The Quique Sánchez Flores era in Espanyol started with a totally crazy match in which Sevilla showed that, in Sánchez Pizjuán, it is very important to move forward first if afterwards the Andalusian team is not known. Piatti scored the first goal of the game in the 8th minute, and even Hernán and Víctor Sánchez managed to give a partial lead (2-3) to the club in Barcelona. But the team then trained by Jorge Sampaoli ended up spoiling a Espanyol permitting his area (6-4).
Two years later, and with Rubi on the bench, Espanyol comes to the field of Sevilla (6:30 p.m., BeIN LaLiga) in a plethonic and trusting moment: second in the standings, a point over those of Pablo Machín. One of the aspects that help explain the good weather of Espanyol is that it is the team that has started scoring first in more games this year: it has done it in 9 of the 11 games disputed. It is the whole of the League that has done more: behind, with 8, there is Atlético; with 7 Barça and Levante, and 6 with Sevilla, Girona, Alavés and the Real Sociedad. Teams with great potential such as Madrid, Villarreal and Betis have only managed, for the moment, 4 times.
Five of the nine games in which it started scoring first have been at RCDE Stadium, where no point has yet been escaped. The home team is suffering more problems at home: he has begun commanding the marker in four of the six journeys, but only one, in Huesca, has managed to sentence the game and retain the victory. In two scenarios (Balaídos and José Zorrilla) they started winning and ended up giving away a tie, while in Vitoria they suffered the psychological blow of the goal annulled by the VAR (it was 0-2) and they ended up seeing comm Ales went over No other team had switched an initial goal of Espanyol from Sevilla in the aforementioned first match with Sánchez Flores on the bench. Last year, whites and blues started scoring in 16 of the 38 games, and they lost none: 11 wins (four with David Gallego on the bench) and five ties. No team was able to overcome them.
Just losing 93 minutes
The white-and-blue team is taking advantage of the psychological drive that marks first, but this course costs him to sentence the games and, at home, he pays for it. Al Sánchez Pizjuán this year has only scored four rivals in the seven league games and the Europa League: Standard de Liège, Celta, Getafe and Huesca. Two of them, however, did so in the final stretch with goals that did not change the Seville victory. But Espanyol has added value: it is the team, tied with Atlético, that fewer games have started losing (only two, against Madrid and the Rayo). A figure that proves that it is not easy to score first in front of a well-defended Spanish defender for a Rubi who does not leave any facet at random. Defensive solvency allows white-and-blue players, for example, to be one of the teams that took less minutes behind the marker (93): 31 against the Alaveses, 49 against Madrid and 13 with the Rayo. In Vallecas they came back (they won 1-2 for a while), while the Bernabéu scuffed the tie. Only in Vitoria did they feel the threat. Knowing to overcome adversity is an added value. Only Atlético, with 51 minutes of the 990 disputed, lost less time in this League.
The stage in which the Panda debuted
The match at Sánchez Pizjuán will be a level test for the whole team, but will have a symbolic component for Borja Iglesias. Sevilla was one of the teams that wanted the Panda in the summer, but they could not offer the title that yes guaranteed him the Espanyol. On the other hand, Gallego made his debut in Primera on this stage on January 3, 2015, when he entered the minute 79 by Santi Mina. That was his only game in the top category with Celta. Three years later the Panda highlights Primera: "Let's go to Sevilla with all the confidence in the world, to look for the three points, which would be to punch at the table. We just think about where we are and look further up. The challenge is to catch the first one ". The Panda is hungry.