First Division - Day 38

Espanyol 1 - Almería 3

Espanyol: Kameni; Zabaleta, Lacruz, Torrejón, David García; Coro, Jarque, Angel Martínez, Riera (Valdo 46'); Luis García, Jonathan Soriano (Rufete 61'). 4-4-2.
Almería: Cobeño; Bruno, Carlos García, Acasiete, Mané; Felipe Melo (Juanito 64'), Iriney, Corona; Juanma Ortíz, Negredo (Paunovic 78'), Crusat (Guilherme 72'). 4-3-3.

Team changes: Espanyol: Torrejón, David García, Jonathan Soriano for Chica, Moisés Hurtado, Lola / Almería: Cobeño, Carlos García, Iriney, Corona for Diego Alves, Pulido, Soriano, Kalu Uche.

0-1. 44. Felipe Melo. Fired low shot past Kameni following set piece free kick.
0-2. 53. Crusat. Ran on to Melo return pass and fired shot wide of keeper.
1-2. 58. Luis García (penalty). After Carlos García pulled back Jonathan in area.
1-3. 90. Paunovic. Steered header down past keeper from Juanma Ortíz cross.

Espanyol's poor second half of the season finally came to an end after they were beaten 1-3 by Almería. Ernesto Valverde's side have been in free fall after reaching the midpoint of the league in the Champions League spots, and they ended in twelfth place having only taken 12 points from their last 19 games. Their poor form has even cost their players a place in Spain's Euro 2008 squad, with Tamudo and Luis García already out of Luis Aragonés's plans and Riera also being left out surprisingly when the coach named his 23 players yesterday.

Both keepers had work to do early on, but the visitors went ahead when Felipe Melo drilled a low shot past Kameni following a set piece free kick just before half time. And just eight minutes after the restart Crusat made it two after picking up a return pass from Melo and running on to beat the keeper. Luis García got one back from the penalty spot four minutes later after Jonathan Soriano was pulled back by Carlos García, but Paunovic wrapped things up at the end to take the newcomers up to a respectable eighth spot.