Espanyol edge Benfica thriller
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Espanyol will take a 3-2 lead to Portugal after a dramatic first leg victory over Benfica.
Espanyol will take a 3-2 lead to Portugal after a dramatic first leg victory over Benfica in the first leg of their Uefa Cup quarter-final.
The Spanish side dominated the first half and broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when Raul Tamudo was played in by Luis Garcia, sidestepped David Luiz and lifted his shot coolly over the onrushing Quim.
Tamudo turned provider on 33 minutes as he crossed from the right for Albert Riera to power home a left-foot volley, with the aid of a deflection.
Walter Pandiani gave Espanyol a 3-0 lead on the hour mark as he headed home Riera's excellent cross from the left.
Benfica were not finished though and grabbed a crucial away goal after 64 minutes when Nuno Gomes tapped Fabrizio Miccoli's clever pass into an empty net.
Simao Sabrosa then completed a remarkable turnaround as his shot from the left was deflected in off Daniel Jarque in the 66th minute.
Miccoli missed a chance to equalise as he struck wide late on, but Benfica will nevertheless fancy their chances of progressing to the semi-finals with two away goals in the bag.
Click on fixture for full match summary
Espanyol 3-2 Benfica