The champions have played one less game and will play Elche on Wednesday. Third-placed Real Sociedad is on their heels, but they barely beat Espanyol. Takefusa Kubo and Alexander Sorloth scored for Real Sociedad to give them a commanding lead at the RCDE Stadium. Imanol Alguacil’s team had gone three games without a win in all competitions, so this was a good way to get back on track.
Leandro Cabrera, a defender for Espanyol, put a cross from Kubo into his net with his head. Sergi Darder scored a consolation goal for Espanyol from close range. With three minutes left, Brian Olivan smashed another goal for Espanyol, setting up a tense finish. Then, in stoppage time, Cabrera was sent off.
Real Sociedad catchup with Madrid in La Liga
Real Sociedad is 14 points behind the leader, Barcelona. After their 1-0 win over Villarreal on Sunday, Real Madrid is 11 points ahead of Real Sociedad. Espanyol is in 17th place and only one point above the relegation zone. They are missing their injured striker Joselu. The Basques were still missing creative midfielder David Silva, but Mikel Merino came on as a substitute after being out with an injury.
After a close first half in which the visitors had more of the ball, Kubo scored a goal out of nowhere to break the tie. After a cross was cleared into his path, the Japan international put Real Sociedad ahead with a sharp shot near the post from the edge of the box. It was his fourth league goal of the season.
The young player who used to play for Barcelona and Real Madrid only scored six goals in three seasons at Real Mallorca, Villarreal, and Getafe. Espanyol tried to regain control by putting on former Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez at halftime, but Sorloth quickly scored. The Norwegian forward made it 2-0 for La Real early in the second half when Mikel Oyarzabal passed the ball to him at just the right spot.
Then, Cabrera tried to stop a cross from Kubo, but he could only head the ball past Alvaro Fernandez at the near post. When Darder scored late in the game, Espanyol fans finally had something to cheer about. Olivan’s goal gave them a chance to get the point, but Cabrera’s second yellow card sent them off, ending their options. This season, Diego Martinez’s team has only won four games and is getting closer and closer to the bottom of the table.