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Discussion Starter #1
Saw the game last week between Depor and Mallorca and probably the biggest mistake we could make is to expect an easy victory in Son Moix tommorow........Mallorca is IMO by far the strongest squad among those in the relegation zone with excellent individuals.......and why aren't they "clicking" as a team this season is probably an issue for another (separate) topic......anyway, I saw the game and they( generally speaking) were not playing so bad...there problem was (brilliant) Tristan(along with some defending errors) who practicaly killed the game after half an hour(3 chances-3 beautiful goals).....another problem was that Ibagaza probably played one of his worst games (at least of those I saw him playing) and without him doing his job (playmaking) Eto'o and Luque couldn't really do much either..........

So, that's at least part of the formula how to play against Mallorca.....try to stop Ibagaza(unfortunately I don't think that he can repeat two horrible games in a row) and to take advantage of their pretty slow defence( Nadal, Soler)....

On the other hand we are not in position to sit back and wait for the opportunities in counters so I'm sure that Luque(like he did in our first game played this season) and Eto'o are gonna be very dangerous and maybe a first major temptation for Marchena and Djukic.............

As we are entering the last lap in the title race there's gonna be more and more pressure untill the end......but I have to say , at least IMO that these two games(Mallorca and Depor) are probably going to be the crucial ones...I'm not trying to underestimate Betis,Espanyol and Malaga but IMO they just don't have enough motive(Betis situation is not clear yet though) plus the fact that we are playing two games at home (Betis isn't so impressive in their away games) and the home factor(with the great support players have) became a major one for us lately...........
good thing is that generally we play much much better lately (the game against Rayo is exception) and these two games are going to be the real test for our scoring abilities.....the game against Real alone isn't really a valid sample................

I don't think that we're going to see changes in the lineup from the one that faced Real last week..........maybe there is just one dilemma : Kily or Vicente..............
Here are some results from the latest clashes(just to point out how hard ist gonna be to get a victory) between two clubs (taken from the official site):

02/12/2001 Valencia 1- Mallorca 1

-04/02/2001 Mallorca 2- Valencia 2

-17/09/2000 Valencia 4- Mallorca 0

-26/03/2000 Valencia 1- Mallorca 0

-07/11/1999 Mallorca 1- Valencia 0
 

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Discussion Starter #2
quoted from soccerage


04/12/2002. BACKGROUND

Mallorca have struggled more than anyone could have imagined this season and sit a precarious two points above the relegation zone with only four games to play.

Even more intriguingly, the side has barely changed form the one that finished third and qualified for the Champions League last season. Having said that, they have struggled terribly with injuries at times and with a small squad, that takes its toll.

Last weekend their morale was further dented with a 5-0 thrashing at Deportivo. 4-0 down at half-time after a terrific display of finishing from Diego Tristan, Mallorca had just pride to play for in the second period and they did manage to stem the flow, and conceded just one more goal. With games coming up against Real Madrid and Betis, Sergio Kresic's men desperately need to tighten up at the back.

Valencia were devastating last week in their 4-0 Mestella win over Real Sociedad. They started the game without a recognised striker but this made little difference as the likes of Pablo Aimar and Kily Gonzalez ran riot. The little exchange between the Argentines for the second goal was a beauty to behold.

Without the distraction of Europe, the Ches are many people's favourites to take the Liga crown. There have been suggestions this week that Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final with Barcelona will severely hinder their league campaign and there is surely an element of truth in this. How can the Merengues stay fully focused on the league, with such a gigantic game against their bitter rivals coming up in just a week-and-a-half's time?


FORMGUIDE

Mallorca Last Six Matches: WWDLWL

Despite the islanders miserable position they have picked up recent victories against Rayo Vallecano, Osasuna and Espanyol. A point against Tenerife could have been better, while defeats against Real Sociedad and Deportivo could prove highly damaging come the end of the season.

Valencia Last Six Matches: DLLWWW

Recent victories against Tenerife, Osasuna and Real Sociedad have again demonstrated that Rafa Benitez' side are in the title race for the long haul. Any suggestions that their challenge may crumble in March and April have been well and truly dispelled. The two-legged Uefa Cup defeat to Inter may well prove a blessing in disguise.


LATEST TEAM NEWS

Mallorca- Kresic will bring Alejandro Campano into the defence, meaning Javier Olaizola will drop out. Fernando Nino returns from suspension, while Ariel Ibagaza may start. Albert Luque and Samuel Etoo continue their alliance in attack.

PL- 5-3-2- Leo Franco, Campano, Niño, Nadal, Siviero, Miquel Soler, Julián Robles, Ibagaza, Marcos, Luque, Eto'o

Valencia- the Ches should be unchanged from the side that won so comfortably against Real Sociedad last week. Central defensive linchpins Mauricio Pellegrino and Roberto Ayala are still out injured so Miroslav Djukic and Carlos Marchena will continue their partnership in the heart of defence. Adrian Ilie is still injured while Jocelyn Angolma and John Carew are left out of the squad altogether.

PL- 4-4-1-1- Cañizares, Curro torres, Djukic, Marchena, Carboni, Rufete, Albelda, Baraja, Kily González, Aimar, Angulo


PLAYERS TO WATCH

Areiel Ibagaza (Mallorca)- the little Argentine has had a miserable season through injury, but his return is a huge boost to Kresic. On his day he's one of the best playmakers in the league, capable of creating chances out of nothing. He also has an eye for goal as he showed with strikes last season.

Pablo Aimar (Valencia)- his fellow countryman is in his best vein of form since arriving in the country from River Plate last year. He really has lit up the Mestella with his recent performances and has also been finding the net on a regular basis.


SOCCERAGE PREDICTION

Valencia to sneak an away victory.

Mallorca Win 25%
Draw 35%
Valencia Win 40%
Last we were supposed to sneak victory was against Rayo...
...and we all know how that ended up:rolleyes: ...

I just hope we can continue our successful "island quest" this year:angel: :cool:
 

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Indeed Plotinus, it's going to be a tricky game...
I also don't understand why Mallorca is under-achieving so much (I also put Zaragoza in that category).
On a side note, it appears that Valencia is closely watching Luque for a possible transfer.
Finally about our team, I think a Rufete-Albelda-Baraja-Kily (with Aimar slightly in front, in a free role) is the best midfield combination.

Ziad
 

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Valencia 1-0 down.... goal of Luque, and Mallorca deserved the lead...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I-m watching the game and it-s half/time
Mall-Val 1-0 44.min Luque:(

we were better side until 25 min, dominating possession but not having really great opportunities......the best was Aimar's shot from 50 yards ............

after 25.min and disallowed goal(rightly in my opinion) Mallorca took the iniciative and Eto'o had two great chances .....one of them was brilliantly saved by Canizares (after huge mistake- clash between Marchena and Djukic)......

Ibagaza is playing great and I was afraid of that.....generally they looked much more dangerous then we were........

Luque scored in 44.min after quickly executed free-kick with an easy header(no marking again).......

WE have to change the attitude and play with more curage in 2nd half even if it's going to give more space for them.....

AMUNT VALENCIA!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Full time Mall-Val 1-1 Baraja 62min(I think)......

well, I'm ofcourse disappointed especially cos of two great chances we had in dying minutes (Angulo and Mista) but we just blew it........

we were much better side in the 2nd half but we had not too much opportunities( those two were the best ones)...and Mallorca did almost nothing in the second half..........

I won't go player by player cos except Aimar and Vicente plus Baraja in the 2nd half ( at least he scored) all other players were pretty bad.........the worst two in my opinion were Rufete and Angulo(who couldn't keep his ass away from off-side for the entire game).........

Vicente gave us more life but Kily wasn't so bad either in the first half...
I just can't get why Benitez kept Angulo for entire game cos it was obvious that this is not his day(and he's not striker for Godsake!!!!!!!!!!).....

I'm sorry I have to say this because I don't like the C. Torres bashing that people usualy do( and I respect what he did for our team this year), but he's just not NT material...................
and I really hope that our managment will finally realize how important for this team is Ayala.......going in the CL (and we almost secured the direct CL spot) without him next year would be probably one of the major stupidities I can think of ............

well I don't know if the title race is over(and it could be) but we'll certainly hope and support this team until the end........ and hope for the title until the last mathematical possibility...............

let's cool our heads and prepare for Deportivo!
let's force them to spend some quality time at Mestalla
:cool:

AMUNT VALENCIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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1-1 is a fair result... Valencia were better, but Mallorca had a legal goal disallowed and could have been awared a penalty...

gr
 

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1-1 is a fair result... Valencia were better, but Mallorca had a legal goal disallowed and could have been awared a penalty...
That's what I heard as well...
Thanks for the report Plotinus.
But Plotinus and utopia, I don't think it's over by any stretch. I would be extremely surprised if Madrid wins all of its remaining games! Although the objective was to win tonight, at least we didn't lose because that could have made it much harder to catch up (ie, Madrid would have to slip twice). These bottom teams are fighting for their survival, and they will be tough opponents for everyone.
Damn! I was only semi-kidding when I said Mallorca could play the spoiler role...:(
Anyway, the Depor game will be extremely important as we could lose our second position (if they win tomorrow). The bad news is that Aimar won't play as he got his 5th yeloow card, and will thus be automatically suspended :(

Ziad
 

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Here is a report from soccerway.com.

Ziad


Valencia lose gilt-edged chance to increase pressure on Real Madrid

MADRID, April 13 (AFP) - Valencia went to the top of the Spanish first division after their 1-1 draw at Real Mallorca on Saturday, but they will regard it as two points lost rather than one point won.

Headers from Mallorca's Alberto Luque on the stroke of half-time and Valencia's Ruben Baraja just after the hour ensured that honours, and points, were evenly split.

The visitors to the Balearics now have 63 points from 34 games, and are one point ahead of Real Madrid with just four games left.

However, Valencia's lead over the defending Spanish champions and European Champions League semi-finalists may only last a little under 24 hours.

Real Madrid, who have won their last three league games and gone seven without defeat, have a game in hand and take the field at Osasuna on Sunday night.

By contrast, Real's Pamplona-based hosts have slumped back close to the relagation zone over the last two months and have not won in their last eight games, four of which have been in their own El Sadar stadium.

Valencia saw early chances by Miguel Angel Angulo and Baraja go begging before the home side recovered from the opening onslaught and started to assert itself.

After 28 minutes, Cameroon international striker Samuel Eto'o had a goal disallowed from close to the penalty spot because of a foul by Luque.

Eto'o, who seemed to shrug off the leg muscle problems which saw him reduced to training on his own for several days of last week, had frustration increased four minutes later when he was brought down in the area by Valencia defender Miroslav Djukic.

The referee Rafael Ramierez Dominguez waved away demands for a penalty but television replays showed the Mallorca protests were just.

However, Luque got a well-deserved goal for Mallorca with Ramierez Dominguez poised to blow for the break, when he produced a stunning diving header to find the net from an Alejandro Campano cross from wide out on the right close to the touchline.

Valencia coach Rafa Benitez clearly had strong words in the dressing room during the break and Valencia came out a changed side at the start of the second half.

After 17 minutes of almost continuous pressure, Baraja - who seems set for a key role in Spain's World Cup squad - headed home a corner from Vicente, cleaning up after Argentine international Pablo Aimar had completely mistimed his own effort.

Both sides pressed hard for the winner in the final third of the game and Valencia will be rueing the failure in injury time of David Albelda and Mista Ferrer to connect cleanly with a loose ball.

They are now left hoping that Real trip up in the north of Spain if their ambitions of lifting their first league title since 1971 - when they were ironically coached by Real Madrid legend and now honorary president Alfredo Di Stefano - are not to be severly diminished.

Mallorca's point, coming in the wake of last weekend's emphatic 5-0 thrashing at Deportivo La Coruna, will ease some of their relegation worries although they are still too close to the bottom three for comfort.

The one negative note for Mallorca was the booking a minute from time for the impressive Eto'o, his fifth this season and he will now miss next week's vital match at Malaga.
 

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I'm so sad to see Valencia get a draw yesterday night.
However, our team went out there to try and win this game, at least we tried guys.
We should and ought to get all 3 points as I expect R.Madrid to have a 2 point lead after tonight.

Mallorca pressed on for an early goal and got the lead on the break when Luque scored a nice diving header where Canizares could do little to stop.

Aimar's vision was incredible as he tried to loop the goalkeeper from 50 yards. The ball was going in for sure and Aimar would have slash the news headlines if not for Franco's awareness.

We were trying to absorb the pressure in the first half, and was caught off side numerous time. In some occasion, the fault lies with the linesman, he was not even standing on the same line as the defenders! Moreover, he looked so young and inexperienced that the commentator said,"He is almost the same age as Saviola!"...sheesh...

In some of the occasion, we were robbed by poor linesman's decision, helplessly, we could do nothing.

The second half, we dominated the entire half, and we did tried on numerous occasion to scored the winning goal. In those dying mins, Baraja failed to connected his header from a freekick and the ball fell to Mista who saw his shot and our temparory 3 pt lead spins wide.

This is frustrating for Valencianista, but the Liga is not over yet.
We, Valencianista should stood firm, fight till the last min of the last game. Finally, let's all pray to Satan that Cesar, Raul, Hiero, Zidane, etc all fell to the devil named 666/lust-69.
*laughs*

Next match is a decider, and it's gonna be one of the most difficult one. with aimar suspended, it gonna take a heap lot of effort to win at Riazor.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
originally posted by Ziad

The bad news is that Aimar won't play as he got his 5th yeloow card, and will thus be automatically suspended
Are you sure about that Ziad cos I couldn't find that anywhere?

If it's true it's gonna be a huge blow for us cos these days Aimar is clearly our major inspiration..........I guess in that case it's up to Baraja to come out but in a way Aimar is really irreplaceble right now..........he was the real driving force of almost all our efforts yesterday and it was really pity he had not anyone inspired to play with him(except Vicente) last night......especially in the 1st half......and we were really lucky that he wasn't seriously injured yesterday cos Eto'o made horrible foul on him 5 min before the end (I think every valencianista who watched the game freezed immediately) and that's probably the reason for the after game fights between Angulo, Torres, Carboni and Eto'o with some other Mallorca players........

As for the disallowed goal and penalty...maybe I'm gonna sound like somebody against the stream but IMO there was a foul(one Mallorca player clearly pushed him) on Marchena and he was standing between Soler( who assisted) and Eto'o (scored) so he could interfere the play...
but I do admit that many referees probably wouldn't call for this foul, aswell as some others would.......not so clear situation and I've certainly seen a lot of goals disallowed in a very similar way......the same IMO goes for the penalty aswell...........anyway it's useless to discuss about that now, I just wanted to point out that those situations were not so clear as it might sound ............

Maybe I was a bit harsh last night on Angulo(and he's certainly on of our best players lately) but he really had a terrible game(he lost so many balls even after he was transfered on the right wing when Rufete got out) and Benitez should've taken him out way before the end(probably on the half time).........
I know that I was the one talking all the time about the need to play in our away games with the mobile strikers like Sanchez, Angulo and Mista (not Carew or Salva) and I still think that way(I wish we were playing like that earlier in the championship)......but last night was clearly not Angulo's night and cos of him we almost couldn't counterattack at all (he was almost literally off-side all the time)........and if you add one of the worst games Rufete played this season (plus lousy crosses from Torres) we practicaly didn't have the right side at all(even defensively we were bad on that side cos even Soler was dribbling and crossing from that side)............
instead of taking Kily out Benitez should've played Vicente on the right wing and Sanchez upfront in the 2nd...........
maybe it's time for Salva again(I hope there is nothing between him and Benitez) especially cos we are playing 3 games at home...........

about the title race.........well, I don't wan't to sound like a pesimist but I really can't see Osasuna,Tenerife and Real S. stoping Real M............
that means that we'll have to win all our 4 games left and hope that Real will face a better version(like last night) of Mallorca and Deportivo........

can we do that? yes I think we can even without Aimar against Depor but we'll have to get over this (cos it was disappointment after all) and play as best as we can (not like last night).........I'm sure the supporters will boost our team's spirit...........
:cool:
 

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Are you sure about that Ziad cos I couldn't find that anywhere?
My bad... It seems he won't be suspended.
According to my database, it's his fifth yellow, so he would be suspended, but according to some members of ciberche, it seems one of his cards was cancelled (the one against Barca). So it seems he now has four cards. Wew! We definitely need him in those last few games, especially against Depor.
About Eto'o's goal, you're right, it seems there was a foul. This was admitted by Luque.
As for Real Madrid slip-ups, it will happen :)
As I write this, and with 10 minutes left, Osasuna is beating Real Madrid 3-1 :) :) :) We are now (very shortly) the sole leaders :)
I tell you, these teams at the bottom aren't bad, and they're fighting for their life.
Finally, for those in the U.S., the Valencia-Depor will be shown on PPV :)

Ziad
 

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oh yes, I do remember reading an article that Aimar's yellow card in Barca game was overturned.
He was booked in that game for diving which then Valencia appeal.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
originally posted by Ziad

My bad... It seems he won't be suspended.
Well Ziad, you owe me for some extra bitterness and time spent in frantic research for the final confirmation;) :)

and yes, you were right about the slip-ups:)

at first I was glad but not so thrilled(I was more concerened about our game against Deportivo) but when I saw the goals (I saw the replay of the game) I was more than surprised.......it was like direct Divine intervention to help us to beat the evil:tongue:

I mean, there's no way that Osasuna is gonna score that beautiful (3) goals in just one game.......at least not for some time:eek: :cool:
 
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