Sep 26, 2013 at 9pm UK at ​Estadio El Madrigal
Villarreal
2-1
Espanyol
Perbet (1'), Pereira (67')
Bruno (70')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Garcia (80')
Sidnei (47'), Sanchez (50'), Felipe (90')

Live Commentary: Villarreal 2-1 Espanyol - as it happened

Jonathan Pereira of Villarreal runs with the ball during the La Liga match between Villarreal CF and Real Valladolid CF at El Madrigal Stadium on August 24, 2013
© Getty Images
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the La Liga clash at the Camp El Madrigal as Villarreal beat Espanyol 2-1.

Villarreal welcomed Espanyol to the Camp El Madrigal on Thursday looking to make it 14 points from their first six games of the season.

The home side were ahead inside one minute when Jeremy Perbet converted from close range, with that strike all that separated the two sides at the interval.

Espanyol pressed for an equaliser in the second period, but they fell 2-0 behind after 67 minutes when Jonathan Pereira converted from close range.

Sergio Garcia had one back for the away side late on, but it was a case of too little too late as their unbeaten run came to an end.

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


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8.52pmEvening all! Week six in La Liga is completed this evening as Villarreal welcome Espanyol. Both sides have identical records after five matches, with three wins and two draws leaving them in fourth and fifth respectively. However, the home side have gone two games without a win, while Espanyol have taken six points from their last two games.

8.54pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, it does not make good reading for Espanyol. Remarkably, three of the last five matches have ended in goalless draws, but the other two have been won by Villarreal, with 1-0 and 4-0 scorelines respectively. Should Espanyol score this evening, it will be the first time they have registered against Villarreal in five matches.

8.56pmVillarreal have recorded impressive wins over Almeria, Real Valladolid and Osasuna this season, before drawing with Real Madrid and Celta Vigo. Espanyol, meanwhile, have drawn with Celta Vigo and Real Betis and beaten Valencia, Granada and Athletic Bilbao thus far. Something has to give this evening with both sides in fine form.

8.58pmTEAMS:

VILLARREAL: Asenjo; Musacchio, Mario, Costa, Iniguez; Cani, Bruno, Perez, Pina; Perbet, Giovani

ESPANYOL: Casilla; Sidnei, Moreno, Mattioni, Rodriguez; Clerc, Abraham, Lanzarote, Alex; Garcia, Bifouma


0 minSo there we have it. No Javier Aquino or Jonathan Pereira in the Villarreal XI this evening, but Jeremy Perbet and Giovani dos Santos both start. Espanyol, meanwhile, name a much-changed XI with Sidnei, Lanzarote, Alex and Bifouma all starting. Right, the home side get the action underway on this warm evening in Spain.

1 minEight changes in total for Espanyol this evening. It will be interesting to see how their fringe players perform against one of the form sides in La Liga. It must be said that the home supporters are creating a simply wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this evening. Let's hope for an entertaining fixture.

1 minGOAL! Villarreal 1-0 Espanyol (Perbet)

2 minWell that didn't take long! Villarreal lead inside 40 seconds as Perbet meets a cross from Perez before turning home from close range. The striker was left all alone inside the box and he made no mistake. If the stadium was jumping before, it has now taken off. What a start.

4 minEspanyol's first half-chance of the match comes to Bifouma as the Frenchman shows his pace to burst into the Villarreal box, but Mario is across to make the challenge at the vital moment. Giovani threatens down the other end moments later, but his low cross is straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.

6 minSince the opener, it has been one-way traffic with Espanyol forcing the issue with a spell of possession in the final third. It's good work from the skipper Sergio Garcia as he moves past two defenders, but Costa fells him outside the box. The resulting free kick is driven into the box by Garcia, but Cani is on hand to clear.

8 minSome have tipped Villarreal to make the top four this season, which is quite extraordinary for a team that has just returned to La Liga. That said, their performances in the early part of the season have been very impressive. Not too much from them this evening, however, since taking the lead. It has been a strong response from Espanyol, who are enjoying strong possession in the home side's half.

10 minHalf-chance for the home side as Cani strikes a wonderful volley from just outside the box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Giovani threatens moments later with a mazy run into the box, but he is challenged by Moreno at the final moment. End-to-end football with 10 minutes on the clock in this La Liga fixture.

13 minI would be astounded if we had seen the last of the goals this evening with both sides committing players to each attack. Espanyol once more threaten to level as Bifouma combines with Garcia before attempting to curl one towards the top corner, but Asenjo watches it high and wide of his crossbar. Incredibly open match at the Camp El Madrigal.

15 minJust a reminder that Villarreal have already taken 11 points this season and are indeed still unbeaten. Espanyol have an identical record, meanwhile, at this stage of the campaign. The closeness between the two sides has been demonstrated by the opening 15 minutes. Villarreal lead, but Espanyol have shown that they can cause problems with the pace of Bifouma and intelligence of Garcia.

17 minFirst real sign of Giovani for the home side as the Mexican dances past two challenges before attempting to slide a pass towards Perbet, but the Frenchman cannot collect under pressure from Moreno. Alex is down the other end for Espanyol moments later, but he loses possession before fouling Pena. Still 1-0 with 17 minutes on the clock.

19 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for Giovani to extend Villarreal's lead as the Mexican collects a pass from Perbet before attempting to slide one into the bottom corner, but Casilla is out to make a fine save. Espanyol responded well to falling behind, but the home side have now upped the tempo with a series of yellow shirts in forward positions.

22 minWonderful combination football from the home side in the last couple of moments with Perbet, Perez and Giovani all involved in the final third. However, it ends with the latter's pass towards Perez just running out of play. Bifouma is the target for Espanyol down the other end, but Mario manages to clear at the vital moment.

24 minMattioni is involved for Espanyol moments later as the Brazilian drives past Mario before delivering a low cross into the box, but Asenjo is on hand to collect at his near post. Espanyol continue to play the better football in the final third, but Villarreal are such a threat on the counter with the pace of Giovani and Perez.

26 minThe referee has been more involved than he would have liked in the last few moments with both sides guilty of making a number of late challenges. The latest free kick for Espanyol presents Sidnei with a shooting opportunity inside the box, but his effort is straight at the Villarreal stopper. Little under 20 minutes of the first period remaining at the Camp El Madrigal.

28 minAnother half-chance for Giovani as the Villarreal forward dances into the Espanyol box before attempting to curl an effort towards the bottom corner, but it was always moving wide of the post. The end-to-end period continues as Espanyol force their second corner of the game moments later, but Moreno's header is straight into the back of Mario.

31 minYou just get the feeling that the next goal - if there indeed is one - could be vital in this type of match. Villarreal continue to repel the danger, but Espanyol are playing the better football in the final third. The atmosphere from the home supporters has just dropped, meanwhile, as the first period enters its latter stages.

33 minEnd-to-end period of the match in the last couple of moments with Giovani testing Casilla from outside the box, before Garcia goes down in the penalty area inside the Villarreal box moments later, but the referee is not interested. Another penalty appeal, this time for handball, arrives for Espanyol, but the referee shakes his head.

35 minNot too much to report in terms of opportunities in the last couple of moments with Villarreal just starting to enjoy possession of the ball in their own half. Espanyol's threat continues to come from Bifouma, but the Frenchman has been caught offside a couple of times in quick succession. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining.

38 minIt seems a long time ago that Perbet opened the scoring for Villarreal this evening, with that strike all that separates the two teams at this stage of proceedings. A couple of deep crosses from Giovani have threatened the Espanyol box in the last couple of moments, but Sidnei and Moreno have been aerially dominant thus far.

40 minWonderful effort from Pina as the Villarreal midfielder meets a bouncing ball on the edge of the box, but he can only thump his effort wide of the post. Espanyol are down the other end with their skipper Garcia moments later, but he cannot find the run of Abraham inside the box. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining.

43 minOne-way traffic in the latter stages of the half with the home side forcing the issue with two corners in quick succession. However, the first is cleared over his own crossbar by Casilla, before the second breaks down outside the box. Little over two minutes remaining of what has been an entertaining first period.

45 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for Giovani to make it 2-0 in the latter stages of the half as the Mexican bursts into the box before advancing towards Casilla, but the Espanyol stopper manages to make the save. The former Tottenham Hotspur attacker could have had a hat trick in the first period.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Villarreal 1-0 Espanyol

9.45pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the half to an end with Villarreal leading 1-0 courtesy of that early strike from Perbet. Espanyol responded well and arguably had the better of the opening 20 minutes, but the home side upped the tempo in the latter stages. It is so delicately poised ahead of the second period.

9.50pmSTATISTICS: Espanyol have had more of the ball with 57%, but they have managed just two attempts to Villarreal's five. The referee has not been forced to issue a card thus far, but there have been a number of late challenges from both sides. I would be astounded if we had seen the last of the goals based on the action in the first period.

9.55pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a number of attacking options on their bench in the shape of Uche, Javier Aquino and Jonathan Pereira. Meanwhile, Espanyol, who made eight changes for this match, have the likes of Pizzi, Stuani and Victor Sanchez in reserve. I suspect that we will see changes in the second period.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise at this stage of proceedings. Just a reminder that there is another La Liga match currently taking place with Getafe beating Celta Vigo 1-0. Espanyol get the second period underway.

48 minExcuse me, there has indeed been one change at the interval with Victor Sanchez, who scored twice last time out against Athletic Bilbao, replacing Alex Fernandez. Positive start from the away side as Garcia delivers a dangerous cross towards Abraham, but the midfielder gets it all wrong and it moves out for a Villarreal throw.

50 minThe first yellow card of the match is handed to Sidnei as the Espanyol defender pushes Perbet to the ground outside the box. The resulting set piece is taken by Bruno, but it breaks down after the home side attempt to play it short. Good tempo to the early stages of the half, with Villarreal still leading 1-0.

53 minHalf-chance for the home side as Giovani's pace almost allows him to collect a through pass from Cani, but Casilla is out to clear at the vital moment. Garcia wriggles into the Villarreal box down the other end, but Musacchio is across to make the challenge. Neither side are too interested in defending at the moment as each continues to pour players forward.

55 minSanchez just needs to be careful here as he dives into another challenge with Pina despite having been booked moments before. There is a real sense of ill-feeling in this match with both sets of players having altercations. It would not be a surprise to see the home side make a couple of changes in the next 10 minutes or so just to freshen up their options in the final third.

57 minA poor challenge from Mario on Garcia presents Espanyol with an opportunity just outside the penalty area. The resulting set piece is taken by Lanzarote, but his effort smashes into the wall before moving behind for their first corner of the second half. Eventually Sanchez has an effort, but it was always moving wide of the target.

60 minThe away side continue to threaten as Sanchez drives into the box before rolling the ball towards Garcia, but he just loses control at the final moment. Moments later, Espanyol make their second change of the match as Lanzarote leaves the field for Stuani. Still no movement on the Espanyol box with little over 30 minutes of football remaining in this La Liga encounter.

62 minThe one-way traffic continues as Garcia collects a deep cross from Sanchez before turning inside the box, but Mario is across to clear at the vital moment. From the resulting corner Villarreal attempt to break, but they just cannot keep possession. All the football is being played by the team in blue and white, but Villarreal's lead still stands. Surely we have not seen the last of the goals.

64 minAnother attempt from Bifouma comes close to finding the bottom corner, but it just deflects wide of the post for another corner. However, the home side manage to clear once more, before Garcia heads over the crossbar moments later. Villarreal make a double change and as expected, it is Aquino and Pereira that enter the field in place of Perez and Perbet.

66 minVillarreal, as they have done all evening, will attempt to threaten on the counter in the final 25 minutes or so and the introduction of Aquino and Pereira will certainly help. Their introduction immediately creates an opportunity for Giovani, but the Mexican can only flash his low effort wide of the post having turned Moreno.

67 minFirst sign of Aquino as the Mexican moves past two challenges before delivering a dangerous cross into the box, but Casilla manages to collect under pressure from Giovani. Espanyol continue to threaten down the other end with Garcia and Bifouma, but they just cannot find that final pass. Little more than 20 minutes of football remaining at the Camp El Madrigal.

67 minGOAL! Villarreal 2-0 Espanyol (Pereira)

68 minVillarreal score their second of the evening with 67 minutes on the clock as Cani drives into the box before finding Pereira, who cannot miss from close range. Is that game over?! Espanyol make their third and final change moments later with Capdevila replacing Clerc.

70 minIt is tough on Espanyol, but Villarreal have been clinical in the final third this evening. The home side also made changes at the right time with Aquino and Pereira bringing pace and trickery in the final third. However, one goal for Espanyol at this stage would set up a grandstand finish.

73 minVillarreal are heading for fourth position in the table after six matches, while Espanyol would suffer their first defeat of the season if the scores remain the same. Espanyol have an opportunity from a free kick moments later after a poor challenge from Bruno, but the Villarreal defence manage to deal with the floated cross into the area.

75 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Villarreal to score their third as Pereira's pace takes him beyond the Espanyol defence, all he has to do is roll the cross towards Giovani, but somehow Sidnei is on hand to make a fine challenge. Little over 15 minutes of football remaining, with Villarreal 2-0 ahead.

77 minVillarreal want a penalty as Sidnei appears to fell Pereira inside the box, but the referee is not interested. I must say that I have seen them given. You just get the feeling that we have not seen the last of the goals this evening. A third for Villarreal would end the Espanyol challenge, but a goal for the away side would set up an exciting finish.

79 minNot too much to report in the last few moments with Villarreal just frustrating Espanyol with a period of possession. Eventually Sanchez tries his luck from outside the box, but his effort is high and wide of the target. The away side have played well this evening, but sometimes you just have to accept that it is not your day. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining.

80 minSanchez strikes one from inside the box moments later, but his effort is straight at the Villarreal stopper. Villarreal make their third and final change of the evening as Pina, who has had a very impressive night, is replaced by Trigueros. Time is just starting to run out for Espanyol.

80 minGOAL! Villarreal 2-1 Espanyol (Garcia)

81 minOh my word what a finish. It's wonderful from Garcia as the Espanyol skipper turns on the edge of the box before thumping a powerful effort into the top corner. Game on!

83 minYou can almost sense the nervousness inside the stadium as Espanyol continue to commit players forward. Villarreal would be best served to just keep the ball, but they are being hounded out of possession. Cani attempts to ease the pressure with a deep cross into the Espanyol box, but Casilla is on hand to punch clear.

85 minJust a reminder that both of these sides currently hold unbeaten records in the league this season. As it stands, Espanyol will lose theirs, but there is still plenty of time for that to change. Not too much for the home supporters to get excited about as the team in blue and white continue to control the possession.

88 minVillarreal need to be really careful here as they continue to concede free kicks in dangerous areas. The latest is whipped into the box by Abraham, but Sidnei is penalised for a foul on Aquino. The referee must be credited for keeping all 22 players on the pitch this evening - he has had opportunities to produce another yellow for those that have been booked. Little over two minutes of normal time remaining.

90 minAs things stand, Villarreal sit in fourth position, but they need to hold out in the final few minutes here. This is the type of match that will determine where they finish this season. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes at the end of normal time.

90 min+2It's good work from Villarreal as they continue to frustrate Espanyol by keeping possession. A foul by Giovani allows Casilla to deliver a deep free kick into the box moments later, but it moves straight out of play. Aquino with the goal kick with little over one minute remaining. That is just about that for this one.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Villarreal 2-1 Espanyol

10.47pmSo there we have it. Villarreal move into fourth position in the table with a 2-1 win over Espanyol, whose unbeaten run has now come to an end. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us this weekend for a number of live commentaries from across Europe. Good evening!

Jonathan Pereira of Villarreal runs with the ball during the La Liga match between Villarreal CF and Real Valladolid CF at El Madrigal Stadium on August 24, 2013
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