First Division - Day 6

Betis 0 - Mallorca 1

Betis: Prats; Varela, Juanito, Rivas, Luis Fernández; Marcos Assunçao, Arzu (Fernando 46'); Joaquín, Capi, Denilson; Casas (Joao Tomas 75'). 4-2-3-1.
Mallorca: Leo Franco; Cortés, Olaizola, Nadal, Poli; Novo, Lozano, Ibagaza (Marcos 60'), Riera; Eto'o (Robles 84'), Pandiani (Carlos 87'). 4-4-2.

Team changes: Betis: Rivas, Casas for Ito, Alfonso / Mallorca: Olaizola, Novo for Fernando Niño, Robles.

0-1. 32. Novo. Powerful shot from 30 metres out into top corner of net.

Betis chose Atlético's Vicente Calderón stadium as the venue for their second game in exile following a two match ban imposed on their home ground, expecting a big crowd between their travelling supporters and neutral fans from the state capital. In the end though the 56,000 arena was less than a third full, due in part to the heavy rain which had fallen in Madrid during the day.

Although he was missing the injured Alfonso, Víctor Fernández put out a strong line up hoping to continue his side's unbeaten run. They were more than matched though by a Mallorca who clocked up their third victory in a row, thanks to a spectacular goal from Alvaro Novo in the first half of the game.

Miguel Nadal appears to be returning to his best form, and he gave an initial warning to Toni Prats, forcing the keeper to make a full stretch save form his early header. Then with half an hour gone Pandiani won the ball in attack, and started a passing move which ended with Novo firing in an unstoppable shot from some thirty yards out. And Pandiani could have extended the lead before the break if his shot had been on target.

Víctor brought on Fernando at half time for Arzu, and things improved for the "home" side. Denilson had a shot cleared off the line by Olaizola, and Assunçao hit the bar (again) with a well struck free kick. But the Mallorca defence held fast under Nadal, and Pandiani once again had another opportunity to score in the dying minutes. Both teams ended the day in the upper part of the table on nine points, with Betis keeping above their opponents thanks to a better goal difference.