First Division - Day 2

Espanyol 1 - Osasuna 2

Espanyol: Mora; Cristóbal, Nando, Rotchen (Manel 46'), Roger (Morales 46'); Navas (Nan Ribera 70'), Sergio, Galca, Arteaga; Martín Posse; Serrano. 4-4-1-1.
Osasuna: Nuno; Yanguas (Arpón 80'), Cruchaga, Aitor Ocio, Mateo, Iván Pérez; Alex (Alfredo 58'), Angel, Lekumberri (Alfonso 52'); Sabino, Iván Rosado. 5-3-2.

Team changes: Espanyol: Cristóbal, Rotchen, Serrano for Pochettino, Iván Díaz, Oscar / Osasuna: Iván Pérez, Iván Rosado for Sena, Armentano.

0-1. 55. Yanguas. Crossed from goalline and Galca turned the ball into his own net.
1-1. 89. Manel. Took pass, beat defender and scored.
1-2. 93. Iván Rosado. Chipped keeper with last kick of match.

Having stolen a victory with a goal in the last minute last week at Zaragoza, Espanyol got a taste of their own medicine at home against Osasuna. They had gone behind to a bizarre goal in the second half, Yanguas taking the ball to the right goal line and Galca turning it into his own net. Then in the last minute of ordinary time Manel levelled the scores with a low shot past the keeper. Espanyol dropped their guard as the final whistle approached, and Iván Rosado crept in to chip the keeper and take their first three points of the new season.

In the first half Osasuna had shown us the tactics they will probably use all season, and it was not a pretty sight. Packing defence and midfield with players, they suffocated any offensive attempt by the home side to such an extent that their first shot at goal came after half an hour. Osasuna do not have any stars, and manager Lotina decided to leave their most expensive signing Armentano (US$ 950,000) on the bench for this match, preferring ex Rayo Vallecano striker Iván Rosado to do the job. Espanyol were missing the injured Pochettino and Oscar, with Rotchen and Serrano deputizing, and Cristóbal came back in defence having recovered from his injury.

At half time Espanyol manager Paco Flores brought on a midfielder and a forward (Morales and Manel) for two defenders, with Galca and Posse dropping back. They still met with the brick wall, however, and their defensive errors let their opponents in, as they did on Thursday in the UEFA cup. They have now played five different back four's in the last five games, and with first choice strikers Tamudo and Oscar both out, they are lacking firepower up front. Other than that everything is going well! At this early stage everybody is beating everybody else, but Flores has to restore morale within the side if they are to push for the top spots this season. Osasuna are just looking to stay in the first division, and at this rate they should do so. .