Espanyol battle back for first away league win
A 1-2 win against Valencia CF rounds off the year
Espanyol closed the 2021 with a 1-2 victory against Valencia CF at Mestalla, turning around a deficit in the final ten minutes to claim a first away win of the season in LaLiga. Raúl de Tomás and Javi Puado got the goals for Los Pericos.
The first half was a tactical affair, with both teams looking to take the lead but keeping their composure. Espanyol were well organised, and enjoyed efforts off target for Embarba, RDT, Loren and Melamed. For Valencia CF, a header by Hugo Duro hit the base of Diego López's right post, in the only moment of trouble in the opening period.
Just before the end of the first half, Espanyol had a handball appeal against Correia waved away, denying them a penalty that was not checked by VAR.
The second half began with a clear shot by RDT after just eleven seconds, as Loren crossed in and he put the ball over both the oncoming goalkeeper and the crossbar.
It would be Valencia who took the lead, with a headed goal from Alderete on 51 minutes.
The game then took on another rhythm, and changes in personnel were made. Second half substitute Puado, first, and then RDT, made goalkeeper Cillessen uncomfortable.
A LaLiga debut was handed to Jofre Carreras, and his impact was almost instant: First of all, he won a penalty when fouled by Hugo Duro (sent off for a second yellow card). RDT promptly dispatched the spot kick to make it 1-1.
Jofre then sent in a well-placed cross, that Puado headed into the back of the net to put his side 1-2 up.
A shot onto the crossbar by Iranzo created a nervy finale to the game, but the team held on to earn an elusive away win to close the year.