Real Mallorca hold on for massive win.
Following the dismal display against Elche on Saturday and Barcelona’s surprise home defeat by Cadiz on Monday, Mallorca were back in the relegation zone ahead of the clash with the bottom side in LaLiga Santander, Alavés. Commonly referred to as a “six-pointer”, just the three points would come in handy … .
Coach Javier Aguirre opted for four at the back rather than five and a more attacking starting line-up. Take Kubo was in, so were Salva Sevilla and Abdón Prats.
With just four minutes gone, Alavés centre-back Mark Lejeune had the ball in the net. VAR was consulted. There had been a handball. No goal, and Mallorca soon capitalised on the reprieve. Abdón Prats pounced on a loose ball and shot Mallorca into the lead. Four minutes into added time before the break, Mallorca were two-up, Vedat Muriqi latching on to Dani Rodríguez’s assist to blast past Fernando Pacheco in the Alavés goal.
The visitors had their best attempt on goal in the 56th minute, when Sergio Rico saved well from José Luis Sanmartín (Joselu), and on 72 minutes went one better, courtesy of an own goal by Antonio Raíllo. A tense finish to the match beckoned, with Alavés dominating possession.
Fer Niño was one-on-one with Pacheco and might have settled the match in added time, as Alavés threw everyone forward. Rico made a save, there were yellows for Alavés players demanding a penalty, and finally the final whistle blew. Mallorca had held on.
Mallorca: Rico; Maffeo, Valjent, Raíllo, Oliván (González 68); Kubo (Niño 81), Sevilla (Sánchez 81), Baba (Battaglia 53), D. Rodríguez; Abdón (Lee 68); Muriqi
Alavés: Pacheco; Navarro (Guidetti 89), Laguardia, Lejeune, Duarte (Aguirregabiria 89); Escalante (De la Fuente 60), Loum (Pina 73); Méndez (Pellistri 60), García, Rioja; Joselu