First Division - Day 10

Mallorca 2 - Numancia 1

Mallorca: Leo Franco; Olaizola, Fernando Niño, Nadal, Miguel Soler; Finidi, Engonga, Marcos, Ibagaza (Francisco Soler 65'); Eto'o (Stankovic 52'), Luque (Carlos 60'). 4-4-2.
Numancia: Alvaro Nuñez; Manel, Muñiz, Soria, David Pirri (Marini 46'); Iñaki (Ojeda 64'), Pacheta, Nagore, José Manuel; Rosu (Barbu 78'), Rubén Navarro. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Mallorca: No change / Numancia: No change.

1-0. 38. Finidi. Turned back in after cross from left by Ibagaza.
2-0. 45. Luque. Struck shot in off post after short free kick.
2-1. 69. Rubén Navarro. Headed down past keeper after Ojeda headed pass.

Mallorca won their fourth game in a row to move up to fifth place in the league in one of the season's great turn-arounds. Luis Aragonés's side were languishing at the bottom of the table only a few weeks ago before the return of Luque and Eto'o from the Olympic games sparked off a revival. The two young stars kept their places in an unchanged side that has taken 16 points out of a possible 18 in their last six games. They were up against a Numancia side that had drawn at Barcelona and beaten Real Madrid in their last two games, and manager Paco Herrera logically put out the same eleven players that had taken the three points from Madrid, with hat-trick hero Rosu keeping his place up front alongside Rubén Navarro.

This time however the Sorian side were out of their class, with Ibagaza and Finidi dominating the middle of the field and super-lungs Miguel Soler charging up and down the left wing like a young colt. Both keepers were called upon in the first half, with Leo Franco saving from Rosu and Iñaki, and Nuñez keeping out Ibagaza and Luque. Eto'o went closest to scoring with a shot against the post before Finidi finally broke down the Numancia resistance with his first goal for his new club. True to form, the Nigerian ran to the touchline and put on one of his many hats, this time a Mallorcan farmer's headgear reminiscent of the little numbers Bill and Ben used to wear.

Just before half time Luque missed a sitter, but he made up for it two minutes after the restart from a short free kick which went in off the post. Luis rested his three stars, bringing on Paco Soler, Stankovic and Carlos, but a few minutes later Numancia pulled one back through Rubén Navarro after a pass by Ojeda, who had come on a few minutes earlier. Navarro's goal was the first that Mallorca keeper Leo Franco had let in four and a half games. Finidi could have increased Mallorca's lead with a shot that crashed against the post, but a few minutes later Numancia almost spoilt the fans celebrations when Ojeda saw his point blank shot stopped by the Mallorca keeper. Despite their recent feats against the big two, the result takes Numancia back down close to the relegation zone in fifteenth place.