Girona lose further ground in LaLiga title race with narrow defeat at Mallorca

By Sports Desk March 03, 2024

Girona lost further ground in the LaLiga title race as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Mallorca.

Girona were looking to close the gap on league leaders Real Madrid – who drew 2-2 with Valencia on Saturday – but missed their chance to do so when Jose Copete smashed the home side in front just after the half-hour mark.

Fewer chances fell in the second period but the visitors were kept at bay by a Mallorca side who threw bodies on the line for a result – chances for Portu and Savio went begging as the hosts held on to climb further away from the drop zone.

The first chance of the match fell to Girona when Miguel Gutierrez’s cross found the head of Ivan Martinez inside the area but his header went straight to home goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.

Mallorca’s first meaningful attack came when Giovanni Gonzalez picked the ball up outside the area and fired from range but his shot kept rising above the crossbar.

Mallorca were knocking on the door for an opener and got their reward on the half-hour mark after a corner fell to Copete inside the box and he slammed the ball into the roof of the net for his first goal of the season.

Girona were looking to respond instantly and had a chance three minutes later – Savio looked to equalise in spectacular style but saw his effort go high and wide from outside the box.

Mallorca went into the break with a narrow one-goal lead and almost had a second four minutes after the interval but Antonio Raillo’s header from a Dani Rodriguez corner floated over the crossbar.

Chances were few and far between in the second period and while Girona shared most of the possession, their opponents looked to catch a second on the counter attack, this time Abdon Prats’ drilled effort whistled just wide of the far post.

Girona were beginning to look a lot more threatening and had a couple of openings when Portu’s goal-bound effort deflected over the crossbar before Savio saw one blocked behind in similar fashion, a couple of minutes later.

The away side continued to probe in the final minutes as Yan Couto opened up a chance inside the box and fired towards goal but Rajkovic had to be alert to tip the ball over the woodwork to condemn Girona to a third defeat in four.

Related items

  • Aldershot move into play-off places with victory at 10-man Gateshead Aldershot move into play-off places with victory at 10-man Gateshead

    Kwame Thomas headed Aldershot into the National League play-off places in a 1-0 win away to a Gateshead side who played almost half the match with a defender deputising in goal.

    Gateshead had goalkeeper Nathan Harness sent off in the 47th minute for bringing down James Daly outside the box and, with no stopper on the bench, Louis Storey went between the posts for the rest of the night.

    Storey made a good save to keep out Cian Harries’ free-kick in the 51st minute, but could do nothing as the visitors took the lead 10 minutes later.

    Thomas got on the end of a looping cross from Josh Barrett to head in, and it proved enough for a win that puts them one point above FC Halifax, who host Oldham on Thursday.

  • Respect the process – Cesc Fabregas committed to long-term plan at striving Como Respect the process – Cesc Fabregas committed to long-term plan at striving Como

    Cesc Fabregas says Italian club Como must remain committed to their long-term plan even if their progress is expedited by winning promotion to Serie A this season.

    The former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder is assistant manager at the lakeside club and, working under Welshman Osian Roberts, has guided them into the automatic promotion positions in Serie B.

    They currently have a three-point lead over third-placed Venezia and if they do not falter in their final five games they will return to the top flight of Italian football for the first time since 2003.

    The club have been declared bankrupt twice since then, but the 2019 takeover by Indonesian company Djarum Group heralded a new dawn.

    They are owners with big ambitions and they sought out advice from people in the game, with Thierry Henry and Fabregas becoming minority shareholders, while former England international Dennis Wise has also acted in an advisory role.

    Fabregas is currently earning his full coaching badges and his goals are aligned with the club’s.

    Returning to the top tier of Italian football has always been the plan, with further ambitions of titles and European football in the coming years.

    But Fabregas insists that will only happen if they “respect the process”.

    “We are pushing, we have a clear vision of where we want to go, where we want to get, we know who we are,” he told the PA news agency.

    “We know where we are at the moment and we need to respect the process, take the right steps.

    “We are working well, people are very dedicated, the owners are investing well and smartly.

    “We are all on the same page, evolving every single week to try and create this family, this union, let’s see where we are at the season.”

    When Fabregas joined Como as a player in the summer of 2022, it could have been easy to think he was easing into retirement in an idyllic part of the world.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Cesc Fàbregas (@cescf4bregas)

     

    But that would not be fitting with his work ethic and drive, which sees him one day wanting to be a manager in his own right.

    “I agree that Como is beautiful but if I am being honest my life is work, home, work, home,” he said.

    “Then when I am home I try to be with my family. Even if I was at the end of the world or in another place my life would not change that much.

    “Como is beautiful, we appreciate it so much but my job and my life doesn’t change too much.”

  • Pete Wild fumes at ‘outrageous’ penalty as Barrow held by Crawley Pete Wild fumes at ‘outrageous’ penalty as Barrow held by Crawley

    Furious Barrow manager Pete Wild criticised the award of Crawley’s penalty in his side’s 1-1 draw at the Broadfield Stadium as an “outrageous, ludicrous decision”.

    Striker Emile Acquah headed Barrow into the lead shortly before the interval but Danilo Orsi’s 20th goal of the season from the spot midway through the second half dragged Crawley level and kept them in the play-off places along with their opponents.

    Wild severely criticised referee Sam Purkiss for “taking 20 seconds” to make the penalty decision for a handball by Rory Feeley, and he answered in the affirmative when asked if he thought the linesman had made the decision because the referee had not seen it.

    Said Wild: “We were outstanding, especially with what we’ve gone through (losing three games in a row).

    “It was a classic Barrow performance, solid at the back and threatening on the counter-attack.

    “That was very pleasing but then it’s all ruined by an outrageous, ludicrous decision that was made without any thought.

    “It’s ruined it for us after scoring a great goal.”

    Wild was mystified why referee Purkiss took the time he did in deciding to give a penalty, and added: “It took 20 seconds to make that decision, why was that?

    “There were two more crosses going into the box in that time before the decision was made.”

    Crawley’s point came after two successive defeats and boss Scott Lindsey felt his men did everything they could to try and force victory.

    He said: “We did everything possible to try and win a game of football.

    “We were up against a strong, defensive unit in Barrow and if we perform like that in our last two games we’ll be fine.”

    Seventh-placed Crawley hold a one-point advantage over Walsall and Lindsey believes his side are the “calmest” team in the play-off places owing to them being written off as “relegation fodder” at the start of the season.

    He said: “We are the calmest because we are not supposed to be there. It is still in our hands and we are not worrying about other teams.”

    Lindsey admitted he was “angry” about the booking of midfielder Jay Williams as he claimed Purkiss “booked the wrong player” and Williams will now miss the last two games.

    The former Swindon boss said: “I’m angry about that as Jay has done so well for me.

    “Jeremy Kelly made the foul but Jay won the tackle and yet he was booked. It’s the wrong decision, it’s not fair and should be looked at.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.