Real Mallorca climbed back up to eighth place in the Spanish second division with an exhilarating 3-0 defeat of Galician side Lugo on Sunday at 'Fortress Son Moix'.
This was a game played in ideal conditions, clear blue sky, 16C, a slight breeze and a pitch that was in perfect condition. Our ground staff really need to be applauded because the stadium's playing surface is equal to, if not better than, a lot of the top clubs in Europe. Sunday’s win belonged to Dani Rodriguez. The La Coruña-born midfielder was involved in all three goals, scoring two in the eighth and 69th minutes, the first brace of his career. Number one was a simple tap-in after Serbian Ante Budimir twinkle-toed his way along the goal-line before setting up the chance. Budimir has given Mallorca a different option upfront and he came close near the end when his shot whistled over the bar; this guy looks quality.
After Mallorca deservedly went ahead, Lugo tried to get back into the game, but despite their intricate passing they failed to test Reina in the home goal. He has now gone 441 minutes without conceding a goal at the Son Moix. After the break Mallorca got sloppy and the game became scrappy. It needed a goal and Rodriguez duly obliged in the 69th minute. Lago Junior created an opening down the left and his cross was met by Rodriguez's head and he spectacularly nodded in the second.
By this time Lugo’s fitness levels looked to be waning as Mallorca took control. With time running out, Rodriguez was through looking for his hat-trick but was unceremoniously impeded in the penalty box. It was a clear decision for referee Victor Franco as he pointed to the spot. Then the romance of football took over as the 7,500 crowd chanted “Dani, Dani” as they wanted him to take the kick and score a hat-trick. As Lago Junior is our leading scorer, common sense prevailed as he took control to net his tenth goal of the season, putting Mallorca in easy street. Near the end Lugo forced a save from Reina, but it was too little, too late.
That’s four straight wins at home, four clean sheets at home, eight wins in twelve at home, and unbeaten in 2019 at home. This was a great all-round performance by Real Mallorca and the fans were treated to a bit of special skill by substitute Leo Suarez. Not long after he came on in the second half, he tried an audacious chip from all of 40 yards. The ball seemed to hang in the air for ages before finally and agonisingly skimming the crossbar and landing on the roof of the net. Quite the best bit of ingenuity we've seen at the Son Moix this season.
Once again Mallorca relied heavily on their usual suspects. Raillo and Lago Junior were outstanding but Salva Sevilla didn’t have his best game. Teams are getting wise to his silky skills by putting two men on him every time he touches the ball.
After the weekend’s results, Mallorca are still two points away from the last play-off place side - Oviedo on 42 points. Only nine points separate us from top club Albacete.