4-0: Clear victory to close the stage
Espanyol beat Almeria with an intense, relentless match
Espanyol has shown in its four pre-season games that it is beginning to employ a clear pattern of play, but, above all, there is one concept that will be repeated like a mantra throughout the season: intensity.
This is non-negotiable for Vicente Moreno, and that is how the squad that finished today's suffocating friendly played it, closing in on the UD Almeria goal despite the comfortable advantage it had gained over the 90 minutes.
Today's early game (which allowed the team to return to Barcelona the same day) was played under a scorching sun and at a frenetic pace. The Blue and Whites have been performing well since they started working, and thus closed their stage in Marbella against UD Almeria, a team that must be taken very seriously. Last year they wanted to show their candidacy to enter the direct promotion, although in the end they had to settle for a play off that ended up being unsuccessful, giving the sense, however, that it will be a loss with repercussions. In fact, until Espanyol took the lead on the scoreboard, it gave the sense that despite finishing later than the others, they have not lost the tone of the competition.
Espanyol, as it has done in all the matches in Marbella, commanded and carried the weight of the game from the beginning, although the opportunities at goal were slow to come. But when they did arrive, they were very clear. In fact, RDT slammed a ball on the crossbar and, minutes later, took advantage of a steal by Fran Mérida to dribble his opponent and get past the goalie as he moved out, right at the end of the first half. Blue and White 9's first game, and first goal.
After the break came the coup de grace. Wu Lei scored the second shortly after starting with a header that hit the post, bounced off the body of the Almeria goalkeeper and ended up going in. And with the game controlled and dominated, Darder put the magic with a goal from 40 metres out in an incredible launch that sentenced any possibility of Almeria's reaction.
But this Espanyol is intense and, from the defensive control, it wants more and more... It keeps going. And it does not stop. And it does not let up. And it does not speculate on the strength of whoever is on the field. Campuzano signed the fourth as soon as he entered the field, and in the last minutes Álex López and Darder once again had two clear chances to extend the lead, but Lluís Tarrés brilliantly stopped their shots.