First Division - Day 21

Osasuna 1 - Espanyol 3

Osasuna: Nuno; Alfonso (Trzeciak 80'), Cruchaga, Vidakovic, Mateo; Oscar Arpón (Gancedo 46'), Alfredo, Alex, Lekumberri (Llorens 46'); Armentano, Iván Rosado. 4-4-2.
Espanyol: Mora; Cristóbal, Soldevilla, Rotchen, Toledo; Velamazán (Lardín 82'), Sergio, Galca, Roger; Martín Posse (Oscar 80'), Tamudo. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Osasuna: Alfonso, Oscar Arpón, Alfredo, Armentano for Yanguas, Llorens, Gancedo, Sabino / Espanyol: No changes.

0-1. 09. Mateo (own goal). Headed long Galca free kick over Nuno.
0-2. 32. Velamazán. First time volley from right of area after cross from Rotchen.
0-3. 39. Velamazán. Bent free kick from 25 metres into top corner of net.
1-3. 64. Mateo. Headed on past keeper after corner from left knocked on.

Three goals in the first 40 minutes, including two magnificent strikes from Olympic silver medallist Toni Velamazán, gave Espanyol their fourth win in five games and sank Osasuna further down the table. The Pamplona based side were hoping to keep up their recent good run at home where they had picked up seven points from their last three matches, and Miguel Angel Lotina changed to a 4-4-2 line up, with new signings Llorens and Gancedo returning to the bench after their defeat last week at Celta. However they were up against it from the ninth minute when Mateo inexplicably headed a long free kick from Galca over the head of his own keeper and in to the net. Up to that point the home side had created a couple of chances, with Alfredo almost scoring from a corner and Armentano shooting over, and the Argentinian striker saw another header saved by Mora later in the half.

Iván Rosado was unlucky to have a goal ruled out by Pérez Lasa for offside, and two minutes later Velamazán struck his first, a first time volley from the right of the area which flew past Nuno into the far corner of the net. When he bent a free kick over the wall a few minutes later Osasuna were out of it, and Lotina brought on the two new men from the bench at the break to try and stop the rot. Things improved in the second half and Mateo made up for his mistake by pulling a goal back, but they were never going to get back in the game. Espanyol completed their third victory in a row and are now only two points away from a UEFA spot in eighth place. Osasuna drop to next to bottom, and it looks now like a four horse race for the three relegation spots between them, Racing, Real Sociedad and Numancia. It wasn't one of their better days.