Espanyol climb into Euro spots with victory over Granada
Mauricio Pochettino’s Espanyol moved into the European spots after a comfortable 3-0 win over Granada at the Cornella El-Prat made it five league games without defeat for the Catalans.
Raul Baena opened the scoring on 25 minutes, nodding home at the far post after Thievy Bifouma had headed on a Ndri Romaric corner, then Joan Verdu doubled the advantage from the penalty spot just before the break following an Allan Nyom foul on Vladimir Weiss. Rui Fonte then put the result beyond doubt 10 minutes from time with an acrobatic shot after keeper Julio César had pushed Romaric’s free-kick on to the bar.
Espanyol are now fifth in the table but Pochettino remained cautious afterwards, claiming the victory was not as easy as it might have looked and insisting his player’s thoughts have already turned to this week’s Copa del Rey second leg quarter-final against Mirandés.
“It was very difficult despite what the 3-0 scoreline says. We had the fans behind us from the first minute in what was a very emotional match due to a lot of circumstances,” commented the Argentinean, referring to the unveiling of a statue before the game in tribute to the late Dani Jarque.
“We have already reached 28 points in the first half of the season, but that’s another story. We are now thinking about the Mirandés fixture and have to change our mentality for the cup. I have asked the players to get maximum rest because we will have another demanding game on Tuesday.”
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