We were unable to make further ground on the teams above the relegation zone as a frustrating night in the capital ends with a 3-0 defeat to Atlético de Madrid.
Vicente Moreno made four changes to the side that recorded a crucial 5-1 victory over Celta Vigo three days prior. An accumulation of yellow cards meant Martin Valjent missed his first game of the season and top goalscorer Ante Budimir was unable to make the trip to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, handing Aleksandar Trajkovski his debut start of the campaign and a place in central defence to Aleksandar Sedlar.
A slight niggle to the recently fit again Lumor saw Fran Gámez start at left back, while Aleix Febas replaced Salva Sevilla in midfield. Among a substitutes’ bench featuring academy stars Luka Romero and Jesús was a first inclusion in the matchday squad for RCD Mallorca B defender Fran González.
There was little leeway for both sides during the opening exchanges as we looked to find our rhythm, although it was Take Kubo who registered the game’s first shot on target with driven effort into the hands of Jan Oblak from distance.
We were dealt a cruel blow in the 29th minute when Alvaro Morata converted a penalty at the second time of asking having been tripped in the box by Sedlar. Manolo Reina guessed the right way to save the original spot-kick, although VAR adjudged our goalkeeper to have stepped off his line, gifting the eventual goal scorer a controversial opener.
A frustrating second half went from bad to worse moments before the break as Morata struck again from close range to send us into the changing rooms with it all to do in the following 45 minutes.
We raced out of the blocks looking for an instant reply after the restart, with Trajkovski, Cucho Hernández and then Take Kubo unable to get shots on target.
The hosts tighetened up in midfield and defence in an attempt to stem our surges forward but remained dangerous against the run of play, foreshadowing what was to come when Renan Lodi hit the bar inside the box.
Prior warnings ultimatley went unheeded as Koke killed off any chance of a potential comeback when Joan Sastre defelcted the midfielder’s volley from outside the area past the wrong-footed Reina.
Substitute Pablo Chavarría came close to a rapid response when his flick at the near post hit the side netting, while the fresh legs of Abdón Prats couldn’t get an acrobatic volley on target in added time as Atlético de Madrid held onto their advantage.
We’ll have to quickly put a tough night at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium behind us as the hosting of UD Levante is next on the fixture calendar in six days’ time.
RCD Mallorca: Reina, Pozo, Raíllo, Sedlar, Fran Gámez (69’), Kubo, Baba (80’), Febas (57’), Dani Rodríguez, Trajkovski (57’), Cucho Hernández (69’)
Substitues: Parera, Jesús, Sastre (69’), Xisco Campos, Señé, Salva Sevilla (57’), Lago Junior (57’), Salibur, Chavarría (80’), Fran González, Luka, Abdón (69’)
Atletico Madrid: Oblak, Trippier, Savic, Giménez, Manu Sánchez(61’), Koke, Llorente, Saúl (80’), Carrasco (54’), Joao Félix (54’), Morata (61’)
Substitutes: Adán, Arias, Lodi (61’), Álvaro, Thomas (80’), Lemar, Herrera, Vitolo (54’), Toni Moya, Correa (54’), Saponjic, Diego Costa (61’)
Goals: Morata, 1-0 (29’); Morata, 2-0 (45+4’); Koke, 3-0 (78’)