RCD Espanyol ended their winless streak with a vital 1-0 victory against Getafe on Sunday.
In a vital six-pointer on the road to survival, Espanyol needed to bring their best at the RCDE Stadium. Luis García opted for a back three and Nico Melamed in behind the frontline, as they looked to jump ahead of opponents Getafe in the LaLiga table.
Espanyol are used to a strong start and went searching for an early lead, spurred on by a strong blanquiazul crowd. Nico Melamed had the first chance of the afternoon with his shot parred away by David Soria, who would be called into action again to deny both Martin Braithwaite and Melamed with saves in quick succession.
A spell for Getafe amounted to nothing before the hosts went up the other end and Joselu hit the post, albeit being offside in the buildup. Borja Mayoral almost got his ball across the six-yard box, but Fernando Pacheco got a vital hand to it.
There were strong calls for a penalty when Carles Aleñá handballed it in the box, and it was awarded once referee José María Sánchez Martínez consulted VAR. Joselu stepped up and, with all the class and composure possible, fired it into the top corner to bring Espanyol in front going into the break.
Getafe came out with a much more offensive approach in the second half, and Domingos Duarte was inches away from heading it in. Espanyol had a massive chance on the break as it came to Melamed, but he could only head it into the hands of Soria.
The Mágico thought they had a second goal through Sergi Gómez, but it was disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper. It left them holding onto the result deep into stoppage time, and Espanyol fought right until the end and got their just rewards. The team secured a crucial three points against a direct relegation rival at the Temple, as the road to survival continues.
RCD Espanyol: Pacheco, Óscar Gil (Aleix V.C 86’), Cabrera, Calero, S. Gómez, Pedrosa (B. Oliván 74’), Darder, Denis Suárez (Vini Souza 68’), Nico M.R., Braithwaite (Puado 86’), Joselu
Getafe CF: David Soria, Damián, Omar Alderete (Mitrovic 81’), Domingos D., Gaston (Angileri 81’), Portu, G. Villar (Mata 90+5’), Maksimovic, Aleñá (Munir 64’), B. Mayoral, Enes Ünal (Latasa 81’)
Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez
Goals: 1-0 Joselu (pen) 38’
Bookings: Braithwaite 42’, Nico M.R. 71’, Aleix V.C 90+1’; Aleñá 37’, Domingos D. 51’, Maksimovic 57’, G. Villar 73’, Latasa 81’