Espanyol scores a point against a well-organised Mallorca
After a promising restart with a comfortable win over Albacete Balompié, RCD Espanyol faced their first major test of the season against the also recently promoted RCD Mallorca; in theory, another team they needed to beat to ensure instant promotion. From the outset, this was clearly going to be a very different match from the one played at the RCDE Stadium eight days ago. Espanyol made a strong start, applying good pressure on the visitors' initial attacks and causing significant problems in the opposition's ranks. A recovery by Melendo at the three quarter line marked the prelude to the first real opportunity on goal. RDT and Embarba tried again from well outside the box, but to no avail.
Espanyol seemed less comfortable in control of the ball, partly due to sustained pressure from Mallorca that took the game to a more competitive and tactical level. Meanwhile, the team led by seasoned coach Luis García Plaza managed to halt the showy game of the Blue and Whites, who were unable to trouble goalkeeper Reina despite having possession. Looking for alternatives, Vicente Moreno moved Wu Lei and Embarba out wide, but the home players still couldn't make any headway.
Although Espanyol finished on good form in the first half, their restart after the break was less convincing. Mallorca were able to raise the game to a more tactical level, while Vicente Moreno's team simply could not find a way to dent their opponents' defence. Their coach was clearly not convinced either, deciding on a triple substitution just minutes after the restart. The Blue and Whites' passing game improved somewhat, but they lacked the necessary verticality and depth in possession to get near the goal guarded by Manolo Reina with any real chance of scoring.
The odds of winning the full three points suffered a particular setback when Marc Roca was sent off after being shown two yellow cards in four minutes. With a man down and facing its close rival, Espanyol held on to the end to secure its first tie of the season.