Espanyol defeated Villarreal on Thursday at the RCDE Stadium (3-1) and qualified for the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey, in a duel that started in the first half with two penalty shots in five minutes.
Joan Francesc Ferrer, 'Rubi', Espanyol coach promised to go for the game from the start, despite the 2-2 of the first leg, and so it was. The intensity of the host, as well as his presence in the opposite area, was much greater in the early stages than Villareal, with an eleven full of rotations and thinking about his terrible situation in LaLiga.
As the clock progressed, the yellow box balanced the balance. The warnings started and Raba, although he was offside, he examined Roberto's reflexes at ten minutes.
Espanyol played as best you know: attack. The two wanted to get ahead on the scoreboard.
Borja Iglesias, the greatest director of the Catalans, insisted before Andres, although without clear occasions. The parrots looked to get ahead with distant shots and centers from the wings, without success. Villarreal came to the domain of Roberto with more ease, but also without success.
The blue and white box insisted more and took the prize. In minute 32, Borja Iglesias fell in the area after being knocked down by Pepe Castaño and the referee pointed to a penalty. Piatti was responsible for launching it. The Argentine cheated the goalkeeper and scored 1-0. The ticket to rooms was closer.
It was the moment of Espanyol. When the RCDE Stadium was still celebrating the first goal, Gayún did not allow the advance of Puado and the referee scored, again, a maximum penalty. It was then the turn of Borja, who made his fans roar with the second penalty of the night with his tenth goal of the course.
With the score at 2-0, Villarreal had to score two goals to force extra time. Samu Chukwueze, the most incisive player of the visiting team, was put under the spotlight with a goal to frame. A lash with a thread at the far post just before the break that changed the stage completely.
In the resumption, Espanyol maintained its initial proposal and did not speculate. Their revolutions made it difficult for the yellow team to leave the ballalthough they did not take away the danger. An error by Roberto in the service, in the 57th minute, disturbed the stadium: the match was far from being controlled.
He made it clear the sound of the ball crashing into a post after a direct foul launched by Layún two minutes later. The Mexican forced a corner. The parakeets lived complicated moments, without so much fluidity in the circulation or in the exit from behind. Those of Luis García, on the other hand, lived in the opposite field.
The coach of Villarreal gave Gerard Moreno, exblanquiazul, entrance to sign the extension. Anyway, it was Borja Iglesias, his relay, who solved the match and the eliminatory. In the 73rd minute, the Galician forward dissipated doubts by safely finishing off a corner kick.
With 3-1, the climb became epic for the yellows. The shock slowed down in its outcome, although Borja Iglesias sought to expand his income. Two goals did not seem enough to celebrate his birthday.
► Technical sheet:
3 – Espanyol: Robert; Javi López, David López (Lluís López, min.79), Naldo, Pedrosa (Dídac Vilà, min.47); Darder, Álex López, Marc Roca; Javi Puado (Melendo, min.64), Piatti and Borja Iglesias.
1- Villarreal: Andrew; Miguelón, Pepe Castaño, Bonera, Layún; Samuel Chukwueze, Fire, Caseres (Trigueros, min.78), Pedraza (Iván, min.83); Raba and Bacca (Gerard Moreno, min.69).
Goals: 1-0, min.33: Piatti, penalty; 2-0, min.38: Borja Iglesias, penalty; 2-1, min.42: Samu Chukwueze; 3-1, min.74: Borja Iglesias;
Referee: González Fuertes (Asturian school). He admonished Cáseres (min.29), Bacca (min.33), Layún (min.39), Dídac (min.58) and Javi Fuego (min.90).
Incidents: return match of the second round of the Copa del Rey played at the RCDE Stadium before 11,171 spectators.