Sergi Darder helped Espanyol control the match. | Enric Fontcuberta

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Espanyol 1 - Real Mallorca 0

Mallorca, who were promoted with Espanyol last season, were seven points behind the home side going into Sunday's match in LaLiga Santander - Mallorca, on a terrible run of five defeats in a row, one place above the relegation zone in seventeenth and Espanyol twelfth.

The visitors looked as if they might have had a penalty on six minutes. There was a VAR check, but any penalty was ruled out for a previous foul by Mallorca left-back Jaume Costa, who was booked. Espanyol's keeper Diego López saved from Vedat Muriqi's 14th-minute header, as both sides initially started brightly.

As the first half wore on, neither side was posing much of a threat, until Mallorca wasted an attack on forty minutes, which was followed by Iddrisu Baba losing the ball and an Espanyol counterattack that Raúl de Tomás finished off to put the home side ahead.

De Tomás might have had a second when one-on-one with Sergio Rico on 54 minutes, and seven minutes later Antonio Raíllo was booked after losing possession and bringing down Sergi Darder. A Muriqi header on 66 minutes tested Espanyol's substitute keeper Oier Olazábal.

But Mallorca failed to make much impression. They are really struggling and must hope for better on April 2 away to Getafe who are currently fifteenth.

Espanyol: López (Oier 46); Gil, Calero, Cabrera, Pedrosa; Herrera, Bare (Morlanes 54); Embarber (Melamed 71), Darder, Vilhena (Vidal 54); De Tomás (Morón 85)

Mallorca: Rico; González (Niño 90), Valjent, Raíllo, Costa; Lee (Kubo 59), Baba (Llabrés 81), Sánchez (Sevilla 59), D. Rodríguez; Á. Rodríguez (Abdón 46), Muriqi