2-1: A work of art, victory and league leaders
Espanyol closed 2020 with a hard-fought victory against UD Almería thanks to goals from RDT
The last game of the year couldn't have gone any better. It started with a work of art from RDT, scoring with an amazing strike from his own half. Almería responded to the goal by turning up the heat, positioning themselves well on the pitch and managing to equalize. And the game ended with another RDT goal from the penalty spot. Three very important points to bring 2020 to a close in the best way possible.
It was David López's 200th match with the Blue and Whites, and with so many fans joining the team as they travelled to the RCDE Stadium, failure wasn't an option. It wouldn't have been fair.
The Almería team had had a complete makeover since they last played Espanyol in the preseason. Jose Gomes' team had a courageous and enticing game plan. In fact, the visitors came out onto the pitch with very clear ideas, surprising the locals who had to put in a lot of effort in defence in the first few minutes. Puado had the first opportunity after Pedrosa set him up. However, Espanyol are lucky to have a
champion like RDT in their ranks. The striker controlled the ball, lobbed one of his opponents then got the better of Makaridze, scoring the goal of the season from his own half. A work of art.
However, despite being a goal down, Almería didn't give up and carried on winning possession, though other than a very tight shot from Lazo, they never put Espanyol in too much danger. Vicente Moreno's men were well positioned in defence and turned down the pressure as the match unfolded. In fact, Espanyol got more into the game and had a few strong opportunities. Their best chance came with a disallowed goal from RDT. The referee blew for a foul on Puado that could have seen Balliu sent off, but he got away with a yellow card. Embarba's shot went over. Before the break, Sadiq made the locals' hearts sink with a shot that hit the outside of the post.
The start of the second half brought bad news for Espanyol. Ortiz Arias called for a penalty after a handball from Óscar Gil. It was converted by Corpas. It was time to start from scratch again. Espanyol made some substitutions and got the upper hand on Almería. Melamed came off the bench and had a good opportunity to put the parakeets ahead again. Almería weren't giving up either and Sadiq almost scored, but ran into a jubilant Diego López. This bit of play was a prelude to the Blue and White's winning goal. Fran Mérida drew a penalty after he was fouled in the box. With astonishing calm, RDT got the better of the Georgian goalkeeper, winning three points for his team against strong opposition.