Darder withdrew in the 60th minute. Darkness then fell over Espanyol’s game. The physical discomfort of the midfielder surely deprived the Catalan team of a victory that had been carved out in a good first half. Sevilla came back from behind, first with an innocent penalty from Vini to Gueye, who later became the local hero by scoring the 3-2 lead in the 88th minute. A very hard blow for Espanyol, who has spent half his life in Seville and who now he has to receive Barcelona. A leader who can be proclaimed League champion and sentence, almost definitively, this Espanyol who has all the earmarks of going to Second. However, there are 15 points left in dispute and Luis García’s men will have to fight until the end. Sevilla, after a bad first half, reaches 44 points, already calm in the table, and will focus without problems on the great objective that lies ahead: seek the final of the Europa League by eliminating Juventus.
Dmitrovic, Alex Telles (Marcos Acuña, min. 45), Jesús Navas, Gudelj, Rekik, Óliver Torres (Loic Bade, min. 90), Pape Alassane Gueye, Bryan Gil Salvatierra (Montiel, min. 75), Rakitic, Suso ( Lucas Ocampos, min. 32) and Rafa Mir (En-Nesyri, min. 45)
Pacheco, Cabrera, Óscar Gil, Sergi Gómez, Brian (Rubén Sánchez, min. 66), César Montes, Denis Suárez (Edu Expósito, min. 81), Javi Puado, Melamed (Keidi, min. 81), Darder (Vinicius, min. 60) and Joselu
goals 1-0 min. 22: Bryan Gil Salvatierra. 1-1 min. 29: Rekik (pp). 1-2 min. 42: Javi Puado. 2-2 min. 69: Lucas Ocampos. 3-2 min. 87: Pape Alassane Gueye.
Referee Javier Alberola Rojas
Yellow cards Bryan Gil Salvatierra (min. 47), Denis Suárez (min. 62) and Vinicius (min. 91)
Urged by Getafe’s victory, Espanyol stood at the Sánchez Pizjuán with water up to their necks. Faced with a challenge of these conditions, the Catalan team responded with personality. Also with terrible mistakes behind that undoubtedly justify their position in the relegation zone. Luis García arranged a team with a clear offensive vocation and Mendilibar responded with a massive rotation. Up to eight changes with respect to the eleven that he lost against Girona last Monday. Sevilla is not there for so many replacements, with their minds set on the Europa League semifinal, there being an abysmal difference, for example, between the performances of Mir or En-Nesyri.
However, the trembling of Espanyol in their defensive zone allowed Sevilla to reach the goal defended by Pacheco with some danger. Oliver Torres missed a very clear chance, well frustrated by Pacheco himself. Even Bryan Gil, after the VAR intervention, made it 1-0 on the scoreboard. With everything lost, Espanyol began to play football very well. Darder and Melamed began to exude talent, very well seconded by Joselu, excellent in unloading. This is how the equalizer was forged. Three touches of class with a pass from Darder to the area that Rekik put into his own goal. Again there was a VAR review and again Alberola gave the goal.
Espanyol had tuned in. Brave, with a lot of touch against a Sevilla that was falling apart. A wonderful pass from Melamed left Joselu alone, who threw wide with everything in his favour. And the second goal came. A delight. A game change to Oliván led to a pass back. Puado hit him with quality and Dimitrovic, who perhaps could have done something else, swallowed it. Espanyol had done the most difficult thing against a Sevilla with too many substitutes, who underestimated their rival. Darder’s departure from the field changed everything. Gudelj supported Sevilla and the Andalusian team found in Gueye the footballer who made the difference. Vini’s penalty, an avoidable stomp, condemned Espanyol. A team that plays well, but is in an extreme situation.
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