1-1: All square in the Anxo Carro
RDT was close to clinching the victory for Espanyol, but the post denied the striker from Madrid
Espanyol started positively by taking control and keeping possession, knowing that the loyal style of Lugo would open up metres in their half to create a counter attack when they got the first chance. The ‘blanquiazules’ (blue and whites) knew they had to perform their best, especially to stop the towering physical presence of the home team, which has the tallest and most determined squad in the category for making those qualities count in order to keep accumulating points. So, following the first corner for the home side in the eighth minute, there were up to five finishers next to the post looking for a scoring opportunity. Diego López managed to clear the centre, but the ball stopped dead at the feet of Campabadal who hammered it into the net. 1-0 and the best scenario for Lugo. The hardest part was done. Now with the one goal lead, the match opened up just like they wanted.
As the hard workers they are in this magic formula, the home side didn’t lose their patience defending in their half because they knew Hugo Rama and Barreiro would pressurise the home defence, and that ‘Puma’ Rodríguez and Gerard would be stylets along the wings.
In fact it was Gerard who had a couple of interventions that were stopped by Diego López, while the blue and whites dominated and continually put pressure on Lugo’s goalkeeper - Cantero. Coming up to the end of the first half, and after a period of continual persistence, Miguelón managed to put the ball in the middle and Puado pounced to put the ball in the net. Both teams considered it was a goal, and assumed there would be a kick off. But Cantero held the ball in his area until the VAR advised the referee that Puado was in an offside position.
After the break, Espanyol stepped it up a gear and persistently approached the home side’s goal. Crosses came in from each wing, but they didn’t lead to any clear attempts at goal. Puado persistently challenged for possession deep into the home side’s half and managed to reach the byline. His pass was finished off by RDT, which then led to a mini match of 20 minutes.
Lugo were reduced to ten men after Marcelo was sent off, and this seemed to give Espanyol more options. The referee and the VAR ignored the challenge on Pedrosa which appeared to be a penalty, and the post denied RDT yet again to claim victory. The team wasn’t able to take advantage of the last few minutes and turn the match into a victory.
*Translated by Montero Language Services.