The Spanish media went overboard in their praise of Racing Santander midfielder Yossi Benayoun, despite the club's 3-1 loss to Real Madrid on Saturday. Benayoun gave Santander the lead in the 16th minute of the game with a virtuoso strike.
The As sports daily named Benayoun its man of the match and dubbed him "Santander's Zidane," likening him to Real Madrid's mercurial playmaker Zinadine Zidane.
El Mundo Deportivo gave Benayoun a high mark of three out of four and El Diario Montanias wrote that had the game been decided by ability and not by goals, Santander would have won, noting that Benayoun constantly harassed Real Madrid's defense.
In yesterday's games in the Spanish first division, Barcelona beat Real Mallorca 3-1 to claim its first Primera Liga win in five attempts, while Real Sociedad got back on track with a valuable 1-0 win at home to Osasuna.
Barca, under pressure after a run of two draws and two defeats, took the lead away to Mallorca with a Javier Saviola strike in the ninth minute that just crossed the line.
Ronaldinho fired in a free kick after 23 minutes and Philip Cocu headed in the third early in the second half. Mallorca improved in the final half-hour and pulled one back four minutes from time through Fernando Correa, but the result was never in doubt, even after Barcelona had midfielder Gabri sent off in the first minute of injury time.
Barcelona's third victory of the season gave it 12 points from eight games and took the team up to seventh in the table, behind Sociedad on goal difference. Deportivo Coruna tops the league with 21 points, followed by Real Madrid and Valencia on 19.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now