First Division - Day 27

Espanyol 3 - Las Palmas 1

Espanyol: Mora; Navas, Lopo, Soldevilla, Ricardo Cavas; Morales (Martín Posse 60'), Alex Fernández (Oscar 78'); De Lucas, Palencia (Pacheco 46'), Roger; Tamudo. 4-2-3-1.
Las Palmas: Nacho González; Edu Alonso, Schurrer, Alvaro, Paqui; Carmelo, Jayo, Josico, Jorge; Orlando (Sequeiros 75'), Tevenet (Sarasua 69'). 4-4-2.

Team changes: Espanyol: Soldevilla, Palencia for Rotchen, Pacheco / Las Palmas: Alvaro, Carmelo, Jayo, Tevenet for Angel, Sarasúa, Samways, Pablo Lago.

0-1. 09. Nacho González (penalty). After Soldevilla ruled to have fouled Josico.
1-1. 46. Roger. Shot from outside area after free kick which Paqui deflected in.
2-1. 86. Pacheco. Headed De Lucas cross from left into bottom corner of net.
3-1. 89. Tamudo (penalty). After Tamudo himself tripped by Alvaro on left of area.

Espanyol kept their outside chances of European football alive with a 3-1 win over Las Palmas. On paper the home side should have won this fixture, having been unbeaten in their last four games and with one of the best home records in the league. Las Palmas on the other hand had gone six games without a win and were also missing the suspended Angel and Pablo Lago and the injured Samways, making up their squad with two teenagers Nauzat (who was celebrating his 17th birthday on the day of the match) and Jotha. However the visitors took the lead against the run of play early on when Soldevilla was ruled by Muñiz Fernández to have fouled Josico, visiting keeper Nacho González getting his third of the season from the penalty spot. The referee further upset the crowd when he booked De Lucas for diving in the penalty area soon afterwards as Espanyol piled on the pressure, but the visitors almost went further ahead when Tevenet hit the woodwork with a free kick on the stroke of half time.

Paco Flores made two changes at the break, bringing on Pacheco and Martín Posse, who had just been given his Spanish passport during the week which allows him to play as an EU-registered player. Within a minute they were level, Roger receiving a short free kick from well outside of the area and firing in a shot which took a deflection off Paqui's head to wrong foot his keeper. Fernando Vázquez brought on a fifth defender Sarasua to protect a point, and Espanyol saw their efforts frustrated time and time again, with Roger and De Lucas in particular failing to put away easy chances. But then with the game appearing to be heading for a draw, half time substitute Pacheco put the Catalans in front with a headed goal from a De Lucas cross, and the fans started to celebrate. And to round things off club captain Raúl Tamudo made it a personal best eleven for the season when he converted an injury time penalty after Alvaro tripped him in the area. His side stay in eleventh place, but with results of the teams above them going in their favour they are only five points off the European spots. Las Palmas though are only two points off the drop zone in sixteenth place, and with the club virtually bankrupt and almost all the teams below them improving, their future does not look too promising.