Thursday September 22, 2011 (19.00 UK)
Estadi Cornelia-El Prat, Barcelona
In a game full of chances for both teams, it took a late goal from substitute Walter Pandiani to clinch a deserved three points for Espanyol but Getafe will rue their misses as they chase their first La Liga win of the season.
The visitors started the brighter and Abdel Barrada’s runs caused the Espanyol defence some early problems. Getafe could not capitalise, however, and allowed the home side to settle in, yet their build-up play was patient but fruitless as they tried to break through a disciplined defence. Captain Javier Casquero then missed two good chances for Getafe, firing his shots over Kiko Casilla’s goal from similar positions.
El Geta’s attacking trio of Miku, Pedro Rios and Abdel were connecting well but also struggling to get through a very well organised defence. Even so, the best chance of the half fell to the home side when Sergio Garcia went on a purposeful run and played it out wide to Didac Vila, who crossed deep to Alvaro Vasquez but his shot was saved athletically by Miguel Moya.
Espanyol began the second half at a high tempo, and within 40 seconds Thievy Bifouma beat his man inside the box but had his shot saved by Moya. From the subsequent corner, Javi Marquez went close after his shot was deflected just past Moya’s right-hand post.
The home side kept the pressure up but Getafe weathered the storm and threw bodies in the way of any shot Espanyol could muster. Perhaps frustrated by this, Joan Verdu hit a forty-yarder that was on target but tipped over by a backpedalling Moya. From the resulting corner, substitute Vladimir Weiss had his shot blocked on the line by Alberto Lopo as the home side continued to dominate.
Getafe still looked dangerous on the break and forced a brilliant block out of Hector Moreno who barrel-rolled along the floor into Miku’s shot. Immediately after that the ball was crossed in by Miguel Torres and landed at Valera’s feet six yards out, but the Getafe man could only blaze his shot over the bar.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men got their breakthrough in added time as Didac crossed for Garcia, whose close range shot rebounded off Moya and into the path of Pandiani who fired it in and secured all three points.
Espanyol (4-3-3): Alvarez; Galan, Amat, Moreno, Didac; Verdu, Baena, Marquez (Pandiani 76); Garcia, Alvaro (Weiss 59), Thievy (Fonte 87)
Unused subs: Casilla, Forlin, Romaric, Rodriguez
Getafe (4-1-4-1): Moya; Valera, Diaz, Lopo, Masilela (Torres 32); Perez; Casquero, Lacen, Rios (Castro 64), Abdel; Miku (Guiza 81)
Unused subs: Sarabia, Rodriguez, Leon, Codina
Did you know… There was a total of forty one fouls in this game.