2-0: The return we wanted
Espanyol returned to the competition with a convincing win over Alavés
We had to win and we won. The return to the competition was the one we wanted. Victory, goals, and a good team performance in general. Espanyol was far superior to their rivals. Bernardo broke the Alavés resistance before the break and Wu Lei finished it off just after the restart. With the score under control and a stunned opponent, Abelardo Fernández’s side turned the final minutes into a mere formality.
The new football returned to the RCDE Stadium, but with the team’s old emergencies. After more than three months, RCD Espanyol started their own express league against Alavés to achieve what many consider a miracle: avoiding relegation. Abelardo used his basic eleven with the inclusion of Melendo on the right flank and with the attacking pair Calleri and Wu Lei. The blue and white team had clear ideas from the start and gave their opponents little choice. In general, the parakeets were able to adapt to the strange context of the match, which will be the customary one between now and the end of the season.
Things started happening soon. A run by Wu Lei ended with Pacheco being sent off, as he caught the ball clearly outside the box. Nobody complained. The visiting team goalkeeper took off his gloves before the referee showed him the way to the changing rooms. Embarba tried to finish the job, but his free-kick hit David López. The winger and Wu Lei were very much involved and were almost always the main feature in the home team’s attacking moves. The Chinese forward had two very clear shots, but he came up against Roberto, who seemed to want to make it a bitter day for the blue-and-whites team. The Madrid-native was the visitor’s hero with his saves, and more than once prevented the home team from scoring. However, their insistence was rewarded as Bernardo managed to open the scoring with a header. A well-deserved goal.
The team came out very mentally focused after the break, kept their concentration and continued to lock up their opponents. After two minutes, Wu Lei paved the way for victory by scoring in a one-on-one against Roberto. After the second goal, it was all settled. Abelardo was able to rotate and share minutes among his players without the urgency of getting the result. Espanyol came very close to scoring a third goal, which would have been a great reward in a good comeback. The team did not fail in their first game and gained confidence for the next matches. On Tuesday, a new match against Getafe.