Atletico Madrid drop to 6th with loss to Mallorca

Sports Desk, Nov 9 (EFE).- Atletico Madrid’s run of poor form continued Wednesday with a 1-0 away defeat to RCD Mallorca that saw Diego Simeone’s men fall to sixth place in LaLiga.

The result left the Colchoneros level on points with Athletic Club and Real Betis at 24, but Atleti trail both of those teams on goal difference and are 13 points behind league leaders Barcelona heading into the World Cup hiatus.

The hosts, meanwhile, improved to 19 points, good enough for 10th in the table.

Atleti had the first chance, a shot by Antoine Griezmann in the 10th minute that was deflected over the cross-bar, but yet another defensive breakdown translated to a 1-0 lead for Mallorca in the 16th courtesy of Vedat Muriqi, a crowd favorite at Palma’s Son Moix stadium.

Muriqi’s fifth goal in as many matches brought his season total to eight.

Alvaro Morata’s apparent equalizer for Atleti in the 21st minute was disallowed after a VAR review detected that he was – barely – offside.

With his team struggling on the attack, Simeone pulled Molina, who was already on a yellow card, in favor of Angel Correa at the half-hour.

Muriqi missed the target on a chance to double the lead early in the second half, minutes before Morata forced a stop from Mallorca keeper Predrag Rajkovic.

Simeone made a double-substitution in the 69th minute, replacing Rodrigo De Paul with Koke and Reinildo Mandava with Sergio Reguilon, making his debut for Atletico months after coming over from Tottenham Hotspur.

The visitors were better in the late going. Morata tested Rajkovic twice in the final 10 minutes of regulation before the keeper denied Correa’s bid for an equalizer in stoppage time.

In other action Wednesday, Real Sociedad vaulted to third place with a 2-1 victory over Sevilla, who played 56 minutes with eight men. EFE pcl/dr

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