RCD Espanyol were beaten 3-1 on the road by Real Betis on Saturday.
Luis García’s first away trip as coach would take him to the Estadio Benito Villamarín, against a Betis side chasing Europe but with back-to-back defeats in LaLiga. Nico Melamed and Vini Souza came into the starting XI as Espanyol aimed to end their winless run.
There were chances at both ends from the start, as Fernando Pacheco denied William Carvalho twice with two solid saves. Espanyol started well and had their best opportunity when Nico Melamed’s free kick almost went all the way in.
Despite a positive start, Betis broke the deadlock through Ayoze Pérez’s close-range finish from a low ball across the box. Seven minutes later and the hosts doubled their lead thanks to Juan Miranda, giving them a healthy lead and leaving the Mágico in a predicament going into the second period.
Just like the first half Espanyol began well, this time making it count when César Montes scored an audacious overhead kick into the top corner. The Mexican’s first goal in the blanquiazul shirt gave them a vital lifeline and a way back into the match.
The visitors pushed on for the equaliser, with new life and momentum following the goal. But just as they were getting close, Betis restored their two-goal cushion through William Carvalho.
Martin Braithwaite seems to have pulled one back deep into stoppage time, but a long and frustrating VAR check ruled out the goal for offside. That would be the final action of the match, as Espanyol left the Benito Villamarín empty handed.
Real Betis: Rui Silva, Montoya, Luiz Felipe, Edgar, Miranda, G. Rodríguez, A. Guardado (Paul 89’), Luiz Henrique, William (Joaquín 81’), Ayoze (Willian J. 89’), B. Iglesias (Rodri 63’)
RCD Espanyol: Pacheco, Rubén S. (Pierre-Gabriel 77’), C. Montes, S. Gómez, Cabrera, Nico M.R. (Denis Suárez 59’), Vini Souza (K. Bare 77’), Darder (Dani Gómez 77’), Puado (Pedrosa 68’), Braithwaite, Joselu
Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández
Goals: 1-0 Ayoze 27’, 2-0 Miranda 34’; 2-1 C. Montes 48’, 3-1 William 69’
Bookings: Luiz Felipe 15’, Montoya 17’; Vini Souza 38’, Cabrera 64’