Almeria claim vital win
Almeria gave their survival hopes a big boost by ending a run of four straight defeats with a 2-1 win over Espanyol.
Last Updated: 27/04/14 1:25pm
Almeria gave their survival hopes a big boost on Sunday by ending a run of four straight defeats with a come-from-behind 2-1 Primera Division victory at nine-man Espanyol.
Christian Stuani put the mid-table hosts ahead just before the interval, but his dismissal shortly after the break was the catalyst for the visitors to turn the game on its head.
Fran Velez equalised in the 69th minute and, three minutes later, substitute Suso produced a stunning left-footed free-kick to lift Francisco's side up a place to 18th and within two points of fourth-bottom Getafe with three games remaining.
Javi Lopez was sent off in stoppage time to add to Espanyol's disappointing afternoon.
Chances were few and far between in a cagey opening at the Estadi Cornella-El Prat.
Jhon Cordoba nodded Simao Sabrosa's header just wide and Sergio Garcia sent a close-range shot a similar way for the hosts, while the most the visitors could muster was a long-range attempt from Ramon Azeez which was too high to trouble Francisco Casilla.
The deadlock was broken three minutes before half-time, however, when Stuani's header from Sergio Garcia's left-wing cross found the bottom corner.
Almeria almost got back on level terms before the interval when Angel Trujillo met Miguel Angel Corona's free-kick, but his header drifted just wide.
Stuani went from hero to villain three minutes after the interval when he was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Velez.
And the 10 men were soon made to pay for their numerical inferiority as they conceded two quickfire goals.
First Corona produced the inswinging corner from the left towards Velez, whose header found the top-left corner.
And then, before Espanyol could regroup, Suso stepped up and despatched a brilliant 25-yard free-kick into the top-right corner to put Almeria ahead.
The Barcelona outfit could find no way back, and their woes were compounded in stoppage time by a red card for Javi Lopez for a professional foul on Jonathan Zongo.