Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla narrowly defeat Espanyol for crucial first win of the season
Espanyol 2-3 Sevilla
The story of the afternoon at the RCDE Stadium was the future of Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui, who needed a reaction from his players after two thrashings. Eventually Los Nervionenses got their first win of the season, but not by much.
It took them just 45 seconds to take the lead though, Erik Lamela racing away from the defence and nutmegging Alvaro Fernandez in the Espanyol goal with his finish. That gave Sevilla confidence and allowed them to sit back a little.
They came forward with purpose though and Lopoetegui’s decision to select young academy defenders Kike Salas and Jose Angel Carmona paid off, as the latter tapped home. Carmona then pounced again on a Leandro Cabrera mistake just before half-time to make it 3-0.
Everything was going swimmingly for Lopetegui until the last minute of the first half, when Marcos Acuna had a penalty given against him for handball, which Joselu converted. Espanyol pushed forward but without much incision. Until Martin Braithwaite pounced in the box after 62 minutes, the Danish international first to the loose ball after his own header was saved by Bono.
In the late stages Espanyol threw men forward and Erik Lamela received a second yellow with five minutes of normal time to go. The game ran into the 100th minute but there were insufficient close calls from Espanyol’s point of view, as Sevilla saw out the match.
A crucial first win of the season for Sevilla eases the pressure on manager Lopetegui and moves them away from the relegation zone. Even so, coming close to throwing a three-goal lead away was left Los Nervionenses conscious that there is plenty of hard work ahead..TAP.TO.CONTINUE.READING
Diego Martinez will once again be ruing the fact that a number of mistakes made the match tricky to take points from. His side were booed off at the end.