A last gasp goal by striker Albert Luque ruined Hector Cuper's return to Palma on Sunday night as Real Mallorca held the Argentine's Valencia team to a 2–2 draw. Whilst Mallorca fans were still singing the praises of Cuper, the manager who led the team to the final of the Cup Winners' Cup and to third place in the league, Mallorca players were less sentimental as they threw themselves head first against Valencia. It wasn't long before Mallorca showed Cuper what he was missing. The 17th minute goal came from Mallorca's hotshot striking duo of Albert Luque and Samuel Eto'o. Luque, the Olympic silver medallist, crossed the ball to a surrounded Eto'o who chested the ball down while somehow managing to hold off three Valencia defenders. He then hit the ball through Spanish international 'keeper Canizares' legs. Mallorca, unsatisfied with a single goal lead, brought the game to Valencia whose misfiring duo of Gaizka Mendieta and World Cup winning captain Didier Deschamps were struggling to keep hold of the ball. Disaster struck for Mallorca in the 27th minute when a Mendieta challenge left Ariel Ibagaza in agony on the floor. The Argentine had been instrumental in all of Mallorca's creativity so far and his loss effected Mallorca deeply. “Chi Chi” Soler did his best in Ibagaza's place, but was unable to penetrate the Valencia defence the way his team mate had been doing. Cuper obviously had some serious words with his team at half–time, especially with the wayward Mendieta who had until that point been totally ineffective. The straggly haired genius came out of his cocoon straight away and it was soon easy to tell why he had been voted Midfielder of the Year last season by UEFA.

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