Copa del Rey glory for Espanyol
By Andrew Scurr
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Espanyol comfortably defeated Real Zaragoza 4-1 in the Copa del Rey final.
Espanyol comfortably defeated Real Zaragoza 4-1 in the Copa del Rey final at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Miguel Angel Lotina's men were ahead after two minutes and never relinquished their lead despite failing to dominate for much of the game.
Zaragoza briefly had the scores level but were eventually made to pay for their poor play in the final third and to sum up their evening, goalkeeper Cesar was dismissed with 15 minutes remaining for his second silly booking.
Espanyol began the game in lively fashion and it did not take long for them to move ahead.
Ivan De la Pena's superb free-kick from 25 yards came back off the underside of the crossbar but Raul Tamudo was the quickest to react and nipped in to head past Cesar.
Zaragoza attempted to produce an instant response and from an almost identical position to where the Espanyol goal had come from, Leo Ponzio saw a free kick saved by Carlos Kameni.
It took until the 28th minute for the next effort of note, which Zaragoza finished with a training ground routine.
A deep free kick from the halfway line found its way to Brazilian striker Ewerthon who had an easy task of heading in at the far post.
However, they were unable to hold onto their lead and Espanyol were back ahead within five minutes.
De la Pena and Tamudo were both involved again, the latter crossing for Luis Garcia to nod home Espanyol's second from 10 yards.
Zaragoza had the better of the remainder of the half, but for all their pressure the best they could muster were efforts off target from Cani and Delio Toledo, while Ewerthon didn't get the right contact on a volley just after the break, sending it over the bar.
Zaragoza failed to trouble Kameni and were made to pay on 72 minutes when substitute Ferran Corominas latched onto a through ball and, having raced in on goal, finished coolly through the legs of Cesar.
Things went from bad to worse minutes later when a senseless action from Cesar saw him receive a second yellow card after throwing a bottle into the crowd in frustration at his team's poor performance.
Zaragoza tried to get back into the game with their ten men but Espanyol had time to claim a fourth from Luis Garcia.
Minutes before, Garcia had rattled the post with a powerful shot and, despite not getting great contact on his long distance effort, he found the bottom corner with the attempt just before the end.
The cup success is Espanyol's second of this decade and guarantees them Uefa Cup football next season.