Mon, Oct 29, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Mallorca hold Espanyol to a draw in Madrid

AFP , MADRID

Espanyol squandered the chance to move up to second place in La Liga, at least overnight, when they were held to a 2-2 draw at Real Mallorca on Saturday and the Barcelona-based side remain in fifth.

Mallorca's Juan Arango opened the scoring after just two minutes when the Venezuelan striker volleyed home a free kick from Ariel Ibagaza.

Arango then went from hero to villain 18 minutes later when he headed Luis Garcia's free kick into his own net.

Having lost their lead, Mallorca then seemed to lose their heads and six minutes later Sergio Ballesteros hacked down Espanyol's Raul Tamudo and the Spanish international striker gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spot.

Ballesteros was also sent off for the foul, the 11th red card of his career which makes him the most dismissed player currently in the Spanish first division, but Espanyol couldn't capitalize from having a one-man advantage.

The numbers were evened up early in the second half when Espanyol left back Clemente Rodriguez was booked for the second time after 55 minutes.

Arango nearly redeemed himself in the eyes of the home supporters, who had loudly whistled their team off at half time, when he hit the post after 67 minutes.

Two minutes later, Mallorca did get back on level terms when Daniel Guiza hammered home an Arango pass.

However, the hard-earned point which moved Mallorca up to sixth was not enough to stop the majority of the home crowd barracking their own players for the second time as they left the field at the end of the game.

Athletic Bilbao fought out a 0-0 draw with Real Betis later on Saturday, a game in which nine men were booked.

The Basque hosts had the majority of possession and the best chances, with Betis's Portuguese international goalkeeper Ricardo being required to produce outstanding saves to deny both Aritz Aduriz and Fernando Llorente.

Yesterday, Spanish league leaders Real Madrid hoped to extend their 100 percent home record this season with a convincing display over misfiring Deportivo La Coruna.

Unbeaten in La Liga or the European Champions League in front of their own fans in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Real are on top of the Spanish first division with 19 points from their eight games.

"Deportivo shouldn't have any problems staying up, they only need to get into a rhythm. In fact they seem to be a tougher team away from home at the moment," Real coach Bernd Schuster said on Saturday.

One point behind Real are both Villarreal and Valencia, who are second and third respectively and split only by goal difference.

Valencia traveled to Sevilla yesterday, where the home side was looking to bounce back after the upheavals of seeing their coach Juande Ramos resign on Friday and take over at the helm of London side Tottenham Hotspur.

This story has been viewed 1651 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top