0-2: Defeat in the RCDE Stadium
Espanyol lose at home against an effective FC Cartagena side
Espanyol added their third home defeat of the season after losing the match versus Cartagena, which didn’t leave much to talk about. After the draw versus R. Zaragoza, the already promoted white and blue team found themselves beaten by a rival in need, and battling against relegation.
Vicente Moreno decided to make several changes in his starting eleven compared to the previous match against R. Zaragoza, so that some other less regular players could enjoy some time on the pitch. One of the white and blue manager's objectives was to keep up the competitive spirit, although this wasn’t easy after achieving promotion. The team started the match positively against a rival that was fighting to avoid relegation, but a little more presence was lacking in the half of the visiting team. The minutes passed by uneventfully until two unfavourable situations occurred: the first was Fran Mérida's injury, which resulted in him being substituted, and then Cartagena managed to go one up after a move that was badly defended by the home side. Then, to rub salt in the wound, Wu Lei found the back of the net, but the Asian forward was in a clear offside position. In first-half stoppage time, Sergi Darder came closest to scoring with a powerful shot that struck the post.
But the second half didn’t start so well for the white and blues. Although the home side entered their rival’s box on a couple of occasions, it was the visitors who managed to extend their lead, as Rubén Castro converted a penalty committed by Calero. Luis Carrión's side made the most out of the match: fouls, persistent time wasting, substitutions... It was impossible for Espanyol to find the pace of play they required to aspire for a positive result. The closest the white and blues got to scoring were a couple of shots by Cabrera and Dimata that could have ended up as goals.