RCD Espanyol came away with a 1-1 draw away to Mallorca on Friday.
Opening with the first match of the weekend and round 12, Diego Martínez named an unchanged side at the Visit Mallorca Estadi. Last week’s goalscorers, Martin Braithwaite and Javi Puado, started either side of the inform Joselu to form the front three.
An end-to-end start saw the hosts with the better moments on the ball, threatening on every occasion they crossed into the final third. But Espanyol were defending well, staying solid and compact as they snuffed out any sight of goal that their opponents had.
Espanyol had a great pair of chances to take the lead, as they grew into the match and started to gain more confidence. Javi Puado had an effort on the turn which went wide, before Edu Expósito’s long range effort was parried away by Predrag Rajković.
As the second half got underway Mallorca went forward for the breakthrough, forcing Benjamin Lecomte into a good save with his legs from Jaume Costa at the near post.
However the hosts would take the lead moments later, when out of nothing Giovanni González went through on goal. His lob over Lecomte was finished off by Vedat Muriqi, bundling it across the line from point-blank range to open the scoring for Mallorca.
Mallorca were having the attempts on goal, but it was Espanyol with the better opportunities to draw level. It was simply a case of taking advantage of their possession.
That is exactly what happened when Espanyol finally equalised in extraordinary fashion. Fresh off the bench was José Carlos Lazo, whose effort from the edge of the box looped over Rajković and into the top corner for his debut blanquiazul goal and a crucial lifeline back into the match.
A frantic final few minutes saw an unsuccessful penalty claim for Mallorca, which raised the tensions and saw two red cards for the hosts’ bench. Yet it ended all square at the Visit Mallorca Estadi as Espanyol came away with a hard-fought point.
RCD Mallorca: Rajković, Maffeo (G. González 27’), Valjent, A. Raillo, Copete (Ángel 86’), J. Costa, Dani Rodríguez (Amath 66’), Baba, R. De Galarreta, Muriqi, Lee Kang In (Sánchez 86’).
RCD Espanyol: Lecomte; Óscar Gil, Sergi Gómez, Cabrera, B. Oliván, Edu Expósito (Lazo 61’), Vini Souza, Darder, Braithwaite (K. Bare 82’), Joselu, Puado (Aleix V.C 61’).
Referee: Isidro Díaz de Mera Escuderos
Goals: 1-0 Muriqi 48’, 1-1 Lazo 70’
Bookings: R. De Galarreta 45+1’, G. González 76’, Valjent 90+4’, A. Raillo 90+4’; Darder 78’
Red cards: Maffeo 90’ (substitute), Javier Aguirre 90’ (manager)