Jan 26, 2013 at 7pm UK at ​Estadio de La Romareda
ZaragozaReal Zaragoza

Minero (20'), Sapunaru (51')
Sapunaru (82')

López (23'), Sánchez (32'), Stuani (59'), Gómez (74')
López (79')

Live Commentary: Real Zaragoza 0-0 Espanyol - as it happened

Live Commentary: Real Zaragoza 0-0 Espanyol - as it happened
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary from La Liga as Real Zaragoza and Espanyol share the points in a 0-0 draw on Saturday.

Real Zaragoza welcomed Espanyol on Saturday having won just one of their last five matches in all competitions.

A drab opening period brought few chances for either side, with the score remaining level at 0-0 at the interval.

Zaragoza remained the more productive outfit in the second half, but they just could not force the opening goal with the points being shared.

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

6.52pmEvening all! No rest for the wicked. Our second La Liga commentary of the weekend comes from Zaragoza as the home side welcome an improving Espanyol outfit. Zaragoza’s league campaign has been interrupted by Copa del Rey fixtures in recent weeks, but Espanyol have made the most of five straight matches in the Spanish league, winning three times in the process.

6.54pmZaragoza enter the match having been thumped 4-0 by Sevilla in the quarter-finals of the cup on Wednesday, while they lost their last league fixture against Real Valladolid. They have largely struggled on their home patch this season, winning just three of a possible nine matches, losing the other six.

6.56pmEspanyol, meanwhile, have eased some of their relegation worries with a solid run of form. They have picked up back-to-back league victories against Celta Vigo and Real Mallorca, but they have struggled on the road this season, winning just one of a possible nine fixtures. Despite their recent success, they remain just three points off the bottom three, with a number of teams currently in the scrap.


ZARAGOZA: Jimenez; Paredes, Sapunaru, Abraham, Alvaro; Movilla, Zuculini, Pinter, Montanes; Postiga, Victor

ESPANYOL: Casilla; Colotto, Moreno, Capdevilla, Forlin; Simao, Victor, Baena, Javi; Garcia, Stuani

0 minHere we go then. The home side get the action underway on this mild evening in Spain. Impressive start from Zaragoza with Postiga linking up with Victor on the edge of the penalty area, but the latter just cannot sort out his feet in time and the danger is cleared by Capdevilla.

2 minZaragoza continue to force the issue in the early stages with Pinter combining with Montanes just outside the penalty area, but once more the pass is just short of what is required and Moreno is across to clear. Victor Sanchez attempts to break with pace down the other end, but his long pass towards Stuani is headed clear by Alvaro.

5 minIt must be said that the home supporters are creating a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this evening. Far from a full house inside the stadium, but there is good support. Not too much to get excited about in terms of chances, however, with both teams just attempting to feel their way into the early stages of the match.

8 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last few moments with the challenges coming in from both sides. The latest challenge is made by Victor, but in fairness to the referee he has kept his cards in his pocket inside the opening seven minutes. Stuani’s physical presence gives the home side something to think about as he collects a high ball from Baena, but it just moves out of play.

11 minNothing much from Postiga inside the opening stages with the Portuguese feeding off scraps in the penalty area. Neither side has really got to grips with this match thus far. Espanyol enter the match in the better form and Simao demonstrates some wonderful ability as he wins a corner following a mazy run, but Stuani can only head over the crossbar. Good signs from the away side.

14 minHalf-chance for the home side once more as Postiga meets a cross from Movilla, but he can only head over the crossbar. The pressure continues following a poor goal kick from the away side, but eventually the danger is scrambled clear. It would be fair to state that this match has really not got going in terms of real quality and attacking threat.

17 minIt’s better from the away side as Simao fires a high cross into the penalty area, but Abraham is on hand to clear the danger at the vital moment. Simao is again involved moments later as he cuts inside the defender before striking an effort towards goal, but it was always moving wide of the post. Postiga has a similar effort down the other end, but fires straight at the goalkeeper.

19 minHalf-chance for the away side once more as Capdevilla meets a corner from Simao, but he can only head wide of the target. The Espanyol supporters are really making their voices known as we approach the 20-minute mark in the match. The end-to-end period in the match continues as Pinter whips a cross towards Postiga, but once more the danger is cleared.

21 minThe tempo has just been interrupted once more with a host of free kicks being awarded in and around the centre circle. In truth there has not really been a clear chance in this match thus far. Meanwhile, Postiga’s frustrating evening continues as he is adjudged to have given away another free kick.

23 minThe referee is forced to get his notebook out once more this time to award a booking to Lopez for a late challenge on Victor. The bad news gets worse for the Espanyol midfielder with that yellow card his fifth of the season. The resulting free kick is taken by Oscar, but the delivery is poor and moves straight out for a goal kick.

25 minStuani continues to throw his weight around as he battles against the Zaragoza defence, but he loses this contest this time around. The home side have a strong penalty appeal down the other end as Postiga is bundled over in the penalty area by Forlin, but the referee gives the free kick the other way. Not too sure what the official saw there to be honest!

28 minPossession football from the home side at the moment with little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining. Montanes continues to cause problems with his pace up and down the right, but his final ball has been poor thus far. Meanwhile, another strong challenge from Stuani causes outrage from the crowd. Unfortunately, it has been that type of match.

31 minAgain it’s good work from Stuani as the powerful striker picks up possession before feeding Sergio Garcia, but the Spaniard is just crowded out at the vital moment and the danger is cleared. Postiga again fights for possession down the other end, but his face tells the picture as it bobbles off the striker and behind for a goal kick.

33 minIf I had to describe this opening half thus far then it would be bitty. Neither side has created too much in terms of attacking chances, while the possession has also been scrappy. That does not appear to have worried the home supporters as they continue to sing their hearts out. Wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium.

35 minAgain it's good work from Stuani as the striker feeds Victor Sanchez in a wide area before meeting his cross, but once more he can only fire his header over the target. Zaragoza attempt to break down the other end, but not too surprisingly another foul is given away. That has been the story of this half.

38 minDecent pressure from Espanyol as they force a couple of corners in quick succession. The latter set piece causes all sorts of problems in the defence with Forlin collecting from Garcia, but Abraham throws his body in the way and the danger is scrambled clear. Little over five minutes of the half remaining and the score stays at 0-0.

40 minThis is almost like an English Premier League fixture as the challenges continue to fly in from both sides. It is the type of match where Zaragoza would be happy to take a 1-0 and quickly move on. However, you have to believe that things will improved in the second period. Let's face it, they could not get much worse in terms of attacking chances.

42 minThe referee is again called into question as Movilla chops down Postiga just outside the penalty area. It brings a horrendous reaction from the home players as they crowd around the official, begging for a booking to be awarded. The resulting free kick is taken by Montanes, but Moreno heads behind for a corner.

45 minNot too surprisingly, the challenges continue to fly in as we approach the final minute of normal time. There will be a red card in the second period if things do not calm down in the second 45 minutes. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute of football with the score still at 0-0.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Real Zaragoza 0-0 Espanyol

7.48pmSo there we have it. It has been a competitive first period, but neither team has created any real chances to open the scoring. Zaragoza have perhaps shaded the possession in the final third, but 0-0 is a clear indication of the opening first half of this match.

7.52pmLet's take a look at some statistics from the opening half of football. The home side have shaded the possession with 53%, but both teams have had four attempts, with two apiece on target. However, neither goalkeeper has been forced into much discomfort thus far.

7.56pmLet's take a look at what both sides have in reserve this evening. Zaragoza have a host of attacking options on the bench with Edu Oriol, Jose Mari and Leo Franco all available. Meanwhile, Espanyol also have options with the likes of Longo, Cristian Gomez and Alfonso. I would expect changes to be made sooner rather than later.

8pmJust a reminder of what we have to come this evening. Following the completion of this match we have action from Deportivo against Valencia. Looking ahead, we also have a host of matches to bring you tomorrow with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid all in action.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the second period. No changes for either side which is not all that surprising at this stage of the match. As it stands, the two sides sit in 13th and 14th respectively. Will we have a winner in the second period?

48 minStrong start to the second period from the home side with Postiga combining with Victor outside the penalty area before feeding a pass towards Pinter, but Casilla is out to collect at the vital moment. You get the feeling that the first goal in this match - if there indeed is one - will have a huge say on the final result. It could be enough for the three points.

50 minJust when we had a bit of a tempo in this match, the curse of the free kick returns once more as both sides give away a couple of fouls in quick succession. Zaragoza create a half-chance as Sapunaru fires a long throw into the box, but it just would not fall for Postiga and Moreno hooks clear.

52 minMeanwhile, the away side make their first change of the match as Victor is replaces by Cristian Gomez. It appears that the former picked up a slight knock in that last attack for the home side. No movement on the Zaragoza bench thus far. It remains a bitty affair with neither side really taking control of proceedings.

54 minThe referee continues to be called upon as Stuani bundles into Abraham when the ball had already been played. Those two have spent more time fighting than playing in this match thus far. I would love to be able to report that the quality of the attacking threat was improved, but that is simply not the case.

56 minIt's better football from the home side as Montanes combines with Pinter before firing a low cross into the box, but Postiga just cannot make contact with Colotto in close proximity. The pressure continues as Sapunaru's deflected cross is met by Pinter, but the midfielder cannot find the target from just inside the box.

58 minZaragoza continue to force the issue with a couple of corners in quick succession, the first is headed clear by Simao, but Postiga heads over the crossbar from the second. Meanwhile, Baena is the latest Espanyol player to hit the deck under a heavy challenge. This is so untypical of a La Liga affair.

60 minPostiga's frustrations continue as the Portuguese striker attempts to drive into the penalty area, only to lose control at the vital moment. We have not seen much from the away side as an attacking threat in this second period, with Stuani and Garcia more interested in battling the defenders than finding room in the final third.

62 minEspanyol at least offer some sort of attacking threat as Baena breaks forward from midfield before feeding Garcia in a wide position, but the striker cannot return the favour as the Spaniard is ruled offside. The away side just need to get more from Simao as we enter the final 30 minutes of this match.

65 minBit of controversy here as Casilla appears to kick Postiga in an altercation between the two players. Replays have shown that there was indeed contact between the two players. In fairness to Postiga he did not cause a scene, but if the referee sees that then surely the goalkeeper has to go?

67 minCHANCE! Clearest opening of the match by some distance as Capdevilla finds the head of Stuani in the penalty area, but Jimenez is able to make a fine diving save. Wonderful effort, wonderful goalkeeping. Hopefully that will spark this match into life.

69 minThe chance has raised the tempo somewhat with both teams attempting to attack with pace and numbers. However, nothing is really flowing with each pass struggling to find the target. It appears that the home side are preparing their first change of the evening. Little over 20 minutes remaining and the score stays at 0-0.

71 minHalf-chance for Garcia to threaten for the away side as the Spaniard collects a cute pass from Simao, but the striker just cannot weave his way through the Zaragoza defence and the danger is cleared. The home side gather possession with Pinter, but his long pass towards Postiga does not stick once more.

73 minThe home side want a penalty as Postiga is pulled to the ground in the penalty area, but the referee waves play on. Montanes is on the scene moments later and strikes a low effort at goal, but Moreno comes across to make a fine block. Just some signs that the home side are starting to force the issue as we approach the final 15 minutes.

75 minIt's pin-ball around the edge of the home side's penalty area as Espanyol desperately bundle the danger away. It eventually falls to Pinter, who strikes a low effort from outside the box, but he cannot hit the target. Meanwhile, the home side makes change as Edu Oriol replaces Pinter.

77 minThe away side are forced into another change as Gomez, who was himself a sub, hobbles off the pitch. His replacement is a familiar face for Bolton Wanderers supporters with Martin Petrov entering the field. The Bulgarian has a wonderful left foot and will hope to complement Stuani in the latter stages.

79 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the home side as Zuculini strikes a powerful effort from outside the box, but it just deflects over the crossbar. The resulting corner also causes problems to the Espanyol defence, but eventually Baena thumps clear. It is a case of anywhere will do.

81 minRED CARD: JAVI LOPEZ: Espanyol are reduced to 10 men as Lopez is dismissed for a second bookable offence on Montanes. It is really poor from the Spaniard, with the challenge right under the referee's nose. Could that cost his team? Meanwhile, the away side make a change as Raul Rodriguez replaces Stuani.

83 minCHANCE! Suddenly it is all happening here as Zuculini meets a cross from Montanes, but once more Casilla is on hand to make a fine save. We have had more action in the last five minutes than we have had in the entirety of this match. Little over five minutes remaining.

83 minRED CARD: SAPUNARU: The home side's man advantage does not last long as Sapunaru is dismissed for a second bookable offence on Simao. Why is the midfielder making that challenge? What a bad decision. It is 10 against 10 here.

85 minMeanwhile, the home side make another change as Rodriguez is replaced by Fernandez. Not the most adventurous of moves from Manolo Jimenez. Little over five minutes of normal time remaining and neither side is any closer to opening the scoring.

88 minIt does not appear that we will have a winner in the latter stages of this match with neither side able to keep hold of possession for any real extended period of time. The home side remain the team in the ascendancy, but Postiga is just about as isolated as he has been all evening.

90 minZaragoza continue to force the issue with a series of high balls into the penalty area, but Espanyol remain firm to clear the danger. As it stands, Espanyol will extend their solid run of form to just one defeat in their last eight league matches. However, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional four minutes of time as Jose Mari replaces Zuculini for Zaragoza.

90 min+2The Espanyol supporters are in good voice as they sing their way to what appears will be a point this evening. It is certainly a better result for the away side than it is for Zaragoza. That said, there is still time for a winner with little over two minutes of football remaining.

90 min+4Not too much to get excited about in the latter stages of this match with both sides comfortable in defence. Meanwhile, the referee awards another free kick to Espanyol with little over 30 seconds remaining. This one is just about over.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Real Zaragoza 0-0 Espanyol

8.50pmSo there we have it. A drab 90 minutes is brought to an end with the points being shared in a 0-0 draw. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and stay with us for action from La Coruna. Until then!

Joan Verdu for Espanyol in January 2012
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