A goal by Nico Melamed, who turned 20 this Sunday, unbalanced the very equal duel against Leganés (2-1) and left Espanyol with practically one foot in the First Division, ten points behind the third place that marks the promotion zone direct.
With Dídac Vilà, in his 150th game defending the Blue and Whites as an improvised right-hander, the parrots did not take 1 minute to get ahead. Sergi Darder caught a bad rebound from Asier Riesgo and, almost from 40 meters, scored his first goal of the season to an empty goal.
In a match not suitable for heart patients, José Arnáiz had the tie in his boots but Diego López won the game in hand-to-hand. The ‘10’ of the ‘cucumber’ team was a constant headache for the local defense.
The minutes passed with the intensity and pressure of a match between two former Primeras and in the 16th minute, a very clear penalty by Omeruo could put things very expensive for the interests of Vicente Moreno’s. But Raúl de Tomás, who already missed a maximum penalty against Albacete, executed it like Panenka and ran into the crossbar, with Risk already beaten.
The veteran goalkeeper, in his fourth consecutive start, stood out against two separate shots from David López and Javi Puado, preventing the second goal from going up on the scoreboard. Already on the edge of the break, Dídac avoided bigger baddies by throwing himself to the ground to block a dangerous shot from Javi Hernández.
Already with Melamed on the pitch instead of Puado, the second half started as dynamic as the first, with two frank shots from RDT from inside the area that were centered on the Madrid native. Who did not fail minutes later was Miguel, who took advantage of a series of rejections to surpass Diego López and inaugurate his scoring locker this season.
The Leganés goal left Espanyol groggy, but when the tie was beginning to be considered good in Cornellà-El Prat, Melamed appeared to, with a spectacular volley, give wings to the parakeets in their attempt to return to LaLiga Santander on the fast track and consummate the ‘vendetta’ thus Espanyolista against a team that had surpassed him in their last three matches.
After the last few minutes of suffering, Juan Muñoz’s shot at the post included, Espanyol added its fifth consecutive victory and sees, with eight days remaining for the conclusion of the championship, the desired direct promotion is closer and closer.