0-3: Efficiency and intensity
Espanyol leads from the beginning to beat a strong Malaga
The first victory of the preseason came in possibly the most difficult game so far. Less brilliant than against Cádiz in terms of offensive showiness, Espanyol had enormous efficiency in the final metres and beat a strong Malaga with a huge collective effort and the intensity it has been showing since beginning training just over three weeks ago.
Espanyol faced this afternoon's game against Malaga with the intention of continuing to show defensive capacity, and the drive to improve offensive power we saw against Cádiz. Málaga, for its part, burdened by non-sporting problems affecting the club's financial liquidity and, therefore, a good number of its players, had the option to show that the tie it achieved a few days ago against 'EuroGranada' was enough to worry the Blue and Whites.
But Espanyol came out ahead from the very beginning. Fran Mérida put a ball ahead of Javi Puado over Dani Barrio's start, but his shot went slightly high. The only local reply between the three sticks was a foul by José Rodríguez that touched the top of the crossbar.
Espanyol upped the intensity and the collective effort and, from a play that was born in the defence, with three touches (Lluís López, Melendo and Embarba), ended with the Madrilenian's shot at the back of the net. Espanyol's advantage left Malaga weakened, even more so when, a few minutes later, Puado extended the advantage after another good assist from Melendo.
The clear lead meant Vicente Moreno's men felt more comfortable, but they didn't lose a thing in terms of energy and determination. Not even the continuous changes in the eleven of the second half could detract from the team's vigour.
Shortly into the second half, Vargas recovered a ball and launched deep into Wu Lei. The forward tempered the ball and hit the Malagá goalkeeper low.
The 0-3 result was already unshakeable, despite the fact that Vargas had a good kick that grazed the post. The team, little by little, grouped together a little more in defence to catch their breath, but without giving up with the Argentinian's speed, as well as Campuzano and Jofre. In short, team effort and pure energy to show strength in this phase of preparation and growth that the team is in right now.