Weak defending from set pieces cost Atlético the win today as we competed for the Trofeo Ciudad de Palma. Real Mallorca beat us 3-2.
Atlético started off strongly, with debutant Diego Godín heading against the crossbar after just eight minutes from a Reyes free kick. Shortly after it was again Reyes who set up Raúl García to shoot from distance, but the midfielder couldn’t keep his shot down.
However, Mallorca found the back of the net the very first time they came close to David de Gea’s goal. Nunes headed in a corner after he was left unmarked in the box. And within five minutes the islanders got two more big opportunities from set pieces.
Atlético controlled the match and came close to a goal through a freekick by Reyes – which he curled on the crossbar – and another Godín header, but Atleti’s vulnerability from set pieces became even clearer when Emilio Nsue doubled Mallorca’s lead in the 35th minute. The young forward was able to tap the ball in from a corner, with Luis Perea, Raúl García and Diego Godín all stood watching less than a metre away.
While our defending on set pieces leaves a lot to be desired, it was good to see that barely any chances were given away during open play. The only time this did happen, it was Pierre Webo who immediately punished our back line for giving him too much space. He made the score 3-0 in the 52nd minute, again leaving De Gea without a chance.
Atleti’s spirits couldn’t be crushed however, and with the inclusion of Agüero and later Diego Costa we went searching for a consolation goal, and maybe even more than that. Eduardo Salvio made way after yet another disappointing performance in pre-season. After exactly an hour of play Fran Mérida scored to make it 3-1 after he turned inside the box and put it away with his right foot.
Fran again came close ten minutes later when he reached to an Ujfalusi cross, but his header went just over the bar.
Sergio Agüero had more luck, ten minutes before full time. The substitute found some space in the box and powerfully struck the ball across goal, where it hit the post and went in. Atlético kept pressing but couldn’t create any more opportunities in the remaining minutes, meaning that the match ended 3-2 to the home team.
Line-up: De Gea; Ujfalusi, Perea, Godín, López; Camacho, Raúl García; Reyes, Jurado, Mérida; Salvio
Subs: Filipe, Mario, Agüero, Simão, Diego Costa, Valera
We dominated most of the game and there were some nice moves, mostly between Jurado and Mérida, but with less than two weeks to the European Super Cup, there is still plenty to think about for Quique Sánchez Flores. Surely the awful defending on set pieces and another poor display by Eduardo Salvio must be worrying our coach.