0-1: The triumph of patience
Espanyol dominated the entire match, and had good opportunities, but had to wait until the end to take victory
Just two minutes before Marc Roca's departure for Munich was made official, Nico Melamed hit the Sabadell goal and, despite being in training, showed his candidacy for time in the first team this season. Thanks to a deep pass and the serenity with which the young blue and white faced Mackay, the three points fell to Espanyol's side in a match that should have been resolved much earlier.
30 years later, Espanyol returned to play a league match against Sabadell at Nova Creu Alta, a slightly remodelled setting prepared for the occasion. However, the Sabadell field is not unknown to the blue and whites. Here it wrote, incidentally, two brilliant episodes of its history. During Sabadell's 'exile' it qualifed for UEFA in the mid-90s and at the end of that decade, played the 'Intertoto Cup' that raised that wonderful 'Fifth'.
That is the old story. The current one is that the blue and whites also remember the clear warning they received in Oviedo last Sunday. This afternoon we expected another match of fighting, and chewing the game to the end. Espanyol had up to seven more or less clear opportunities to go to into the break with an advantage. But this was prevented, sometimes by the post, and other times by Mackay, the local goalkeeper. Puado, Wu Lei and Vargas were trying, but without the success of other occasions. Even a fall within Darder's area, which seemed very obvious, came to nothing because the referee did not want to know about it.
The second half started as a blue and white monologue. They continued to dominate and in the first minutes two good opportunities were created, again by Wu and Vargas. Sabadell knew they couldn't continue like this and took a step forward. Diego López again fully utilised a couple of opportunities and warned his teammates that they had to stay focused on the game. In the final stretch of the game, with the changes made, Nico Melamed found a first shot that cleared the local goal in a hurry and, just a couple of minutes later, this time, with the calm of a veteran, he faced and found the only possible gap to send the ball to the back of the net. Four minutes later, Puado had the chance to close the game, but his shot grazed the post. Three more points. Two consecutive starts and two wins.