A 1-1 draw at strugglers Celta Vigo doesn’t seem a huge reason to cheer, but fans of Real Mallorca were breathing a heavy sigh of relief last Sunday.
The result ended a woeful run of six La Liga defeats in a row that have left the islanders hovering just two points above the relegation zone.
Such a slump in form is made all the more puzzling by the fact that prior to those losses, Mallorca had started the season in impressive fashion, winning three and drawing two of their first five games.
The bwin bookies rate their chances of finishing the season in the bottom three at 5/1 and if experienced boss Joaquin Caparros can’t rediscover his winning touch, that price could shorten fairly quickly.
However, on paper at least, the Mallorca squad looks too good to lose the top-flight status the club has enjoyed since 1997.
Tomer Hemed boasts seven goals in 12 games and fans of Los Bermellones are hoping the return from injury of veteran defender Jose Nunes will shore up their back line.
Another player on the brink of an injury comeback is erratic former Tottenham forward Giovani dos Santos.
As a marquee summer signing – having failed to score in a league match for Spurs – snaring Dos Santos perhaps wasn’t a great show of intent for a side that finished a promising eighth last season.
Poor discipline has also contributed to Mallorca’s poor start, with three red cards gained in the first seven matches of the season, and if that trend continues, relegation will become a real concern for Caparros.
Elsewhere, at the top of the table, Barcelona’s record start continued with an 11th win in 12 as they beat Real Zaragoza 3-1 at Camp Nou, with Lionel Messi adding another two goals to his astonishing record in 2012.
Barca are a mere 1/4 on for the title now, with Real Madrid – who thumped Athletic 5-1 last weekend and are matching the Catalans’ current run of five wins in a row – out to 333/100.