First Division - Day 15

Espanyol 1 - Deportivo 0

Espanyol: Mora; Lopo, Soldevilla, Rotchen, David García; Alex Fernández, Morales; Martín Posse (De Lucas 78'), Palencia, Roger (Velamazán 61'); Tamudo (Aganzo 84'). 4-2-3-1.
Deportivo: Molina; Scaloni, César, Naybet, Capdevila; Mauro Silva, Sergio (Djalminha 59'); Víctor, Valerón (Emerson 70'), Fran (Makaay 53'); Diego Tristán. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Espanyol: David García, Alex Fernández, Palencia for Ricardo Cavas, De Lucas, Velamazán / Deportivo: Scaloni, Naybet, Mauro Silva, Valerón, Fran, Diego Tristán for Héctor, Helder, Duscher, Djalminha, Amavisca, Pandiani.

1-0. 08. Tamudo. Ran through on to long pass from Lopo to shoot low past Molina.

Last week's leaders Deportivo were beaten by a superior Espanyol, who should have won by more in a match they dominated from start to finish. Having lost their last three away games in the league, Irureta brought back all his big names for this match, with Valerón and Diego Tristán back in and Fran returning for his first game since injury. Sergio and Capdevila returned to their old hunting ground with mixed reception from the crowd, Sergio being given a hero's welcome after leaving against his will in the summer to help bolster the club's finances, and Capdevla being booed every time he touched the ball after moving away to feather his own nest.

Espanyol started off with three forwards, Tamudo, Posse and Palencia, on the park, with the latter two switching places constantly. Most of the play took place at the visitors end, but Molina was in good form, saving well from Morales and Roger. Then a few minutes in to the second half the Catalans got the goal they deserved, Tamudo running on to a long ball from Lopo to shoot low past the stranded keeper. Irureta quickly brought on Makaay and Djalminha to join the front two, but apart from a drive from Valerón which Mora blocked and a late effort from Tristán which went wide, the home side keeper was not troubled.

Espanyol felt they should have had a penalty when César handled in the area, and Posse and Palencia both went close as their side continued to attack, but in the end Paco Flores settled for the single goal and pulled off Posse and Tamudo. The win takes the pressure off Flores for now as they move back up to thirteenth. Coruña lose their top spot to the other Deportivo, Alavés, and with Betis also winning they drop to third. Hopefully their Champions League match midweek will not be affected by their poor performance.