Arda and Sílvio were back. Atlético were at home. It was against Mallorca.
All Atleti had to do was show up right?
It took 20 seconds for everything to go horribly awry, with referee David Fernández Borbalán screwing los Rojiblancos over by harshly calling a hand ball inside the box and awarding Mallorca a gift-wrapped penalty.
Hemed converted and, just like that, faster than Gil Marín could drive a lap around the stadium, our season-long clean sheet at home was wiped away.
There was a complete match worth of time left to be played, but all we could muster was a measly goal from the penalty spot as well.
Two more points down the drain. Six points out of the Champions League zone. Six winless games in a row.
The only silver lining was that we finally managed to get on the scoreboard, but with the goal coming from a spot kick, it’s hardly the sort of thing to get excited about.
Coach Gregorio Manzano, along with our entire offense, is on the hot seat.
Impatient fans are already calling for the former Sevilla boss to be given the boot.
Whether they are premature or justifiable, the coach himself didn’t seem all that surprised by the chants of “Manzano vete ya!” heard at the Vicente Calderón on Sunday, though he did assure he hasn’t considered “resigning at any moment.”
“The fans want their team to win and I understand that they get angry when we don’t,” Manzano said in the post-game press conference.
“A tie today didn’t cross our minds. The situation got difficult when we conceded that goal from an unjust penalty.
“Everyone saw that Sílvio had no intention of blocking the ball with his hand. Then, we had a hard time focussing on the game.
“Towards the end, the players began to show a certain amount of anxiety.”
While we continue to drift further away from a Champions League bid, Manzano insists a berth into the elite European competition remains the club’s primary objective.
“We still have that in mind,” he said. “We have no choice but to win.
“We’re going to Bilbao for the three points.”
Colchoneros, we feel your pain. What is your outlook for the rest of the season? Is this just a temporary slump? Are we doomed? Or, will we recover?