Sporting edge past Espanyol with late winner; Malaga outlast Real Sociedad
A last-gasp winner from Alex Menendez saw Sporting Gijon beat Espanyol 2-1 and pick up their second win of the season.
The winger restored the visitors’ lead in stoppage time after Felipe Caicedo had cancelled out Alen Halilovic’s first-half wonder-goal, taking Sporting up to 10th place in the Primera Division table, just one point behind the Catalans. The Asturians had most of the ball in the early stages, with Halilovic the architect of their attacking play.
It was no surprise that it was the Croatian who put the visitors in front. Right-back and captain Lora dispossessed Victor Alvarez in midfield and the ball fell into the path of Halilovic, who took one touch before sending the ball spinning high into the net from 25 yards.
Espanyol were presented with a way back into the game on 26 minutes when Caicedo was felled by Bernardo, but the Ecuadorian’s spot-kick was well saved by Alberto Garcia.
In the second half Sporting’s Roma loanee Antonio Sanabria missed a gilt-edged chance to double his side’s advantage, hitting the crossbar from close range, and Espanyol went straight down the other end levelled.
Ruben Duarte made it to the left byline and cut the ball into the six yard box for Caicedo to meet and compensate for his earlier penalty miss. However, Sporting recovered from this blow and nicked the three points at the death.
Thirty seconds after the two minutes of added time had elapsed, Menendez raced forward to meet a low cross from substitute Pablo Perez, taking one touch to control before arrowing low into the bottom corner.
Malaga 3, Real Sociedad 1
Malaga have beaten Real Sociedad 3-1 to end their goal drought and increase the pressure on La Real manager David Moyes.
They had set a record by becoming the first time in Liga history not to score in their opening six fixtures but a hat-trick for striker Charles Dias de Oliveira finally gave their season a sense of momentum. Imanol Agirretxe scored for La Real yet after they went 2-0 behind, yet, for all of their efforts and Malaga being reduced to 10 men, an equalising goal ultimately eluded them and Charles’ third took a point beyond their reach.
The result will again inspire speculation surrounding Moyes’ future. Four points from six in Sociedad’s past two fixtures had eased some of the pressure following a disappointing start to the season but they have lost to another struggling team. Chesting a fourth-minute cross from Recio amid poor defending from La Real, Brazilian Charles, with both time and space, impressively volleyed past goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli to secure his side’s first league goal of the season.
Malaga again scored three minutes later, and again through Charles. Charles was left to sprint through on goal directly from Carlos Kameni’s goal-kick, and sent a classy finish over the onrushing Rulli. La Real’s goal came within seven minutes, when Agirretxe read David Zurutuza’s left-wing cross to head beyond Kameni, but their pursuit of a second led to Malaga’s third.
Agirretxe had a goal disallowed for offside in the 81st minute and Fernando Tissone had been dismissed with two yellow cards before, in the 89th, Charles reacted first to a loose ball in the penalty area to score into the bottom corner and take the result beyond doubt.
Granada 1, Deportivo La Coruna 1
A second-half equaliser from Piti rescued a point for Granada and denied Deportivo La Coruna a third straight Primera Division win.
The forward’s 65th-minute strike cancelled out Fayal Fayr’s goal midway through the first half to give the Andalusians their first point in five matches, lifting them off the foot of the table for 24 hours at least.
Jonathan Rodriguez should have given the Galicians an early lead when Granada goalkeeper Andres Fernandez spilled the ball out to his feet, but the Uruguayan was unable to keep his effort down. Fajr compensated for his team-mate’s profligacy by striking a Fernando Navarro cutback first time to surprise Fernandez and put Depor ahead on 25 minutes,
Luis Alberto and Celso Borges both squandered chances to put the visitors further ahead before the break and early in the second half Alberto and Rodriguez missed further opportunities.
However, Granada soon managed to get a grip on the game. Piti fired a warning shot from way outside the area which struck a post and then Youssef El Arabi had a shot deflected wide.
The hosts’ pressure paid off when Piti connected with a cross from Robert Ibanez and beat German Lux, although the goal could have been ruled out as Cristiano Biraghi was in an offside position when he played in Ibanez. Granada remain in the relegation zone despite the draw.