Oct 21, 2012 at 3pm UK at ​Estadi Cornellà-El Prat
Espanyol
3-2
Rayo Vallecano
Verdú (37', 48'), Stuani (90')
Verdú (11'), Forlin (15'), Colotto (43')
Colotto (81')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Baptistao (11', 63')
Gálvez (14'), Rubén (15'), Rodri (74')
Labaka (68')

Live Commentary: Espanyol 3-2 Rayo Vallecano - as it happened

Cornella El-Prat
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live coverage of today's La Liga clash between Espanyol and Rayo Vallecano at the Estadi RCDE.

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of today's La Liga clash between Espanyol and Rayo Vallecano at the Estadi RCDE.

The home side enter the match rock bottom of the La Liga table with just two points from their first seven league matches, but victory this afternoon could be the catalyst to start their season.

Meanwhile, Rayo Vallecano currently occupy 12th spot in the table after a fairly solid start to the season and could move as high as fifth with victory.

Espanyol won the corresponding fixture last term convincingly with a 5-1 scoreline, while they also recorded all the points away to Rayo in October 2011.

They have managed just two draws thus far this season, but they will be confident of securing their first victory against a Rayo side that has won just one of their last five games.

Please note that kickoff is at 3pm.


FULL-TIMEThat's a wrap on this game. Thanks for joining us! Do head here now as we track coverage of the clash between Granada and Zaragoza.

FULL-TIMEEspanyol 3-2 Rayo Vallecano

90 min+4Surely they have won it? They are heading for their first league win of the season. What a match. There are just seconds remaining.

90 min+3The home side take the lead with seconds to play as Stuani heads a Verdu cross into the back of the net.

90 min+3Espanyol 3-2 Rayo Vallecano (Stuani)

90 min+2It is Rayo who are on the attack as we approach the final moments of play. Leo comes close to his third from outside the box, but his effort is just wide.

90 minWe will play an additional four minutes at the end of the match. It is now or never if Espanyol are to secure their first home win of the season.

88 minBoth sides want to win this now. However, they are struggling for that final ball in attacking areas. Is there one last sting in the tail? We have seen so many late goals this season.

85 minChance! Wonderful chance for the away side to win it as Tito advances into the box, but he just fires wide of the target from close range.

82 minRed card: Diego Colotto: The Espanyol defender is sent off for a second yellow card. Both sides will finish this match with 10 men.

82 minThis match has just developed into a pattern of both sides exchanging possession in the middle of midfield. It appears that each are settling for a point.

79 minAnother change for the away side as Piti replaces Adrian Gonzalez. Can he inspire his team in the final 10 minutes or so?

76 minThe home side remain on the attack with Verdu going in search of this third. But Rayo are nice and compact in defence. The red card will see them sit deeper and deeper.

73 minRight, we have little over 15 minutes remaining of this fascinating encounter. Will we have a winner? You can almost sense that one is on its way.

70 minDouble change for the home side as Forlin and Wakaso are replaced by Garcia and Baena. Meanwhile, Dominguez is replaced by Rodri for the away side.

69 minRed card: Mikel Labaka: The Rayo defender is sent off for a foul on Verdu. It was a high foot. Meanwhile, Longo's effort from the free kick moves wide.

66 minHalf-chance for the home side to regain the lead as Verdu strikes from outside the box, but his effort whistles past the post and out of play.

64 minHowever, Dominguez is not happy. The midfielder wanted a penalty from an earlier incident. What is he complaining about his team have just scored! What an end to this match we could have.

62 minRayo are level as Leo scores his second goal of the match from close range.

62 minGOAL! Espanyol 2-2 Rayo Vallecano (Leo)


60 minRight, we have 30 minutes remaining in this match. Rayo remain a threat on the counter, but they cannot seem to force their way through a stern Espanyol defence.

57 minThe away side are just preparing their first change of the match as Espanyol continue to make the forward running. Verdu comes close to his third with a header but it moves over the crossbar from close range.

54 minBut Espanyol remain a threat on the counter. You just get the feeling that the next goal could decide this match. It really is end-to-end football at the moment.

52 minDecent response from Rayo as they flood forward with Piti, but again it?s good defending from the home side. They are up for this match today that is for certain.

47 minEspanyol launch the first attack of the second half as Verdu advances down the left, but his cross is blocked for a corner, which is cleared.

46 minHere we go then. Rayo kick us off in the second period. Let's hope for goals at the Estadi RCDE.

4pmIt is understood that neither side will make any changes at the interval. I backed a home 2-1 win before the match and I can see that happening. The next goal is all-important in this one.

3.56pmEspanyol have also had more shots on target - four to Rayo's three. Both sides have had good chances to extend their tally. But a goal apiece at the break is a fair reflection of the first half.

3.52pmLet's take a look at some statistics from the opening half of football. Espanyol have dominated possession with 52% of the ball, while they have had five attempts to Rayo's four.

3.48pmSo there we have it. An enjoyable half of football is brought to an end with the sides level at 1-1. Leo handed the away side the lead after 12 minutes, but Verdu levelled for Espanyol five minutes before the break.

HALF-TIMEEspanyol 1-1 Rayo Vallecano

45 minVerdu comes close once more with an effort from inside the box, but Andrade pushes wide. Meanwhile, we will play an additional one minute at the end of the half.

44 minBig penalty shout for the home side as Rodriguez goes down in the area, but the midfielder is booked for diving. Replays have shown that the referee was correct.

42 minChance! Rayo so nearly take the lead as Piti finds himself in the box once more, but Alvarez makes a smart save.

40 minThis time it's Rayo's turn to attack as Piti picks up possession outside the box, but his effort is high and over the crossbar. Little under five minutes of the half remaining.

38 minThe home side needed that. In truth, the second goal could have gone to either side. The match is set up so nicely at 1-1.

37 minThe home side are level and it's Verdu with the goal as he chips Andrade from close range. It was a great finish.

37 minGOAL! Espanyol 1-1 Rayo Vallecano (Verdu)

35 minEspanyol continue to look for the run of Stuani, but the striker has been ruled offside on more than one occasion. It is such an even contest at the moment.

33 minNo real chances for either side in the past 10 minutes or so. The match has sort of developed into a settled pattern. But we all know how quickly that can change.

31 minThe match has just become ever so sloppy in the past few moments with both sides exchanging possession in midfield. It's end-to-end stuff.

29 minRayo very much remind me of the Blackpool side in the Premier League a couple of seasons ago. Full of talent and attacking invention, but you just know that you will get chances against them. 30 minutes played at the Estadi RCDE.

27 min... but Tito jumps highest to clear the danger. Rayo advance down the other end, but the danger is cleared.

27 minChance for the home side to put in a dangerous cross as Longo is felled in a wide position...

25 minIt must be said that the pressing from Rayo has been brilliant thus far. Espanyol are not playing badly, but they are being crowded as soon as they take a touch.

23 minRayo continue to play the better football with Fuego and Abu controlling possession in midfield. However, the home side remain a threat on the counter attack.

21 minChance! So nearly an equaliser for the home side as Verdu picks up possession inside the box, but he fires his effort just wide of the post.

19 minDecent response from Espanyol in the past few moments with Verdu and Longo combining in attack, but they just cannot find the elusive final ball.

17 minRayo have control of possession at the moment. Meanwhile, the home side continue to give away a host of fouls in midfield.

15 minEspanyol are not happy here as they continue to give away a host of fouls in their own half. This match has just exploded into life. It is so important that they do not conceed in the next five minutes or so.

13 minThere is big controversy here. It does not appear that the ball crossed the line. However, the away side will take that. Espanyol's poor home home shows no signs of ending.

11 minRayo have the lead as Leo heads home from close range. However, replays have shown that the ball may have not crossed the line.

11 minGOAL! Espanyol 0-1 Rayo Vallecano (Leo)

8 minEnd-to-end football at the moment as both sides enjoy possession in advanced areas. However, no real chances for either side thus far. Meanwhile, the home supporters are making the noise.

6 minRayo launch their first attack of the match as Fuego finds Piti inside the box, but the striker is just crowded out at the vital moment.

4 minEarly chance for the home side as Verdu fires a low cross into the penalty area, but Stuani cannot make contact from close range. Lively opening from both sides.

2 minSlightly cagey start from both sides as Javi Fuego is felled in midfield by Verdu. However, the away side's free kick is straight into the arms of Cristian Alvarez.

1 minHere we go then. Espanyol kick us off on this bright afternoon in Spain. What will the 90 minutes bring? Stay with us and you will not miss a kick.

2.57pmHandshakes? Check. Flags exchanged check? Let's get this match underway. Just a final reminder that we still have Granada vs. Zaragoza and Real Sociedad vs. Atletico Madrid to come later today.

2.54pmBoth sets of players are just about to join us on the pitch. Little over five minutes until kickoff. I am really looking forward to this one. Goals, goals, goals.

2.51pmIt is time for my pre-match prediction. I fancy the home side to pick up their first three points of the season this afternoon. I am going for a 2-1 home win.

2.48pmTeams:

Espanyol: Alvarez; Rodriguez, Forlin, Moreno, Capdevila; Colotto, Mata, Verdu, Rodriguez; Wakaso, Longo

Rayo Vallecano: Andrade; Tito, Casado, Labaka, Galvez; Carlos, Fuego, Abu, Baptistao; Piti, Dominguez

2.45pmTeam News: Wakaso and Samuele Longo both start for the home side. Meanwhile, Piti and Alejandro Dominguez are paired in attack for Rayo. Full teams to follow.

2.42pmHowever, they returned to the winning trial against Deportivo La Coruna before the international break and will harbour hopes of embarking on a winning run once more.

2.42pmIn one of the most bizarre matches of the season, they scored three late goals while 4-0 down away to Atletico Madrid as they showed their defensive frailties and attacking ability all in one match. They were then beaten by Real Madrid and comprehensively against Real Valladolid.

2.39pmMeanwhile, Rayo began their league season with two consecutive wins over Granada and Real Betis, before picking up a home point against Sevilla. However, their form has taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks.

2.36pmTwo more defeats came against Real Betis and Atletico Madrid, but a 1-1 draw away at Real Valladolid came before the international break - and it was their most impressive performance of the season.

2.33pmThe team news is just filtering through. Meanwhile, let's take a look at how both sides have fared in their opening seven league matches. Espanyol began with three successive defeats against Mallorca, Real Zaragoza and Levante, before securing a home point against Athletic Bilbao.

2.30pmHello all! We remain with La Liga this afternoon as Espanyol attempt to move off the foot of the table at home to an inconsistent Rayo outfit. Having watched both of these sides closely this season, I have a feeling that goals could be on the agenda.

Estadio Benito Villamarin
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