RCD Espanyol lost 3-2 at home to Real Sociedad on Monday night.
Diego Martínez’s men welcomed the side sitting in third in LaLiga to the RCDE Stadium, while they looked to rise up the table in their second consecutive match at the Temple.
Espanyol were straight at it with Fernando Calero, whose tight header was denied by Álex Remiro. Álvaro Fernández was called into action at the other end and denied Mikel Oyarzabal, but Take Kubo would soon give Real Sociedad the lead with a tiny finish from the edge of the box.
The chances continued to fly in at either end and Leandro Cabrera made a goal-saving clearance, heading the ball off the line just in time. Vinicius Souza tested the keeper with a shot from distance, fizzing it goalbound and forcing Remiro to tip it over.
La Real looked comfortable as the hosts struggled to leave their mark on the action, soon being forced to bring off an injured Calero in defence. Behind at the break, Martínez called upon two more reinforcements in Rubén Sánchez and Denis Suárez.
However, the visitors were not easing up and soon added a second thanks to talisman Alexander Sørloth. It became an even bigger deficit 10 minutes later as Cabrera diverted Kubo’s shot into his own net, leaving Espanyol three goals behind with half an hour left.
Espanyol would get on the scoresheet after all, the ball coming off the crossbar kindly for Sergi Darder to smash it in from close range. They remained persistent and pulled it back to just one, when Brian Oliván played a terrific one-two with José Carlos Lazo and smashed it into the top corner.
Now with less than 10 minutes to play, the pericos had reduced the deficit and were now fighting for the equaliser. Deep into stoppage time Cabrera was sent off for a second booking and that proved to be that, as Espanyol were beaten despite their attempted second-half comeback at the RCDE Stadium.
RCD Espanyol: Á. Fernández, Óscar Gil (Rubén S. 46’), Calero (S. Gómez 44’), Cabrera, B. Oliván, Vini Souza (Gragera 90’), Darder, Aleix V.C (Lazo 69’), Nico M.R (Denis Suárez 46’), Braithwaite, Puado.
Real Sociedad: A. Remiro, Barrene (A. Sola 81’), Zubeldia, Le Normand, Rico, Take, Illarra (Marin 81’), Zubimendi, Brais Méndez (Merino 71’), Sørloth (Carlos Fernández 81’), Oyarzabal (Navarro 71’).
Referee: Alejandro Muñiz Ruiz
Goals: 0-1 Take 23’; 0-2 Sørloth 52’, 0-3 Cabrera (o.g.) 63’, 1-3 Darder 74’, 2-3 B. Oliván 87’
Bookings: Óscar Gil 18’, Braithwaite 57’, Cabrera 80’; Carlos Fernández 90+7’
Red cards: Cabrera 90+4’