First Division - Day 33

Mallorca 1 - Real Sociedad 3

Mallorca: Leo Franco; David Cortés, Lussenhoff, Fernando Niño (Vicente 33'), Poli; Novo (Turu Flores 78'), Lozano, Marcos, Ibagaza; Eto'o, Biagini (Carlos 56'). 4-4-2.
Real Sociedad: Westerveld; López Rekarte, Kvarme, Jauregi, Aranzábal (Gurrutxaga 91'); Xabi Alonso, Aranburu; Karpin, Nihat (Boris 77'), De Pedro (Gabilondo 85'); Kovacevic. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Mallorca: Lozano, Biagini for Riera, Pandiani / Real: Karpin for Tayfun.

0-1. 09. De Pedro (penalty). After Poli fouled Kovacevic in area.
0-2. 26. Karpin. Got on the end of Aranzábal low cross to beat Leo Franco.
0-3. 54. Kovacevic. Headed wide of keeper from De Pedro free kick.
1-3. 60. Eto'o. Scored on far post after Carlos cross deflected to him.

Real Sociedad moved up level with Deportivo at the top of the table after beating Mallorca 1-3 on Sunday evening. The Balearic Island side were expected to give their Basque rivals a hard time after their high scoring victories over Deportivo and Real Madrid in the last two weeks. However without the suspended Riera and the injured Pandiani they were not the same side, and the visitors took control right from the start. De Pedro shot wide in the opening minutes, and soon afterwards he opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Poli pulled down Kovacevic in the area.

The pressure continued after that, with Nihat bringing a good save out of Leo Franco, and it was no surprise when Karpin added a second, meeting Aranzábal's low cross on the far post to drive a shot into the roof of the net. Manzano had to replace the injured Fernando Niño with Vicente, and the defender almost scored straight away following a corner, his header crashing against the bar. But it was a drop in the ocean, and Kovacevic put the visitors further ahead after the break, connecting with De Pedro's looping free kick to steer a header wide of the keeper.

The home side did get one back a few minutes later, Eto'o collecting the ball and beating Westerveld after a cross from substitute Carlos was not cut out by the defence. But after that the Dutch keeper stopped them from getting any more, saving well from Ibagaza and then somehow getting down to push away a header from Turu Flores. Kovacevic came close to making it four in the dying minutes, but by then Real had won and they move above Real Madrid, level on points with Deportivo but behind them both on general and head-to-head coefficients. Mallorca lose the chance of recapturing sixth spot, but as all the teams around them failed to win that was not such a problem as it might have been.