Espanyol 3-2 Mallorca: Jornada 20 Underway
La Liga started the second semester of the calendar year in Barcelona’s Cornella-El Prat Stadium. Espanyol played against Mallorca in a dramatic match with a final score of 3-2.
Javier Aguirre is establishing himself as the savior coach of La Liga BBVA with an impressive record of 3-3-1. Espanyol three victories with Aguirre as coach include – Celta de Vigo, Deportivo La Coruña, and Mallorca. The three victories have come against teams directly involved in the relegation battle.
Aguirre’s only loss came against FC Barcelona, a game that concluded with a score of 4-0, and his best match was the game against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu, where Espanyol tied 2-2. Aguirre was born to coach in La Liga BBVA, and La Liga BBVA was born to please Aguirre’s coaching needs.
Joaquín Caparrós’ Mallorca nears stagnation as the team suffered its second consecutive loss and has not achieved three points since la jornada 17. In that match, Mallorca got a win of 2-1 against Pepe Mel’s Betis. After a strong start to the season, Mallorca will be one of the main relegation league protagonists.
Mallorca relies heavily on counter-attacks and on waiting patiently for the opponent’s mistake. Hector Moreno’s miscalculations as an air ball approached him on Espanyol's defending end, allowed Giovani to score his first goal as a Mallorca player. Its his first goal in La Liga since May 2011, that happened when he used to play for Racing de Santander. The first half finished with a surprising 1-2 lead for Mallorca. Espanyol dominated the pace and possession of the match, led by the lights of Simao, Sergio García, and Joan Verdú. Simao and Verdú finished the night with a goal each.
Aguirre’s tactical move that gave him the win happened during halftime. The Mexican coach decided to substitute Rui Fonte, who did not show up in the first half, for Italian youngster, Samuele Longo.With his movements and technique in the first touch, Longo broke Mallorca’s excellent central defense of Nunes and Geromel. Longo stole the show in the second half.Dudu Aouate was substituted in the 61st minute after suffering a knee injury. When the match was 1-2 in favor of Balearic team during a corner kick, Nunes, Mallorca’s captain landed on the Israeli goalie’s knee. Ruben Miño, a La Masia product, took over Aouate’s spot.
Antonio Luna got a second yellow card in the 80th minute, leaving Mallorca with 10 players.
As Mallorca held a well-fought 2-2 with every player on the defensive end, Raúl Baena scored the winner for Espanyol. Mallorca receives Málaga, while Espanyol visits Zaragoza next weekend.
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