1-3: Reaction and victory
Espanyol bounce back after Castellón’s initial goal, to end up taking the three points at the Castàlia stadium
Three well-earned points. Three points of battling and conviction until the final whistle. Three points to claim first place at the top of the table, and to confirm that the team continues to recover positive sensations. In short - three golden points.
But it’s important to remember that we had to be persistent throughout the match until the end, as demonstrated since the kick-off. Castellón were clear about the fact that their competent and strong defending they showed in the last four matches would be their starting point versus an Espanyol side that started the match for the victory. The match kicked off with a Castellón side that were determined to battle for every metre up front, and defend every inch of their own area with all forces available.
The home side got lucky quickly. Defensive indecision ended up with Ortuño’s fall inside the area. The referee didn’t hesitate. David López protested as much as possible. The VAR wasn’t consulted, but the TV footage seemed to show a theatrical dive. Marc Mateu converted the penalty. 1-0. Time for the come back, and to fully concentrate on winning the three points.
Espanyol took command of the match and started to unsettle the home side’s goal while faced with a heavily populated defence. Melendo couldn’t convert Dídac’s cross and Dimata fell in the box during a move similar to that of the penalty incident. No VAR, nothing, and a yellow card for the Belgian.
Barely a few minutes later and Espanyol levelled the scoreline. David’ spectacular header was the result of a corner. The Espanyol player was rewarded with the goal due to his determination. Espanyol notched up another goal before half-time thanks to Darder’s finish after Melamed chased the ball up to the by-line. The come back was accomplished before the break, and Castellón were down to ten men due to Iago Indias being sent off after receiving two yellow cards.
With the second half underway, the white and blues wanted to close the match in a hurry. RDT had the first attempt by scuffing the bar, and then Darder managed to score the third shortly after from a good flowing move between players to set up the opportunity. Many things were still to come. Melamed was clearly brought down a couple of times inside the area without any further investigation, and a goal by Darder was disallowed. On this occasion, the VAR was consulted as Dídac was possibly caught offside at the start of the play, even though the referee allowed the goal.