|First Division - Day 36|
Mallorca 1 - Rayo Vallecano 1
Mallorca: Leo Franco;
David Cortés, Lussenhoff, Nadal, Poli; Novo (Carlos 46'), Campano,
Marcos (Biagini 77'), Riera; Pandiani, Eto'o. 4-4-2.
Team changes: Mallorca: Poli, Campano for Miguel Soler, Lozano / Rayo: Mainz, Pablo Sanz, Helder, Bolo for Onopko, Azkoitia, Mora, Bolic.
The inevitable happened at the weekend, and Rayo Vallecano will be starting next season in the second division despite drawing 1-1 at Mallorca. Starting the weekend four points adrift at the bottom of the table they had little illusion that they would save themselves, and with Osasuna going ahead at Valladolid even less so. It was an embarrassing evening though for visiting manager Gregorio Manzano, who had saved the Madrid based side the season before and then had left them to take up the offer from Mallorca.
Manzano suffered an early blow when he lost Ibagaza in the pre-match warm up, the now-nationalised midfielder aggravating an old injury and being replaced by Campano in the starting line up. Missing their midfield general the locals lost their direction, and Bolo almost put the visitors in front when he headed against the bar. And Rayo got their reward when Peragón put them ahead twenty minutes from the end, although by then Osasuna's two goals at Valladolid meant they were still on the way down.
The locals fans were unhappy with the scoreline though, especially after winning at the Bernabeu and the Nou Camp and then throwing away points at home, and started to get on the back of their players. Ten minutes from the end though Iriney stopped Nadal's powerful header on the goal line with his hands, and Pandiani at least saved a point from the penalty spot. Curiously the Brazilian midfielder had been let off a red card by the disciplinary committee midweek, but this time there was no doubt and he had to go. After that the game fizzled out, leaving Mallorca a little further off the UEFA spots. They at least have a cup final to look forward to though. Rayo only have a big drop after four years in the top flight.