Dec 15, 2013 at 11am UK at ​Juegos Mediterraneos
Almeria
0-0
Espanyol
 
FT

Moreno (44'), Garcia (81')

Live Commentary: Almeria 0-0 Espanyol - as it happened

Almeria fans watch their team play FC Barcelona during the La Liga match between UD Almeria and FC Barcelona at Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos on September 28, 2013
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's commentary of the La Liga clash at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos where Almeria drew 0-0 with Espanyol.

Almeria welcomed Espanyol to the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos on Sunday knowing that a point would move them out of the relegation zone in La Liga.

Verza had the chance to put Almeria ahead from the penalty spot in the first period, but the Spaniard fired high and wide of the crossbar after the referee ordered a retake due to an infringement inside the area.

Both sides had opportunities in the second half, but neither could make the breakthrough as the points were shared.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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10.31amMorning all! Our La Liga coverage begins at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos as Almeria welcome Espanyol in the early kickoff in Spain. The home side have won three of their last five games in all competitions, but they still sit in 19th spot in the table. Espanyol, meanwhile, have relied on a solid start to leave them in 12th position after 15 matches.

10.34amIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, it does not make good reading for Almeria. The home side did win 3-2 when the pair met in this stadium in February 2011, but they lost each of the previous four, failing to score and conceding seven times in the process. They will be keen to overcome that run of poor form this afternoon.

10.37amTEAMS:

ALMERIA: Esteban; Nelson, Pellerano, Trujillo, Dubarbier; Verza, Azeez, Suso, Vidal, Soriano; Diaz

ESPANYOL: Casilla; Raul, Colotto, Moreno, Fuentes; Lopez, Sanchez, Torje; Cordoba, Garcia, Stuani


10.40amSo there we have it. Oscar Diaz will lead the line for the home side this afternoon, while Soriano also comes into the XI. Aleix Vidal and Suso are also named in the side. Espanyol boss Javier Aguirre, meanwhile, has named a three-pronged attack with Cordoba, Sergio Garcia and Stuani all selected from the start.

10.43amAlmeria failed to win in any of their opening 10 matches in the league, with that run of form leaving them rock bottom of the table. They have improved in recent weeks, however, winning three times since then to move onto 12 points. They remain in 19th position, but are now just one point from safety and would move out of the drop zone with a point this afternoon.

10.46amGoals have not been too much of a problem for Almeria this season with 16 strikes in their 15 matches. Although seven of those have come from on-loan Barcelona attacker Rodri. It has been down the other end where they have struggled with 32 goals conceded, keeping just two clean sheets in the process. Only Rayo Vallecano have a worse record at this stage of the season.

10.49amEspanyol, meanwhile, were bottom of the table when Javier Aguirre took charge last November. They survived last season and a bright start to the new campaign aided suggestions that they could finish in the top eight, however, they have struggled in the last couple of weeks, taking just four points from their last six matches.

10.52amEspanyol have lost seven times in the league this season, with four of those defeats coming on the road. They secured a 2-2 draw in the Copa del Rey against Real Jaen last weekend, but have lost three of their last four in La Liga, including back-to-back home games against Sevilla and Real Sociedad.

10.55amJust a quick reminder of what we have to come this afternoon/evening in La Liga. Following this match, our live commentary resumes at 3.30pm as Real Sociedad host Real Betis, who are now under new management. Our penultimate live commentary of the evening comes from the Estadio Ramon as Sevilla host Athletic Bilbao, before Atletico Madrid host Valencia at 8pm.

10.58amPREDICTION: Espanyol might be sitting fairly comfortably in 12th position, but they have really struggled in recent weeks. Almeria, however, have started to find some form after a slow start. The home side are without their top scorer Rodri this afternoon, but I expect them to have enough to secure a share of the spoils. My score prediction is 1-1.

1 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. A point for Almeria would move them out of the bottom three, while victory would move them just three points behind Espanyol. Right, the away side get the action underway as morning becomes afternoon in Spain.

2 minNot a full house inside the stadium this afternoon, but there is a strong atmosphere. Bright start from the away side as Cordoba collects possession outside the Almeria box before attempting to drive into the area, but Nelson is across to make the challenge at the vital moment.

4 minPlenty happening in the middle of the park at the moment with the challenges flying in from both sides. It must be said that the pitch is in perfect condition at this stage of the season, which is credit to the home side. Almeria force the first corner of the afternoon through Suso, but Casilla is out to clear the danger.

6 minNeither side has really been allowed to settle inside the opening six minutes, but Espanyol have been more progressive in the final third. Cordoba remains a threat as he drives a low cross into the Almeria box, but Nelson clears at the vital moment. Almeria enjoy a period of possession moments later, but the move breaks down with Oscar Diaz.

7 minCROSSBAR! Espanyol come close to opening the scoring as Cordoba drives into the Almeria box before attempting to find the bottom corner, but Esteban tips the Colombian's effort onto the crossbar from close range. Wonderful save, but it was fine work from Cordoba, who demonstrated his turn of speed.

10 minAnother half-chance for Espanyol as Stuani meets a cross from Victor Sanchez, but his header is high of the target. Almeria are really struggling to get hold of the ball at the moment with the away side starting to dominate proceedings. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if we indeed have one - will be vital in this type of match.

12 minCHANCE! Espanyol continue to force the issue as Garcia drives past the Almeria back four before striking towards goal, but once more Esteban is across to make a fine save. The away side are in total control of proceedings with 12 minutes on the clock. However, for now, Almeria are weathering the storm.

14 minBetter from Almeria as Soriano chases a through pass from Vidal, but Colotto is across to clear the danger at the vital moment. David Lopez has a half-chance for Espanyol moments later, but his effort is straight at Esteban, who has been the busier of the two goalkeepers inside the opening 14 minutes this afternoon.

16 minHalf-chance for the home side as Nelson drives down the right before delivering a dangerous cross towards Diaz, but the Spanish striker cannot make contact at the vital moment. Almeria have certainly improved after a slow start with the likes of Vidal, Suso and Azeez seeing more of the ball in the final third.

19 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments with both sides struggling to find that elusive pass in the final third. Torje continues to threaten in wide areas with a series of crosses into the box, but Esteban has been equal to the danger thus far. Torje has another half-chance moments later, but Esteban continues to repel the danger.

20 minPENALTY TO ALMERIA!

21 minAlmeria are awarded a penalty as Torje fells Suso inside the box. It is slightly harsh, but the Romanian had no need to make that sort of challenge. Can the home side take the lead against the run of play?

22 minVerza slots his effort into the bottom corner, but it appears that the goal might not have been given? The referee is not happy with something here.

22 minRETAKE! Almeria are forced to retake following infringement inside the box!

23 minMISS! Verza fires his effort high and wide of the crossbar. What an incredible turn of events!

25 minWell, you do not see that too often. Verza dispatched from the penalty spot, but the referee called for a retake, which the Spaniard fired high and wide of the crossbar. That is a big blow for Almeria, but they must get it out of their system. Little over 20 minutes of the first period remaining this afternoon.

28 minThe home side continue to force the issue as Verza delivers a deep cross into the box, but Casilla is out to claim at the vital moment. Soriano finds Dubarbier moments later, but his cross is collected by Casilla. One-way traffic at the moment with Espanyol struggling to keep possession of the ball.

30 minHalf-chance for Espanyol this time as Fuentes delivers a dangerous cross into the Almeria box, but Nelson clears under pressure from Torje. The Romanian takes the resulting corner, but Stuani's effort hits Nelson. Almeria break with Diaz, but Colotto is across to make the challenge. End-to-end football.

32 minThere is a real sense of ill-feeling in this match as both sides clash in the middle of the pitch. However, the referee is on hand to calm proceedings. It is understood that Almeria boss Francisco has been sent to the stands following the altercation. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining.

34 minAlmeria just need to be a little bit careful here with temperatures running high inside the stadium. The supporters are also making their feelings known about the last 10 minutes or so. Espanyol have a half-chance moments later as Stuani collects a low cross from Fuentes, but his effort is wide of the post.

37 minAlmeria want another penalty as Suso stumbles inside the box, but the referee is not interested. The resulting corner is delivered by Verza, but Stuani is on hand to clear the danger. You just get the feeling that there is a goal coming before the interval. End-to-end football with 37 minutes on the clock.

39 minEspanyol just cannot keep the ball at the moment as Almeria continue to dominate possession in the middle of the park. Diaz has a half-chance moments later as he collects a loose ball outside the box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining.

41 minIt must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this afternoon, which is reflecting matters on the pitch. As far as goalless games go, this has been terrific. Espanyol have a half-chance as Fuentes combines with the referee before whipping a low cross into the box, but Esteban is out to claim.

43 minCHANCE! Espanyol come close to taking the lead two minutes before the interval as Stuani turns on the edge of the box before releasing an effort towards the top corner, but Esteban is across to make a fine save. From the resulting corner, Colotto's header is wide of the post.

45 minHow on earth is this match still goalless?! Espanyol have had three golden chances this afternoon, while Almeria passed up the chance to score from the penalty spot. Good pressure from the away side in the latter stages of the half, but Torje once more delivers into the arms of the home side's goalkeeper.

45+2 minHALF TIME: Almeria 0-0 Espanyol

11.47amSo there we have it. The referee brings the first half to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. Espanyol have had the better chances, but Almeria missed the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot after 22 minutes. Verza did find the bottom corner with his first effort, but missed the retake, which was ordered by the referee due to an infringement inside the box.

11.52amSTATISTICS: Almeria have dominated the possession with 60%, but they have had just four attempts to Espanyol's eight. The away side have had at least three clear-cut chances, but have found the home side's goalkeeper in fine form. Just the one yellow card in the first period, meanwhile, which is a surprise due to the intensity on display.

11.57amBENCH WATCH: The home side have a number of attacking options on their bench in the shape of Helder Barbosa, Raul Garcia and Corona. Meanwhile, Espanyol have the likes of Lanzarote, Bifouma and Abraham in reserve. It would not be a surprise to see changes made as the second period gathers pace.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. Just a reminder that a point for Almeria would move them out of the bottom three this afternoon. I would be astounded if the score remained goalless at the end of the 90 minutes. Right, the away side get the second period underway.

48 minNo changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise at this stage of proceedings. In truth, a goalless draw would not be the worst result for either side, but both managers have sent attacking teams onto the field. Early pressure from Almeria inside the Espanyol box, but Diaz is challenged by Moreno at the vital moment.

50 minOpportunity for Espanyol to threaten from a free kick as Verza fells Stuani outside the box. The resulting set piece is taken by Torje, but his effort whistles wide of the post. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if we indeed have one - will be vital in this type of match. Still goalless with 50 minutes on the clock.

53 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last few moments with both sides struggling to find that elusive pass in the final third. A loose pass from Soriano hands a counter-attacking opportunity to Espanyol, but Garcia loses possession in the final third, before Suso strikes straight at Casilla down the other end.

55 minThe referee has been more involved than he would have liked in the last couple of moments with both sides flying into a number of challenges in the middle of the park. Neither team is really in control of proceedings at the moment. A half-chance arrives for Diaz as he meets a low cross from Suso, but he can only clip his effort into the arms of Espanyol goalkeeper Casilla.

57 minWe are getting to the stage in the match where both managers will be considering changes. In truth, we are in need of some impetus as the second period continues to gather pace. Cordoba leads a counter attack for Espanyol moments later, but the move breaks down when Torje fells Nelson inside the area. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining.

60 minEspanyol do indeed make a change as Lanza replaces Torje, which is a surprise. The Romanian has arguably been his side's most threatening player this afternoon. Cordoba continues to cause problems with his pace as he finds Garcia just outside the box, but the skipper's effort is straight into the arms of Esteban.

62 minAnother half-chance for Garcia as the Espanyol skipper strikes one from outside the box, but his effort was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. Just a few signs that the away side are starting to take control of proceedings, with Lanza picking up the space between the Almeria defence and midfield.

64 minEnd-to-end football in the last couple of moments with both sides prepared to commit numbers to each attack. Suso has an effort from distance for Almeria, but Colotto is on hand to make the block. Stuani strikes one from just outside the area down the other end, but his effort is wide of the post.

66 minAlmeria make their first change of the match with Helder Barbosa replacing Suso, who struggled to influence proceedings this afternoon. The home side enjoy a period of sustained pressure moments later, but the move breaks down when Casilla comes to collect a deep cross from Dubarbier at the far post.

69 minCHANCE! Best chance of the second period for Almeria as Nelson drives a cross into the Espanyol box, Casilla flaps at it, but Moreno is on hand to clear at the vital moment. Had that fallen to a white shirt, it would be 1-0 Almeria. Still goalless with little over 20 minutes of football remaining.

71 minBarbosa takes matters into his own hands moments later as he strikes one from distance, but Casilla is on hand to make the save. It is quite extraordinary that this match is still goalless with the number of chances that both sides have had, especially in the first period. I think it would be fair to say that one goal would be enough to claim all the points.

73 minHalf-chance for Lanza as the Espanyol midfielder curls a free kick from outside the box, but it just moves wide of the post. Espanyol have another opportunity moments later as Garcia drives a low cross into the box, but Nelson is on hand to clear. Still goalless with little over 15 minutes of football remaining.

75 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments with both sides struggling to find that elusive pass in the final third. Cordoba remains a threat with his pace and power, but there has been no end product from the Colombian this afternoon. Both managers still have permitted substitutions remaining if they wish to alter proceedings.

77 minEspanyol make their second change of the match as Bifouma replaces Cordoba, who has faded after a positive start. Almeria have a half-chance moments later as Vidal curls one from outside the box, but his effort was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. Little over 10 minutes of normal time remaining.

80 minJust a reminder that a point would be enough to move Almeria out of the bottom three. However, there is still a lot of football to be played in this contest. Neither side is really in control of proceedings at the moment as chances continue to occur at both ends. Almeria make their second change moments later as Dubarbier is replaced by Raul Garcia.

82 minHalf-chance for Stuani this time as the Espanyol forward meets a cross from Lopez, but Esteban is on hand to make the save. Almeria break down the other end with Diaz, but his effort is straight into the arms of Casilla. Still goalless with 82 minutes on the clock in this La Liga contest.

84 minAlmeria continue to force the issue with a series of deep crosses into the Espanyol box, but Moreno and Colotto have been impressive in the middle of the back four this afternoon. Almeria make their third and final change moments later as Soriano is replaced by Tebar.

86 minEspanyol also make their third and final change as Garcia is replaced by Alex Fernandez. You just get the feeling that there will be at least one big chance in the final stages of this match. Espanyol force the issue with a period of possession outside the area, but the move breaks down when Sanchez's cross is collected by Esteban.

89 minHalf-chance for Almeria as Pellerano breaks forward from defence before attempting to find the bottom corner, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. That has been the story of the second period. Espanyol attempt to counter with Fuentes, but he asks too much from Bifouma down the left. Little over one minute of normal time remaining.

90+2 minThe fourth official indicates that we will play an additional four minutes and we are indeed into the second of those. Lanza has a half-chance as he drives into the Almeria box, but he decides to square it, allowing Moreno across to clear the danger.

90+3 minDiaz tests Casilla from close range moments later, but the Almeria forward had just moved into an offside position. The home side continue to force the issue with a series of crosses into the Espanyol box, but to no avail. Little over one minute remaining.

90+4 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Bifouma to win it for Espanyol after the Frenchman is found by Lanza inside the box, but somehow he lifts his effort over the crossbar. What an opportunity for the away side.

90+5 minFULL TIME: Almeria 0-0 Espanyol

12.52pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the match to an end with the two sides sharing the points in a 0-0 draw. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us again from 3.30pm for more La Liga football. Until then!

Almeria midfielder Corona celebrates a goal against Barcelona on April 9, 2011
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2AlcorconAlcorcon00000000
3Almeria00000000
4Barcelona BBarcelona B00000000
5Cadiz00000000
6CordobaCordoba00000000
7Cultural LeonesaLeonesa00000000
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10Huesca00000000
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20Sevilla AtleticoSevilla Atl.00000000
21Sporting GijonSporting Gijon00000000
22TenerifeTenerife00000000