Espanyol close on final spot
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Espanyol have one foot in the Uefa Cup final after a 3-0 win over Werder Bremen.
Espanyol are in pole position to reach the final of the Uefa Cup after 3-0 win over ten-man Werder Bremen in the first leg of their semi-final.
Goals from Hurtado Moises, Uefa Cup top scorer Walter Pandiani and Ferran Corominas were enough to give the Spaniards a commanding first leg victory.
To compound Bremen's miserable night goalkeeper Tim Wiese was sent-off for a professional foul.
Espanyol started brightly and thought they had broken the deadlock on 19 minutes when Daniel Jarque flicked home from close-range, but their celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.
However, a minute later Espanyol did find the breakthrough when Ivan de la Pena played a short corner to Francisco Rufete who crossed for Moises to head home past Wiese.
Bremen tried to hit back and German international Torsten Frings went close with a stinging shot which Gorka Iraizoz did well to push out.
Moises soured his night on 25 minutes when he picked up a booking to rule him out of the return leg next week.
Naldo wasted a good chance for the visitors on the half hour mark when he rose highest to meet Frings' corner only to head it straight at Iraizoz.
Espanyol doubled their advantage five minutes after the break when Pandiani flicked home de la Pena's corner at the near post.
Things got worse for Bremen just before the hour mark when goalkeeper Wiese was sent-off for hauling down Raul Tamudo as he burst through on goal.
Espanyol suffered a major blow on 67 minutes when Pandiani was ruled out of the second leg after picking up a booking.
The result leaves Bremen with a real mountain to climb in the second leg in Germany next week.
Click on fixture for full match summary
Espanyol 3-0 Werder Bremen