Dani Rodríguez’s brace and Antonio Sánchez’s goal saw our unbeaten run stretch to double figures as we overcame SD Ponferradina 3-0 at the Visit Mallorca Estadi to move into second place at the end of Matchday 11.
Luis García Plaza made five changes to his side following last week’s goalless draw at Real Zaragoza as Antonio Raíllo, Salva Sevilla, Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta, Jordi Mboula and Antonio Sánchez replaced Franco Russo, Iddrisu Baba, Aleix Febas, Lago Junior and Amath Ndiaye.
Awarded the La Liga Smartbank’s October Player of Month prior to kick-off, Manolo Reina showed why his form was deemed worthy of recognition as a slow start gave Yuri space to test the goalkeeper from the edge of the box in the fourth minute.
Although we needed the opening exchanges to truly hit our stride, our first shot at goal ended with us taking the advantage as some neat interplay inside the box afforded Ruiz de Galarreta time to roll the ball across the box for Dani Rodríguez to fire home in the 21st minute.
Smelling blood and looking to stretch our lead, Mboula showed signs of his growing confidence following his summer move when he cut inside, shifted the ball onto his left foot and hammered an effort high and wide.
SD Ponferradina would eventually collect themselves which resulted in Reina showing fine reflexes to adjust his starting position from Yuri’s intital blocked effort to get down well and palm away Curro Sánchez’s follow-up effort.
We would end the opening 45 minutes two to the good as Dani Rodríguez scored his fifth goal of the season in style. The midfielder took Mboula’s driven cross in his stride and thumped the ball into the bottom corner leaving José Antonio Caro motionless.
The second half couldn’t have got off to a better start as Antonio Sánchez put the game to bed in the 54th minute when he reacted first to Joan Sastre’s deflected effort and headed home from inside the box.
In the ascendancy and looking to add further goals, the outstretched Caro denied Dani Rodríguez a night to remember as the goalkeeper did well to block the 32-year-old’s close-range flick.
The triple introduction of Lago Junior, Ndiaye and Russo saw us revert to a direct offensive forward line, one with pace which troubled the visitors on the counter as a three-v-three situation resulted in Lago Junior just inches away from adding a fourth with a curled effort on the edge of the box.
Despite our dominance, SD Ponderradina continued to fight for a way back into the match and came close to pulling one back when Reina rebuffed Sánchez with yet another fine stop after the forward had raced through on goal.
We would see out our lead and move into second position at the end of Matchday 11 following Sporting Gijon’s earlier defeat, although any celebrations were short lived as we now turn our attention towards a trip to Girona FC in just under a week’s time.
RCD Mallorca: Manolo Reina, Sastre, A. Raíllo (64’), Valjent, Cufré, I. Ruiz De Galarreta, Salva Sevilla, Antonio Sánchez (77’), Dani Rodríguez (64’), Mboula (64’), Cardona (75’)
Substitutes: Miquel Parera, B. Olivan, Russo (64’), Febas, Alegría (75’), Abdón, Lago Junior (64’), Fran Gámez, Trajkovski, Amath (64’), F. González, Luka (77’)
SD Ponferradina: J. A. Caro, Ivan R, Sielva (61’), Larrea (68’), Yuri (68’), Curro, A. Castellano, Doncel (61’), M. Hernando, Pascano, Juergen (61’)
Substitutes: Gazzaniga, M. García, Rios Reina, Amo, Gaspar (61’), Kaxe (61’), Y. Diori, Erik Moran (61’), D. Romera (68’), Paris Adot, Saúl Crespo, Viedma (68’)
Goals: Dani Rodríguez, 1-0 (20’); Dani Rodríguez, 2-0 (43’); Antonio Sánchez, 3-0 (53’)