Jornada 3; Espanyol 0-0 Real Betis (Cornella El-Prat)
Espanyol were held to 0-0 draw at Cornella El-Prat by Real Betis as their unbeaten start to the season continued.
While Betis kept the ball, Javier Aguirre’s men threatened more and Christian Stuani headed wide inside the opening 20 minutes from a Juan Fuentes cross when he should have perhaps scored.
It was the home side who would have the next clear opportunity too. Guillermo Sara’s poor cross dropped to Pizzi, but, after putting Chica to the floor, the Portuguese forward’s shot was deflected behind for a corner.
Meanwhile the visitors were restricted to long range efforts - Nosa Igiebor with one easily saved by Kiko Casilla.
Into the second half and it was Betis who came close to taking the lead. Joan Verdu, returning to Espanyol for the first time since leaving in the summer, pumped a free kick into the box, and Xavi Torres’ header was deflected inches wide of the post.
As the match grew old, Espanyol looked the only winners.
Sergio Garcia’s cross was acrobatically blazed over by Stuani, while the former later span Jordi Figueras before seeing his shot well saved by Sara.
Substitute Thievy, who had scored in his two previous appearances from the bench, then should have put Los Pericos ahead. Slipped in by Stuani, he raced through with electric pace, but his poked finish was again saved - Stuani blasted the rebound into Amaya.
The last 10 minutes was marred by time wasting tactics from Betis, and Espanyol couldn’t quite find the rhythm they needed to force the winner despite a flurry of late corners.
Pepe Mel will no doubt appreciate the point more than Aguirre will in the opposite dugout, but it’s enough to keep Espanyol unbeaten three games in, while Betis pick up their first point of the new campaign.
ESP 13. Kiko Casilla; 16. Javi Lopez, 19. Diego Colotto, 15. Hector Moreno, 18. Juan Fuentes; 4. Victor Sanchez (Abraham), 14. David Lopez; 10. Pizzi (7. Thievy), 8. Christian Stuani, 20. Simao (Manuel Lanzarote); 9. Sergio Garcia
BET 13. Guillermo Sara; 2. Javier Chica, 25. Jordi Figueras, 4. Antonio Amaya, 23. Nacho (11. Juanfran); 6. Xavi Torres, 20. Nosa Igiebor; 22. Cedrick Mabwati, 10. Joan Verdu, 17. Juan Carlos (5. Javier Matilla); 19. Jorge Molina (Braian Rodriguez)