Mallorca bask in home comforts

Islanders win 11th out of 12 home matches to go fifth in the Spanish Primera Division.

    Happy days for Mallorca's Julio Alvarez [AFP]

    Real Mallorca swept aside Sporting Gijon 3-0 in the Spanish Primera Division to keep up their push for a place in next season's European Champions League.

    The islanders won for the 11th time in 12 home games thanks to goals from Julio Alvarez, Victor and Pierre Webo as they joined fourth-placed Sevilla on 43 points.

    Mallorca are fifth due to their inferior head-to-head record with Manolo Jimenez's side.

    "We'll continue to fight for a place in Europe and if a team in the Champions League slots (top four) fades or loses their consistency we could have a chance," Mallorca coach Gregorio Manzano said.

    Real Madrid replaced Barcelona at the top on Saturday after beating Sevilla 3-2 thanks to a stirring comeback.

    They drew level on 62 points with Barca, who were held 2-2 in Almeria, but moved above the champions through their superior goal difference.

    Valencia are third with 46 points and can strengthen their position with a win at home to Racing Santander on Monday.

    Gaizka Toquero scored twice for Athletic Bilbao in a 2-0 home win over Real Valladolid and are seventh with 40 points.

    In other games on Sunday, basement side Xerez rallied from 2-1 down to register their first away win in La Liga with a 4-2 victory in Malaga.

    Both sides finished with 10 men but a double from Momo (one a penalty) and strikes from Leandro Gioda and Fabian Orellana delivered the points for the top-flight debutants.

    Xerez stay bottom with 15 points from 25 games, 10 adrift of Real Zaragoza who led for most of the match before Atletico Madrid equalised in stoppage time for a 1-1 draw later on Sunday.

    Ibrahima Balde nodded the equaliser after 92 minutes following Jiri Jarosik's seventh-minute opener.

    Espanyol drew 0-0 with Villarreal, as did Osasuna with Getafe.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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