Although Villarreal controlled possession, they hardly troubled Aouate in the Mallorca net. Mallorca, on the other hand, could have gone ahead as early as the second minute, when Pereira turned Oriol insde out but his cross just missed a sliding Hemed (who appealed for a penalty without success).
As we noted, Mallorca don't score many goals from open play, so it was disappointing that the Villarreal defense conceded several corners, and from one of these Ramis missed an excellent opportunity, heading well over when unmarked. Pereira and Tissone were having success beating their men and at least forcing Villarreal to retreat deep to break up play, while the Submarine was having a hard time getting anything going offensively.
Camuñas, Borja and Cani were all subpar; perhaps in Borja's case this had something to do with the whistles directed at the ex-Mallorca man every time he touched the ball, but the buildup was far too slow and passes were going astray. Mallorca seemed content to foul or put the ball into touch knowing we would fail to create any danger.
Apart from one pass to Ruben, his shot from a tight angle being parried by Aouate, the Submarine struggled to create anything. And seven minutes before halftime Mallorca took the lead, preceded by a strange play in which Diego López came well outside his area to take down Chori Castro, when Gonzalo was covering and seemed as surprised by Diego's actions as anyone.
Mallorca pleaded for a red card, but only a yellow was awarded. But from the resulting free kick Victor Casadesus was unmarked, Marco Ruben attempting to clear the ball with a kick that probably would have resulted in an own goal anyway. Goal Victor, goal Mallorca.
HT Mallorca 1-0 Villarreal
Martinuccio came on for Camuñas, but he never really had time to make an impact before disaster struck. Pereira, who had been a star in the first half, Tissone, and Castro created danger and Villarreal was on the back foot. And within seven minutes it was 2-0; from a set piece Diego Lopez made a poor punch, the ball rebounded to Crespi, and though Gonzalo nearly acrobatically cleared his header, the ball stayed in the net.
The Submarine now had to throw players forward, and within short order had paid the price. Musacchio lost the ball just past midfield and Mallorca started a break, Chori Castro notching up his third assist as he crossed the ball for Victor to fire a shot across Lopez and into the net. Poor covering, to say the least, and game over.
Shortly afterward my stream died, and I must confess I was wondering if I should try to find another one. But, duty called, so I did, only to discover Mallorca had scored again, this time from a Castro corner. Four goals, four assists--three of them on set pieces.
In the remaining 20+ minutes Castellani and Hernán Pérez came on for Cani and Senna, but the Submarine never really threatened anything, while Nunes hit the post from another set piece, or it would have been even worse.
FT Mallorca 4-0 Villarreal
It's hard to find a good thing to say about this one. It seemed as though everyone who had played so well the last few games had a down game at the same time. Diego Lopez was at fault, directly or indirectly, for the first two goals; the back four was shredded time and time again, and Bruno and Senna were unable to break up attacks and provide service with their usual regularity.
Tissone, Pereira and Castro won the midfield battle today, and Borja, Cani and Camunas all had off-days. Marco Ruben was on an island much of the time, and it was all too reminiscent of abject away performances under Garrido, or the Atletico Madrid game under Molina.
Mallorca move ahead of us in the table, and on a day where a big win could have taken us to comfortable mid-table, we are now 17th in the table, three points ahead of Racing, with a tough home game coming up against fourth-placed Athletic.
Coach Molina needs to go back to the drawing board; we're in danger of undoing all the good work we have done of late. Endavant!