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Isaac y En-Nesyri celebran un gol
Match reports


Youssef En-Nesyri and Isaac Romero provided the latest evidence of a quality partnership as their goals secured a deserved home win over RCD Mallorca
Cuerpo Superior

When the league fixtures were announced at the start of the campaign, few would have expected RCD Mallorca to be making their second trip to the city of Sevilla for the second time in April after a remarkable run to the Copa del Rey final, where they ultimately lost on penalties to Athletic Club de Bilbao. With noticeably fewer fans in town this time around, they were again left empty-handed as despite a late consolation from Abdón Prats, a goal apiece for En-Nesyri and Isaac sealed the deal in an ultimately comfortable win that sees Quique Sánchez Flores’s side climb to 12th in the table - four points and six places above the visitors.

Despite a scrappy opening period that failed to ever properly get going, a much-improved second half showing in which the combination of aerial prowess and raw speed that the En-Nesyri-Isaac duo possess came to the fore to seal a third win in a row and edge the side closer to the top half of the table ahead of a mouthwatering Gran Derbi at the Benito Villamarín next Sunday.

Three minutes into the second period, Suso nearly made an instant impact after being introduced at the break, cutting inside and looking to replicate his legendary Europa League semi-final goal against Juventus last season, one which helped the club secure its seventh European Cup on that night in Budapest. This time the ball never had quite enough curve to find the top corner, however, but the substitution did soon pay off. With 61 minutes on the clock, the 30-year-old guided a wicked right-footed cross perfectly onto the forehead of Youssef En-Nesyri. 

The Moroccan then did what few do better, powering home to leave Rajkovic no chance and give his side a deserved lead

15 minutes later, Isaac’s name was sung for the second time in the match - the home support had earlier rallied behind him when he missed a glorious chance - and this time the chants of ‘Isaaac Romerooo’ were considerably louder. Nyland, excellent once again, released Óliver Torres who in turn found Isaac for a beautifully worked one-two with En-Nesyri. Atoning for his first-half miss, the 23-year-old raced clear and found the back of the net, albeit via a deflection, in what proved to be the winning goal. But, although the victory did arrive, it wasn’t plain sailing for much of the first half.

In a lively opening period, Isaac Romero broke clear early on in a sign of things to come, spreading play out to Jesús Navas, the captain making his 600th start for his boyhood club, whose return ball was clearly blocked by the hand of Omar Mascarell. Despite the free-kick being given, the yellow card those inside the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán were expecting to follow never appeared.

As both teams proceeded to attempt to gain a foothold in the match, fluidity was hard to come by for both sides

Mallorca provided a predictably tough contest in the middle of the park, leaving a distinct lack of chances for either side. With Kike Salas suspended, head coach Quique had reinstated Lucien Agoumé as one of three central midfielders in his usual 3-5-2 formation, providing an engine room with plenty of legs to combat the industry of Javier Aguirre’s side. A week on from Óliver making his 200th appearance for the club, Lucas Ocampos followed suit, the Argentine offering combining guile and tireless workrate as ever out wide.

That was until the 28th minute, the visitors putting together a well-worked counter that resulted in a golden opportunity for Muriqi. The Kosovan beat Ørjan Nyland but his curling effort was somehow blocked by Ramos, the veteran defender rolling back the years to deny a certain goal on the line and keep the game scoreless.

Isaac was then presented with his own glorious chance just before the break when Boubakary Soumaré sent him clear, however he shot straight at a relieved Predrag Rajkovic when he would have expected to find the back of the net. However, with the youth product unable to hide his frustration at the miss, the home fans gave their new golden boy their backing by singing his name in response.

It therefore felt poignant that it was Isaac’s 75th minute goal that rounded off a near-perfect evening as Quique’s side wrapped up their third consecutive win in relative ease, the only blemish coming in the final minute of the contest when Prats nodded a cross past Nyland. But, with the league table now making for significantly better reading, the team will look ahead to Sunday’s derby. 

Cuerpo Inferior


2. SEVILLA FC: Nyland, Jesús Navas, Badé, Sergio Ramos, Gudelj (Acuña, 81'), Ocampos, Agoumé (Suso, 46'), Soumaré, Óliver Torres, Isaac (Lukebakio, 81') and En-Nesyri.

1. RCD MALLORCA: Rajkovic, Maffeo, Valjent (Antonio Sánchez, 71'), Raíllo, Copete, Jaume Costa, Mascarell (Morlanes, 71'), Dani Rodríguez (Darder, 71'), Samu, Radonjic (Larin, 60') and Muriqi (Abdón Prats, 83').

GOALS: 1-0, 61': En-Nesyri; 2-0, 75': Isaac; 2-1, 90+5': Abdón Prats.

REFEREE: Alejandro Hernández Hernández. Yellow cards for Samu and Copete.