First Division - Day 3

Mallorca 0 - Málaga 1

Mallorca: Roa; Olaizola, Siviero, Nadal, Miguel Soler; Novo, Engonga (Marcos), Francisco Soler (Carlos 55'), Carreras; Ibagaza (Josemi 75'); Güiza. 4-4-1-1.
Málaga: Contreras; Rojas, Larrainzar, Bravo, Valcarce; Rufete, Movilla, De los Santos, Agostinho (Rivas 60'); Canabal (Iznata 67'), Dely Valdés (Basti 85'). 4-4-2.

Team changes: Mallorca: Nadal, Francisco Soler, Güiza for Fernando Niño, Biagini, Carlos / Málaga: Canabal for Darío Silva.

0-1. 52. Dely Valdes. Header after cross from Rufete on right.

Dely Valdés sent Mallorca firmly to the bottom of the first division with a second half headed goal which started to pay off his recent transfer fee from Oviedo. Both teams came in to this match with one point from two games, with the two oldest managers in the league Luis Aragonés and Joaquín Peiró facing each other for the umpteenth time of their careers. Aragonés decided to change his formation for this match switching to five in midfield, and with Carlos off form, Biagini, Stankovic and Finidi injured and Luque and Eto'o in Sydney, B team youngster Güiza was given the role of lone striker up front. Nadal returned in the heart of defence for his first game of the season after being injured in the pre-season matches.

Peiró did not have such problems, and only made one change, new signing Canabal replacing the injured Darío Silva. The ex Real Madrid striker started well ,bringing a save out of Roa in the first few minutes after a cross from Rufete. Nadal replied with a hard free kick which Contreras saved, then Rufete made his mark with a couple of solo efforts, the first over the bar and the second saved by Roa. The Spanish international wanted to show Mallorca what they had missed out on when they let him go a couple of seasons ago after he had spent two years with the club without getting a game.

The rest of the first half was a dour midfield battle, but Dely sent a warning signal to his opponents when he went close with a header just before the interval. Seven minutes later he scored, and Luis decided to abandon his experiment, bringing on a second striker Carlos to join the solitary Güiza. Mallorca bucked their ideas up and attacked, but Peiró had added an extra defender Martín Rivas, making his debut for his new club, and he stopped a Nadal shot near the end which would have levelled the scores. The last chance fell to Novo in injury time, but his lob just went over and that was it. Mallorca's situation is bad, but with Eto'o and Luque back soon and Finidi now fit, they should start to improve. Málaga look like a mid-table side already, and provided they do not get injuries to their key players they should be alright. Only 35 more games to go!