Atlético Madrid continued their poor start to the season with a 1-1 draw against Real Mallorca.
Even more worrying than the disappointing result was the home team’s uninspiring performance and inability to create goalscoring opportunities.
Falcao ended his dry streak and his goal just before half time was Atlético’s first in the league this month, but the team also conceded their first goal at the Vicente Calderón this campaign after a horrific start.
After just 19 seconds referee Borbalán pointed to the spot when Tissone crossed the ball against Sílvio’s arm. Replays were largely inconclusive as to whether the decision was right, while later on Borbalán ignored a clearer handball on the opposite end.
Tomer Hemed converted the penalty and gave Mallorca the lead after just two minutes. Curiously, Mallorca have been awarded four penalties in the last three matches. Hemed scored all the spot kicks, including a dramatic 94th minute equaliser against Valencia last week.
Atlético looked to strike back with attempts from outside the area by Tiago and Sílvio, while Falcao maneuvered himself into a dangerous position but saw his shot blocked by Ramis.
New Mallorca coach Joaquín Caparros had instructed his team well, as Atleti struggled to find the way to Aouate’s goal. The only player capable of creating goalscoring opportunities was Sílvio, who bombed up and down the right wing and delivered plenty of useful crosses.
Just before half time Atlético were helped a little by Borbalán, who awarded Falcao a penalty. The Colombian seemed to have lost possession, but went down when he felt a little push from behind by Ramis. Falcao himself stepped up and ended both his and Atleti’s dry spell by sending Aouate the wrong way.
Immediately after the break Arda set up Adrián, but the young forward hit the side netting.
Manzano made his intentions clear and brought on Reyes and Salvio shortly into the second half, but a general lack of understanding prevented Atlético from picking the lock of Mallorca’s defence.
Atleti did pile on pressure which led to a powerful shot by Reyes which was well-handled by Aouate. A little later, Pina saved the day when Falcao again found himself in a position to shoot.
Arda played a wonderful through ball to Salvio but the Argentine was forced wide after going past the goalkeeper, and from the resulting corner the Turk himself almost scored a header.
In the final minutes Aouate did well to save a free kick by Reyes, while Falcao headed wide from six yards out.
In the 95th minute Atleti made another claim for a penalty when Diego was brought down from behind, but Borbalán ignored the appeal and instead blew his whistle for the final time.
Mallorca hadn’t gone near Courtois since going up in the first minute and were happy to settle for a draw.
With today’s result Atlético have now failed to win in any of their last six matches. On Thursday, the team travels to San Mamés for a tough away game against Athletic Bilbao.
Line-up: Courtois; Sílvio, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Tiago (“53 Reyes), Mario, Diego; Adrián (“53 Salvio), Falcao and Arda Turan (“80 Pizzi).
Goals: 0-1 Hemed (p.k.)(“2); 1-1 Falcao (p.k.)(“43)