Espanyol saves a point against Zaragoza

An avoidable mistake by Fernando Calero cost Espanyol dearly in their attempt to climb to the promotion positions this day.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
08 December 2023 Friday 03:23
6 Reads
Espanyol saves a point against Zaragoza

An avoidable mistake by Fernando Calero cost Espanyol dearly in their attempt to climb to the promotion positions this day. The blue and white team needed to win against Zaragoza after a embarrassing defeat in Oviedo, but the expulsion of the central defender from Valladolid in the second half conditioned a match that minutes before had put a goal by Edu Expósito on track with more skill than brilliance. Ramis's team suffered until the end, even able to overcome and come close to winning. The draw is a lesser evil, but it should never be a good result at home.

The parakeet fan knew that the night was important and he came without regrets. It was a holiday in the middle of a bridge, a cool Friday night that did not at all invite you to visit the Stage Front, but there was the incentive of seeing the true debut of Ramis's team, which until now had surpassed favorable rivals at home, but he had suffered excessively outside. Zaragoza was a contender with enough strength to measure the football health of this Espanyol, troubled excessively at the beginning of the season.

This was a game to win. And Espanyol did not want to speculate. Maximum intensity from the start, high pressure, depth on the wings and enough forcefulness to govern the duel. Ramis opted for Jofre, scorer in the Cup, and Edu Expósito on the wings. And he dispensed with Pere Milla, a regular in the eleven, to advance Puado's position. But all the blue and white momentum lasted as long as Zaragoza allowed, a team that with Julio Velázquez has improved a lot without the ball and that knows how to read perfectly when to press high and when to put away their clothes.

Soon the bosses overwhelmed Álvaro Aguado, in the absence of Nico Melamed, the key piece of this Espanyol for his ability to associate in the middle, and inaccuracies began in the blue and white team. Suddenly, they were playing what Zaragoza wanted, with each time with greater capacity to go out into the opponent's field successfully. But they only intimidated with a long shot from Toni Moya.

It was in the final stretch of the first half when the blue and white team's problems in attacking a hard-fought defense like Zaragoza's became clear. The absence of an idea and valid mechanisms caused increasing frustration. At half-time, they had not been able to shoot between the sticks.

Ramis's reaction was furious. Annoyed by the poor performance of his team, he ordered a triple substitution at half-time. Pere Milla, Lozano and Omar entered, and the team was better organized in three quarters of the field. Both Puado and Milla were able to receive with options on both sides, and the team renewed its energy. It was in one of Puado's usual drives when he changed the game. The youth player enabled Brian Oliván and his cross was finished off in a formidable way by Edu Expósito coming from behind. In the first shot between the sticks, Espanyol found the goal, once again more intense than their rival.

However, the joy was short-lived because Calero saw the red card three minutes later for hitting Valera in the ribs with his knee. The script change was radical. Suddenly, he had to resist with one less, fight for some much-needed points.

It took Zaragoza to assert their superiority, but after a quarter of an hour, and in the first appearance of Manu Vallejo, who had just entered, the striker finished off a cross from the right by Fran Gámez. Zaragoza tilted the field, threatening again with a shot from Sergi Enrich hitting the post. A proud reaction from Espanyol even allowed them to have a chance to win, but they had to settle for a valuable point.