RCD Mallorca extended their unbeaten home run in La Liga to seven matches after seeing out a 3-0 victory over a feisty Rayo Vallecano in front of 14,521 fans on Sunday night.
After just 13 minutes, Dani Rodriguez scooped a golden chance over the bar from close range. Rayo looked dangerous coming forward but found a resilient Mallorca defence (who welcomed back captain Antonio Raillo) hard to break down.
The visitors curled an effort just wide of the mark on the stroke of half time. Referee Mateu Lahoz, in his last game before retiring, was lenient in letting many fouls go unpunished and didn’t show any cards all game.
In the second half, Mallorca came out like a team possessed and took the lead with a brilliant goal. After a quickly-taken free kick, Martin Valjent went on a 30 yard run. He passed to a resurgent Dani Rodriguez and his cross saw Muriqi score his 15th of the season.
Mallorca kept their foot on the gas pedal and 20 minutes later the Son Moix team doubled their lead. In what looks like his last game for Real Mallorca, Kang In Lee took a corner kick and an unchallenged Copete headed in his first goal for Mallorca.
That was our seventh goal from a corner kick this season. With Mallorca taking charge, it began to feel like party time, as Muriqi and the outgoing Galarreta left the pitch to a standing ovation.
Dani Rodriguez was again heavily involved in our third goal. On the counter attack he slipped the ball through to Angel Rodriguez (who’s going back to his home team of Tenerife to see out his career) and he scored with a low shot, 3-0.
As the game drew to a close, Mallorca fans were celebrating what has been a fantastic season with a ninth-place finish, our best in La Liga for 11 years.
SUMMING UP : What a night, what a game and what a season we’ve had. The great protagonist on Sunday night was 22-year-old South Korean star Kang In Lee, who was just magnificent. His dribbling skills and passes with the outside of the boot were a joy to watch. I can’t remember him having a bad game in his 66 appearances since he arrived on a free transfer from Valencia two years ago. His seven assists for Muriqi make them both our best players this season. Kang In Lee will be almost impossible to replace as the club are obliged to sell him at the highest possible price. Mexican coach Javier Aguirre has brought on Kang In Lee’s career in leaps and bounds. The coach has worked miracles at Real Mallorca and fans chanted Aguirre’s name long before the end. One of the stipulations he laid down on signing a one-year contract extension is that the club raise the level of the squad in the transfer window.
After a hectic end down at the bottom of La Liga, Valladolid join Espanyol and Elche in La Segunda next season. One of Valladolid’s strikers is Canadian-born Cyle Larin and he’s reported to be high on Mallorca’s director of football Pablo Ortells’ most wanted list. Players and staff are now off on their “holibobs” and won’t be back for preseason training until the first week of July.