IMPRESSIVE ISLANDERS THUMP DEPOR 3-0

BRING on Real Madrid. That will be the thought in the minds of Real Mallorca players this week after their highly impressive 3-0 drubbing of title-chasers Deportivo de La Coruña. Mallorca, looking to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches, face Real on Saturday night at the Bernabeu. As well as their fine form of late, Mallorca will be boosted by the knowledge they were the last team to beat Real at the Bernabeu in the league, a 2-0 victory two years ago. The Islanders, although in eleventh in the table, will also be boosted by the fact they are now just one point behind sixth place Malaga who occupy a UEFA Cup place for next season. A fantastic performance and a fine double from Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o and a spectacular swerving volley from young midfielder Albert Riera brought an abrupt end to Deportivo's three-match winning streak on Sunday. Mallorca, who knocked Depor out of the Copa del Rey at the semi-final stage, took the early lead when Eto'o scored with just three minutes on the clock. The Cameroon international launched himself between two defenders to meet a fine cross from Alvaro Novo and send a clever angled header winging past keeper Jose Molina and into the far corner. Mallorca extended their lead 10 minutes later with a brilliantly taken shot from Riera. The highly-rated young midfielder controlled with his chest on the right of the area before sending a left-foot volley swerving past Molina and inside the far post. Depor, who have a poor record at Son Moix, never managed to cope with Mallorca's quick-breaking attacks and Eto'o wrapped up a thoroughly deserved victory when he put the finishing touch to a slick passing move midway through the second half. A quick exchange of passes between the wonderful Ariel Ibagaza and striker Walter Pandiani split open the Depor defence to leave Eto'o with a simple tap-in and his fifth goal in three matches. “I don't know if it was the sun or the heat, but we played very badly,” said Depor coach Javier Irrureta after the match. “The 2-0 after 13 minutes really hurt us and we lacked depth.” It was an entirely different story for Mallorca coach Gregorio Manzano -- the three points means he has achieved his primary objective of avoiding relegation. “With 41 points we should be safe in the Primera Liga, the last seven games won't worry us now and now our aim is to be fresh for the Cup final,” he said. “The players applied themselves wonderfully today and did all we said during the week.” Before Saturday's clash with the superstars of Real Madrid, Mallorca will host Cameroon at Son Moix in a friendly match on Wednesday night. Cameroon, who will have Eto'o up front, are currently on the island for a training camp at Mallorca's Son Bibiloni complex. The Cameroon squad includes Geremi, currently on loan from Real Madrid at Middlesbrough, Joseph-Desire Job, also at Boro, Marc-Vivien Foe of Manchester City and Livingston defender Gustave Bahoken.

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