10-man Real Madrid fortunate with against Mallorca

Other News Materials 6 April 2008 03:41 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Real Madrid were relieved to escape with a 1-1 draw Saturday at midtable Mallorca.

The Liga leaders had to play out the last 25 minutes with 10 men, after defender Sergio Ramos had been given his third red card of the season.

Referee Dauden Ibanez had earlier infuriated the crowd in Palma by disallowing what looked like a perfectly good goal for Mallorca, then refusing to give a penalty for a clear handball by Real defender Fabio Cannavaro.

The stormy draw leaves Real with 66 points from 31 games, seven ahead of second-placed Villarreal, who are at Sevilla on Sunday.

Veteran Real midfielder told La Sexta at the end that the draw was "a good result for us tonight."

Wesley Sneijder had given Real the lead in the 43rd minute after fellow Dutchman Arjen Robben had opened up the Mallorca defence down the right, 10 minutes after Mallorca's Fernando Navarro had a goal controversially disallowed for a non-existent foul by Juan Arango on Ramos.

Mallorca dominated in the second half but lacked a cool finish.

Usual suspect Ramos picked up his second yellow card in the 65th minute for a clumsy foul on Navarro. Six minutes later, super sub Borja Valero made it 1-1 with a precise, right-footed curling shot.

Mallorca should have scored a second goal seven minutes from time, but Spain striker Daniel Guiza missed from just seven yards out, his bouncing shot hitting the crossbar.

Earlier Saturday, Recreativo Huelva had moved out of the relegation zone with a defiant 1-0 win at Osasuna on a goal from Florent Sinama Pongolle.

By winning in Pamplona, Huelva - who claim to be the oldest club in Spain - have thrown themselves a lifeline.

They are now fifth from bottom with 36 points from 31 games. Below them are Valladolid with 35 points, followed by fallen giants Zaragoza on 33, Murcia on 26 and doomed Levante on 19.

The only goal in Pamplona came in the 37th minute, when Sinama Pongolle took a pass from defender Quique Alvarez and beat keeper Ricardo Lopez with his left foot.

Toward the end, Osasuna pressed strongly for an equalizer - with chances falling to youngsters Hector Font and Juanfran Garcia - but the Huelva defence held firm.

The untimely defeat leaves Osasuna seventh from bottom with 37 points, level with Deportivo Coruna.

A month ago, Osasuna seemed capable of staying out of the relegation dogfight, but they will now have to scrap and suffer the same as Huelva and the others.