First Division - Day 11

Espanyol 1 - Real Sociedad 2

Espanyol: Argensó; Fran (Bertran 50'), Soldevilla, Lopo, David García; Alex Fernández, Morales; De Lucas (Munteanu 65'), Martín Posse (Palencia 50'), Iván Díaz; Tamudo. 4-2-3-1.
Real Sociedad: Alberto; López Rekarte, Kvarme, Luiz Alberto, Aranzábal; Xabi Alonso, Idiakez; Tayfun (Aranburu 43'), Khokhlov, De Pedro (Barkero 90'); Jankauskas (De Paula 88'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Espanyol: Lopo, Iván Díaz for Rotchen, Velamazán / Real: No change.

1-0. 29. Iván Díaz. Ball bounced off him over line as Alberto tried to clear.
1-1. 35. Jankauskas. Ran on to long through ball to beat Argensó.
1-2. 70. De Pedro. Bent free kick wide of keeper from outside of area.

Real Sociedad climbed out of the relegation spots with their third victory in a row, this time 1-2 at Espanyol. Real's fortunes have improved since the return of Xabi Alonso in midfield, and John Toshack was able to name an unchanged line up, with twelve Basque players in the 18-man squad (although only six were in the starting line up). For once though they were outdone by their rivals, Paco Flores picking a side with ten Spanish players, nine of whom were home grown, and four more on the bench. After Tamudo had gone close the Barcelona based side took the lead, Iván Díaz scoring a controversial goal when he charged down Lafuente's clearance. It appeared as if López Rekarte had been able to clear the ball as it rolled over the line, but referee López Nieto allowed it to stand after consulting with his linesman.

Soon afterwards though Jankauskas made it all square with his second of the season, running on to a pass out of defence to drive his shot into the roof of the net from the right of the area. Flores was criticised by fans for taking off his best player Martín Posse early in the second half, and his side eventually went deservedly behind thanks to a De Pedro free kick as Real attacked. Soldevilla almost made it all square with a late header, but as Argensó left the field limping with a damaged foot, the referee called an end to proceedings. It was a repeat of last year's result, and Real picked up a valuable three points in a Montjuic stadium where they have never lost. Espanyol ended the day only three points above them in fourteenth place.