RCD Espanyol were beaten 1-0 by Osasuna at El Sadar on Thursday.
Diego Martínez’s men made the trip to Pamplona for some midweek LaLiga action, hoping to build on their solid away form. Martin Braithwaite returned from suspension to the starting XI alongside Sergi Gómez, who missed out last time through injury.
Espanyol would have the first chance of the match inside four minutes, when Brian Oliván sent a deep cross into the box. Joselu met it at the far post, but his hooked effort was cleared off the line by Lucas Torró.
The visitors were building their rhythm only to be halted by persistent fouls in a stop-start affair at El Sadar. Ez Abde glided through the backline and pulled the trigger for Osasuna, yet was denied by a brave Leandro Cabrera block in front of goal.
Cabrera would be involved at the other end too, meeting Sergi Darder’s free kick with a superb backwards header. Goalkeeper Aitor Fernández adjusted his position to avert the ball from going into his goal to keep it a goalless affair at the break.
Osasuna pushed on in the second half and would take the lead through a quick corner. Catching out the Espanyol defence meant that Ante Budimir had time to compose himself, heading it beyond Benjamin Lecomte to break the deadlock.
The hosts almost extended their advantage instantly, but this time Lecomte saved well with his leg from Aimar Oroz. The Frenchman came to Espanyol’s aid once again as he reacted quickly to deny Abde, then tipping Chimy Ávila’s header over the bar.
Espanyol had two big opportunities to equalise: first, Joselu’s finish was saved by the legs of Aitor Fernández, before the Osasuna keeper smothered Javi Puado’s attempt.
Osasuna once again regained the momentum and peppered attempt after attempt on goal. But Lecomte stood tall to deny each one, keeping out Nacho Vidal’s fired shot before the woodwork stood in the way of David García’s effort.
Substitute José Carlos Lazo found himself late on with the ball inside the box, but he could not find the space to get a shot away. Osasuna came away with all three points at El Sadar, leaving Espanyol to rue their chances and head home empty handed.
CA Osasuna: Aitor Fernández, Nacho Vidal, U. García, D. García, M. Sánchez, R. García (Moncayola 78’), Torró, Aimar (Kike G. 89’), M. Gómez (Darko 68’), Budimir (Chimy Ávila 68’), Abde (Juan Cruz 78’).
RCD Espanyol: Lecomte, Calero (Omar 78’), Gómez, Cabrera, Brian Oliván, K. Bare (Edu Expósito 59’), Vini Souza (D. Gómez 89’), Darder, Aleix V.C (Puado 59’), Joselu, Braithwaite (Lazo 78’).
Referee: Mario Melero López
Goals: 1-0 Budimir 55’.
Bookings: Braithwaite 53’, Calero 73’; David García 27’.