Pernía rescues a point at the end of the match against a conservative Mallorca

Atletico de Madrid wasn’t able to earn their first victory of the season against a conservative Mallorca side that almost came away with three points that they didn’t deserve. An early Güiza goal was neutralized by Pernía almost at the end, saving a point that should have been three, given their control, good football and perseverance. The match began with Fernando Navarro bringing down Agüero inside the Mallorca area, but Teixeira Vitienes decided that there was no foul. Segunds later, Arango ended up all alone against Leo Franco, but he shot with his wrong foot and his chip-shot went wide. It was a promising start to the match. Mallorca, from the get-go, didn’t leave any doubts about how they were going to play. The midfield line sat back on top of the defense, leaving very few spaces for Agüero and Forlán, who worked tirelessly together throughout the first half trying to create danger. Atletico de Madrid focused almost all of their efforts on attacking down the left flank, but Simao almost always ran into two defenders and sometimes even three. The Portuguese winger almost opened the scoring in the 15th minute off a free-kick, but Moyá punched the shot away. Raúl García got his head on the ensuing corner, but the shot was barely off-target. Mallorca took advantage of their next chance. Moyá iniciated a fast counter-attack that Guíza finished off after dribbling Leo Franco. Mallorca based their attack almost solely on sending long balls through to Güiza, which caused plenty of nerves for those in the stands. Tuni had another great chance in minute 23, but Perea, perfect on cutting down the spaces in the first half, cleanly swept the ball away from the midfielder to save Leo Franco from facing another one-on-one. Atleti had their defensive line moved well up and therefore suffered when it cam time to recover after attacks. Atletico de Madrid dedicated themselves to getting lots of touches on the ball while they looked for spaces, although they had a hard time finding them. Javier Aguirre’s side had a chance in the 27th minute with a nice run from Kun, but his attempt to loft the ball over Moyá with a deft flick was saved by the visiting keeper, who managed to get a hand on it just in time. Atletico de Madrid wasn’t playing poorly, as they attacked Mallorca’s area regularly, but they were lacking someone to finish things off and earn compensation for so much hard work. Maxi almost levelled in minute 36, but his spot-kick from the top of the area crashed off the crossbar. The second half began with even more ball control demonstrated by Atletico, with Mallorca dropping back their lines on their side of the pitch. Javier Aguirre’s players continued to play with patience, but it was extremely complicated work to find spots where there were no Mallorca players. Even so, Atletico de Madrid continued creating chances. A left-footed shot from Pernía from outside the area almost surprised Moyá, and on the ensuing corner, Forlán stuck out the tip of his boot milliseconds too late when he was in good position to score. Simão also enjoyed a good chance, but got under the ball too much and sent his shot over. Javier Aguirre didn’t wait long to get into action, and took off Seitaridis in favour of Reyes. It was a clear offensive substitution that could have been compensated soon after, but a cross from Simão ended up with Kun flicking it on with his head, and the ball went centimetres wide of the far post. Mallorca was a pure lock-and-bolt in defense and with the passing of the minutes, they made it more difficult to create danger. But then Pernía appeared by surprise rushing through the left side of the area and one of his patented left-footed strikes finally levelled the score. It was the first goal for ‘Tano’ as an Atletico player and, of course, dedicated to Puerta. So much physical expenditure from beginning to end left Atletico de Madrid without ideas to face the final minutes of the match, and not even the late entrance of Luis García allowed Atletico to come away with deserved victory.