“We have lost a golden opportunity to get closer to those above, to put us in a good and exciting position, and to get far away from those behind. “He could not synthesize it better. Vicente Moreno, who without explicitly mentioning neither Europe nor the decline was released in the appearance after the Espanyol-Elche (1-2)perhaps spurred on by the heated spirits of defeat, recognizing that the parakeets let a train full of hopes escape from Cornellà station. A team sometimes impregnable, other times turned into a plant of opportunities but in the style of the department stores: where the rival can arrive and take his bargain at a bargain price.

LaLiga Santander

* Data updated as of January 11, 2022

Never take anything for granted at Espanyol would be the first piece of advice for any upstart. It is almost an endemic evil. Even in a season as stable as the current one, which has merit after the earthquake of relegation and the year in hell. It is demonstrated by the defeat against Elche in a stadium from which only Atlético de Madrid had taken the three points (1-2), and in the 99th minute. But also the franjiverde team itself, in the first round match at the Martínez Valero (2-2) and their tie over the horn. Or the Getafe (2-1), who had not yet won when he did it against the parakeets, the same capable of give Real Madrid (2-1) the only white defeat throughout the first round. A not ‘friendly’ set for bookmakers.

With very little, knowing how to be, Elche revealed the seams of a Espanyol dwarfed without Diego López or Sergi Darder, two of its bastions that failed at what he does best, such as the strategy –terrible, with 13 corners in favor and not a single center fit– or the defensive order –the two goals by Pere Milla originate from child scoring errors–, and that delved into deficiencies that during the campaign (and last year, in Second) often overlap under individual talent: the timid pressure, unbalanced bands and a certain offensive anarchy that goes beyond whether the system varies from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2, and vice versa.

Vicente Moreno greets Embarba after his substitution.

He does not owe a defeat, his first at the RCDE Stadium after four immaculate months at home, spoil all the good things built by Vicente Moreno and his staff. That there is, and a lot. Nor should the inks be charged against a specific player, and less if it is a newcomer. But it does have to serve as wake-up call in a league context in which there will be more and more at stake on all teams, and at the gates of a round of 16 of the Copa del Rey who are fought in a single match against an equal in the First Division, Mallorca.

This Espanyol more than on time, which ultimately only has one point less than in the first round – in Elche they tied, at home they lost to the franjiverdes – to keep alive the flame of illusion of this season, which will surely be far from being a drama but nor can it become another of those transition years that dwindled the social mass from the 35,000 from the inauguration of Cornellà to the little more than 20,000 from a couple of years ago. Or a mere “consolidation”. The club can’t afford it. Growth should be the only thing dispatched in this plant of opportunities.

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