Son Moix on Friday night despite Mallorca making heavy weather of poor opponents. This was all about new coach Javier Olaizola and his decisions to give playing time to some of our B team players. One in particular stood out, the aforementioned James Davis. He played a few minutes last season then disappeared but reappeared with some aplomb on Friday night. Saul Garcia also took the eye and his superb cross saw our opening goal scored.
Lago Junior was another hero on Friday. He, as usual, chased everything and his goal in the 92nd minute was brilliantly taken as he danced past gawping defenders. When he scored the goal he ran over to where the Ultras congregate, they poured forward, breaking a barrier and some fans spilled onto the pitch: one was seen being taken away on a stretcher, a fine may be imminent. Lago overdid the goal celebration and was booked, meaning he'll miss next Sunday's game, which will see the return of Brandon Thomas after suspension. He was missed on Friday.
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