As it happened: Espanyol breeze past 10-man Alaves on La Liga return 
Photo by Adam Millington


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Thank you very much for following this afternoon's commentary and be sure to check back with VAVEL UK for all the La Liga and Bundesliga action this weekend!
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Fernando's Pacheco early red card proved a game changer, leaving Alaves struggling with 10 men for a good 80 minutes.

A goal at the end of the first half and beginning of the second was enough for Espanyol to secure a huge three points, as the Pericos are set for a relegation dog fight with nine La Liga games remaining this campaign.

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92' And that is that! Goals from Bernardo Espinoza and Wu Lei give Espanyol a much needed three points on the return of La Liga football!
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90' Four minutes added on at the end of the 90 minutes.


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89' It's huge chance for three! Raul De Tomas plays the ball back to the unmarked Sergi Darder, however he flashes a low effort just wide from 10 yards out!
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Espanyol Substitutes

85' Double change for the hosts as Jonathan Calleri and David Lopez as replaced by Ander Itturaspe and Facundo Ferreya 
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Alaves Substitute

Final change for Alaves as Borja Sainz replaces Victor Camarasa
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81' Raul De Tomas cuts in from the right on the edge box and has a low effort well saved by Roberto!
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78' West Brom loanee, Oli Burke is booked for an elbow on Leandro Cabrera.
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77' Oscar Melendo is replaced by Matias Vargas
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69' Raul De Tomas breaks through on goal, tries to round Roberto, but the Alaves keeper is equal to it and denies the Espanyol front man!
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66' Substitute Luis Rioja is the fifth man to go into the referee's book.
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55' Two changes as Rodrigo Ely and Ljubomir Fejsa are replaced byLuis Rioja and Tomas Pina
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53' A low free kick by Marc Roca nearly catches out Roberto at his near post but he does well to save!
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Espanyol Substitute

52' Another change for the hosts as Sergi Darder replaces Ardi Embarba 
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51 Change for the hosts as Raul De Tomas comes on for Wu Lei.

The last thing 10-man Alaves wanted to see...

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47' IT'S TWO! Alaves get their offside trap all wrong allowing Wu Lei to break through and finish past Roberto to double his side's lead!
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SECOND HALF: Espanyol 1-0 Alaves

The hosts get the second half going!
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Alaves Substitution

Change at the break for the visitors as Aleix Vidal is replaced by Pedro Pons.


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HALF TIME Round-up

Pacheco's early sending off has proved costly for the visitors after first half dominated by Espanyol.

Despite some superb stops from sub keeper, Roberto the former Espanyol man could do nothing to keep out Bernardo's header in the final stages of the first half, giving the hosts a deserved lead at the half way point.

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Bernardo's goal is the last bit of action in the first 45 minutes, meaning Espanyol go into the break with the lead!
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48' ESPANYOL HAVE THE OPENER! An Ardi Embarba cross from the left is met by Bernardo Espinoza who heads home from six yards to give his side a valuable lead!
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45' Five minutes added on at the end of the first half
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43' A deep free kick into the Alaves box is met by Jonathan Calleri who's header at the back post is again well saved by Roberto, down to his left.
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40' Heroics from Roberto once again! Firstly he denies Didac Vila with a great save at the near post, the follow up is then met by Adri Embarba who's acrobatic attempt from six yards is again denied by the veteran keeper!

It seems the former West Ham man has definitely left his struggling form in East London!

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35' Espanyol much the stronger side at the moment, but are still yet to make their extra man count with an opener.
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30' Break in play as the players stop for a drinks break...
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30' Great chance for the hosts and it's Wu Lei again! The number seven breaks free of his man and has an effort from close range denied by Roberto not once but twice, great keeping by the Alaves back-up shot stopper!
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28' Wu Lei is then booked for his handball.
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26' A great ball into the box finds Wu Lei, who beats Roberto to the ball to slot home, however the Espanyol is denied the opener after being adjudged to have handled the ball!
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22' Great chance for the hosts as Adri Embarba's free-kick following the handball flies just over the bar from the edge of the box!
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21' The 21st minute is always a special one at the RCDE Stadium, as claps are played out across the sound system in respect of former player and number 21, Dani Jarque 
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20' Edgar Mendez is the man sacrificed as substitute keeper and former Espanyol man, Roberto comes on.
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18' DRAMA! A long ball is played over the top for Wu Lei, however the outrunning Fernando Pacheco beats him to it and handles outside his area and is giving his marching orders by the referee!
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12' Edgar Mendez breaks free through the middle of the Espanyol defence and appears to be pulled down by David Lopez, however the referee waves away the claims and play goes on.
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YELLOW CARD - Adri Embarba

3' No signs of any social distancing here as Embarba picks up an early booking for a late challenge.
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1' Drama already as Jonathan Calleri does well to chase down Alaves keeper, Fernando Pacheo fortunately for the latter his blushes are spared as the ball is cleared!
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KICK OFF: Espanyol 0-0 Alaves

Equipped with fan noise acorss the RCDE Stadium speakers, Alaves get us under way!
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A minute of remembrance will take place for all those lost in the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Here come the teams

The substitutes are making their way into their social distant seats in the stands, the players are in the tunnel and everything is set at the Cornellà-El Prat!
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That's the message from the hosts who have added plenty of fan-banners across the RCDE Stadium in absence of their supporters'


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Team News

So there we have it, Both side's main front men, Raul De Tomas and Lucas Perez BOTH miss out!

There goes yesterday's one-to-watch shouts...

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Deportivo Alaves Starting XI

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RCD Espanyol Starting XI

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It's match day! Stay tuned throughout the day for all the pre-match build up.


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How to watch and follow RCD Espanyol vs Deportivo Alaves live stream

If you want to watch the game on TV: Premier Sports (Free Sports)

If you want to follow online: VAVEL UK, of course!

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Deportivo Alaves Team News

The visitors will be without target man, Joselu due to a suspension picked up prior to the coronavirus break, however one man returning from suspension and available for selection is right-back Aleix Vidal.
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RCD Espanyol Team News

The hosts will be without their number one shot-stopper, Diego Lopez after the veteran was sent off in the Pericos last outing before the break against Osasuna.

Long term absentee, Sebastien Corchia remains sidelined, however Marc Roca is expected to return after recovering from an injury that kept him out pre-lockdown.

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Deportivo Alaves One-to-watch - Lucas Perez

There is no doubt the away side will also be counting on their front man, with former Arsenal man, Lucas Perez sure to be the main man for Alaves. 

The forward is tied-third in La Liga's top scorers after netting 11 times this campaign, and it would be no surprise to see him add to that tally in this one.

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RCD Espanyol One-to-Watch - Raul De Tomas

One man the Pericos will be counting on come Saturday is January signing, Raul De Tomas. The Spaniard has proved  to be a shining light in a bleak 2020, netting five goals in his seven appearances for the club.
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Recent Form

Whilst both side's form can't really be classed as recent it's Alaves who entered the pandemic break in  stronger form. The visitors picked up just one defeat in their previous seven outings, with three wins and three draws also coming in that time.

For Espanyol the form book is much bleaker, with just one win in their last eight games.

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Last Time They Met

The last time these two sides locked horns resulted in a goalless draw as they played out a bore 0-0 at the Mendizorrotza Stadium.
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The Great Escape Begins

For Espanyol it's make or break, as the Pericos head into game rock-bottom of La Liga, six points from safety. 

With the Catalunya club's 26-year stay in the La Liga at stake, the pressure lies on manager, Abelardo Fernández to somehow save his side from the drop.

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La Liga Returns

After three months without Spanish top flight football La Liga finally returns for match day 28, as struggling Espanyol host Alaves at the RCDE Stadium

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Hello everyone and welcome to VAVEL UK's live text commentary of RCD Espanyol vs Deportivo Alaves as La Liga finally returns. My name is Josh Lees and I'll be providing you live updates both pre-match and in game, stay tuned!