Someone in Mallorca must have done something awful last year because on 6 January the three wise men delivered a lump of coal to the Iberostar stadium that was large enough to last for several Christmases.
The spectators inside the stadium must have felt like they had received coal, as they suffered dearly while watching a lifeless game, but Mallorca were given gold, as they salvaged a draw they did not deserve, nor even seek out until the final few moments of the game. In the end they could even have won the tie, had Giovani dos Santos's free-kick gone the other side of the post. It would have been a brutal punishment for Atleti, who, despite missing the suspended Radamel Falcao and Arda Turan, showed all their hallmarks, but for the most crucial one: a victory.
The writing was on the wall from the start: with an unambitious and blunt Mallorca coached by Joaquín Caparrós against an Atleti without their top scorer and without their creative player, it was never going to be pretty.
Atleti began the game with the best intentions, dominating possession and moving the ball with speed and precision, but Mallorca responded by sending eight players to camp inside their own box, with no intention of leaving. It was here that the absence of Arda was most noted. Atleti fans are well within their rights to be angry with the Turk's recent remarks about wanting to leave the club, but they cannot deny he is indispensable.
The visitors struggled to make work for Mallorca goalkeeper Aouate, whose only duties were saving a one-on-one from Diego Costa and tipping away a corner from Koke. Raúl Garcia tried his luck from range in vain, while Adrián offered nothing at all, rather like the entire Mallorca team.
Atleti finally broke the deadlock on the 72nd minute, when Raúl García stabbed home a rebound after Diego Costa showed great skill to round Javi Márquez and shoot at Aouate, who could not hold his effort.
Even when a goal down, Mallorca did not attack, and Diego Costa should have made it 2-0, but was denied by Aouate again. With three minutes remaining chaos reigned in Courtois's area, and an error by Filipe Luis allowed Kevin García to fire in the equaliser. It was a costly error by Diego Simeone's side, but it was just an accident for a team missing their two best players.