RCD Espanyol were beaten 3-2 by Sevilla FC at the RCDE Stadium on Saturday.
Espanyol came off the back of an impressive away win at Athletic last week. Coach Diego Martínez rewarded Martin Braithwaite and Álvaro Fernández with home debuts, while Sergi Gómez returned from suspension.
The deadlock was broken within the opening minute when Erik Lamela forced his way through the defence and slotted home from a tight angle. Sevilla extended their lead from a corner, which was not cleared and allowed José Ángel Carmona to convert.
Joselu thought he had scored but his effort on the turn slammed the face of the post. Minutes later, Carmona capitalised on a defensive mishap and poked it home from just a few yards out to extend Sevilla’s advantage.
The last action of the first half saw Espanyol awarded a penalty for a handball by Marcos Acuña. Joselu stepped up and buried it into the bottom corner to give the hosts a vital consolation before the break.
Espanyol reduced the deficit to one thanks to Braithwaite, who collected a scrappy ball in the box to score and revive the pericos’ fortunes. The hosts had new life and, with the euphoric energy of the RCDE Stadium, took control of the momentum of the game.
A frantic second half saw chances plenty for both sides, while Lamela was sent off for a second booking in the closing stages. Leandro Cabrera had the final chance to equalise, but his header fell agonisingly wide as Espanyol could not complete the comeback.
RCD Espanyol: Fernández, Óscar Gil (Rúben 76’ (Omar 87’)), Cabrera, S. Gómez, Oliván, Expósito (D. Gómez 59’), Vini Souza, Darder, Braithwaite, Joselu, Puado (Nico M.R. 87’).
Sevilla FC: Bono, José Angel (J. Navas 72’), Gudelj, Kike Salas (Rekik 67’), Acuña (Alex Telles 46’), Fernando, Isco, Jordán (Rakitic 72’), Óliver T. (Nianzou 67’), Lamela, En-Nesyri.
Referee: Cuadra Fernández
Goals: Lamela 1’ (0-1), Carmona 26’ (0-2), Carmona 45’ (0-3), Joselu 45+3’ (1-3); Braithwaite 62’ (2-3).
Bookings: Óscar Gil 13’, Joselu 42’; Lopetegui 55’ (coach), Vini Souza 57’; Lamela 29’, Acuña 45+2’, Lamela 83’, Fernando 90+4’, D. Gómez 90+6’.
Red cards: Lamela 83’.