First Division - Day 1

Mallorca 0 - Valencia 2

Mallorca: Leo Franco; Olaizola, Fernando Niño, Nadal, Poli; Lozano (Paco Soler 82'), Marcos; Campano, Novo (Güiza 65'), Riera; Pandiani (Turu Flores 82'). 4-2-3-1.
Valencia: Cañizares; Curro Torres, Pellegrino, Marchena, Carboni; Baraja, De los Santos; Rufete (Salva 80'), Aimar, Vicente (Kily González 53'); Carew (Angulo 63'). 4-2-3-1.

0-1. 10. De los Santos. Took short pass from Rufete and fired shot wide of keeper.
0-2. 57. Baraja. Controlled ball on chest and shot in off bar from outside area.

League champions Valencia started off the new season well with a comfortable win at Mallorca. Manager Rafa Benítez had sent his players for an early shower in the training session the day before saying they were not taking things seriously, and it appeared to work, with his side looking much sharper than they did in the two legs of the Super Cup final with Deportivo. Ayala was missing from the squad after getting sent off in that match, and new Spanish international Marchena took his place. Mallorca were sporting a new forward line after the sale of Luque to Deportivo and the one match ban on Eto'o from last season, and Pandiani came in up front only days after joining them as part payment for Luque.

The visitors took the lead through De los Santos in the tenth minute after a series of rebounds, and looked the better side throughout the first half. Only Riera put up any opposition from the locals in an otherwise poor team, although they did give Cañizares a fright when Pandiani headed against the bar just before half time. It was a flash in the pan though, and Baraja added a spectacular second early in the second half to finish things off. Mallorca appear not to have improved at all since last season, when they only just escaped relegation, and hopefully the return of Eto'o and the injured Ibagaza will give them the spark they lack from now on.