First Division - Day 23

Sevilla 1 - Espanyol 0

Sevilla: Notario; Njegus, Javi Navarro, Pablo Alfaro, David; Casquero, Torrado; Gallardo (Daniel Alves 78'), Reyes (Víctor Salas 92'), Fredi; Toedtli (Machlas 65'). 4-2-3-1.
Espanyol: Toni; Torricelli, Amaya (Iván De la Peña 65'), Soldevilla, David García; Maxi (Oscar 83'), Domoraud, Morales, Roger; Milosevic, Tamudo. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Sevilla: Njegus, Reyes for Redondo, Víctor Salas / Espanyol: Amaya, Morales, Tamudo for Lopo, Velamazán, De la Peña.

1-0. 39. Soldevilla (own goal). Deflected ball past Toni after Gallardo crossed in.

Espanyol find themselves once again deep in the relegation spots after losing at Sevilla, and the revival under new manager Javier Clemente appears to be already fading. Having run the gauntlet of the big four which the vagaries of a systematic calendar threw together, the Catalans were hoping to start to pick up points. However they found themselves behind when their own defender Toni Soldevilla tried to stop Gallardo's cross from reaching Reyes and only succeeded in turning it past his own keeper.

Either side could have scored later in the first half, with Milosevic shooting just wide and Toedtli failing to get on the end of Fredi's cross. An active Reyes was causing problems for Torricelli down the left wing, and he also shot just wide from another local attack.

The visitors had the best of the second half, with Milosevic and Roger testing the excellent keeper, Notario. The game started to break up though, and the constant fouls (over 50 in the match!) caused the flow of football to slow down. With a quarter of an hour to go Torricelli picked up a second caution and had to leave the field, and two minutes from full time Sevilla's Juanmi followed him for the same reason.

In the end though the visitors couldn't convert their chances, and they find themselves now in eighteenth place, five points adrift of the team immediately above them, Valladolid. Sevilla's point keeps them in eleventh place, and they can now look forward to next week's derby at Betis without having to worry about their league position for now.