First Division - Day 17

Espanyol 3 - Racing Santander 0

Espanyol: Sergio Sánchez; Bertrán (Navas 34'), Lopo, Soldevilla, David García; Maxi (Amaya 78'), Domoraud, Morales, De la Peña (Alex Fernández 46'); Milosevic, Tamudo. 4-4-2.
Racing: Lemmens; Pineda (Nafti 46'), Moratón, Juanma, Neru; Munitis, Diego Mateo, Ismael (Pablo Lago 71'), Txiki (Regueiro 73'); Javi Guerrero, Bodipo. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Espanyol: David García for Navas / Racing: Neru, Ismael, Txiki for Sietes, Nafti, Regueiro.

1-0. 08. Soldevilla. Glancing header down past keeper from De la Peña free kick.
2-0. 66. Tamudo (penalty). After Tamudo himself fouled by Mateo.
3-0. 77. Milosevic. Following up after keeper deflected Maxi shot.

Espanyol's recovery under Javier Clemente continued, and they closed to within two points of eighteenth placed Rayo Vallecano after defeating Racing Santander 3-0. It was a flattering result though, and the visitors could have got something out of the game if their forwards in general, and Bodipo in particular, had been more sure in front of goal. The Catalans were the first to react, and they took the lead in the eighth minute when Soldevilla headed De la Peña's free kick down past Lemmens. The keeper did well a few minutes later though to block another effort from Maxi as Espanyol continued their push on goal.

The home side suffered a blow shortly before half time when young right back Marc Bertrán was carried off with a broken leg, and at the break Clemente also had to replace the limping De la Peña, Alex Fernández taking his place and almost immediately hitting the bar with a long free kick. Referee Losantos Omar gave the locals a helping hand though later in the half, ruling that Diego Mateo had tripped Tamudo in the area, even though the foul (if it was) took place just outside of the penalty box. Tamudo had no qualms beating Lemmens from the spot though, and ten minutes after that Milosevic made it three, following up when a rebound from Maxi's shot fell at his feet.

Racing's best moments came in the last ten minutes or so, but Sergio sánchez was determined to show his boss that there really was no need to bring back Toni Jiménez from Elche, and he kept out shots from all and sundry, and in particular one close range effort from Javi Guerrero. The home fans left the ground excited. Was Clemente really going to be their savious once again? Only time will tell.