Celebrations for Real Mallorca. | MIQUEL A. BORRAS


One of Real Mallorca’s longest-serving players, 34-year-old Dani Rodriguez, put on a virtuoso performance on Thursday night, scoring a goal and assisting in another two from corner kicks that brought back the smiles to the faces of the 14,198 crowd when the Palma side held on to beat Osasuna 3-2 in a vibrant end-to-end encounter.

Osasuna went ahead in the 7th minute. A free kick was only parried by Rajkovic, and Ibañez scored from the spillage. Mallorca didn’t take long to draw level in the 15th minute when a Dani Rodriguez corner was headed in by Matija Nastasic and the islanders began to take control.

We came close through Antonio Sanchez and Jaume Costa as a very lenient referee blew for the break. The first half was enthralling but the second half was a real edge-of-the-seat thriller.

Dani Rodriguez hit a cross shot which eluded Herrera in the visiting goal and we were 2-1 up. Ten minutes later “Captain Marvel” Antonio Raillo nodded in the second from another Dani Rodriguez corner and then something happened which hadn’t been seen at the Son Moix for a couple of years – an extended Mexican wave which seemed to go on for at least five minutes!

In the dying embers of this fiery game, Osasuna pulled one back when Llabres gave the ball away and it became a nail-biting final few minutes. Somehow Mallorca held on, giving their fans the best possible Christmas present, a home win and three valuable points.

SUMMING UP: Once again, Larin upfront was poor in front of goal and missed yet another one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but his contribution caused problems to the Osasuna defence.

In the last 15 minutes the Arta connection, Abdon Prats and Sergi Darder, came off the bench, with Darder replacing Morlanes who had his best game for Mallorca in midfield.

RCD Mallorca say “adios” to 2023 as they left the relegation area and go five points ahead of third-bottom Celta Vigo whom we play in Son Moix on January 13 at 4:15pm. That game will see the inauguration of the refurbished stadium.

Without any of our attacking players scoring, it was left to the two “old timers” (!!!) Dani Rodriguez and Antonio Raillo to show the forwards how to put the ball into the net. All the past doubts about our stuttering start were forgotten as we at last scored some goals. However, we still have the problem of being unable, in the final minutes, to see out a high-tension situation.