La Liga: Asier Illarramendi's stunner against Espanyol helps Real Sociedad move to 4th place
Asier Illarramendi's brilliant 25-yard strike just after the hour mark saw Real Sociedad leapfrog Atletico Madrid into fourth in La Liga with a 2-1 win at Espanyol
Madrid: Asier Illarramendi's brilliant 25-yard strike just after the hour mark saw Real Sociedad leapfrog Atletico Madrid into fourth in La Liga with a 2-1 win at Espanyol on Friday.
Despite losing top scorer Willian Jose to an early injury, the visitors capitalised on a bright start when Carlos Vela and Inigo Martinez threatened the opposition with quick passing and superb one-twos. Vela opened the scoring in the 26th minute after brilliantly controlling a pass from Inigo Martinez and finishing with composure.
Hernan Perez's solo run and finish brought Espanyol level thirty minutes into the game.
However, former Watford coach Quique Sanchez Flores' side fell to their first home defeat since September when Illarramendi took aim and blasted into the top corner in the 61st minute to give visitors a 2-1 lead.
With that win, Sociedad move two points ahead of Atletico Madrid, who host Celta Vigo on Sunday, in the final Champions League place but remain two points adrift of third-placed Sevilla.
League leaders Real Madrid and Barcelona will be in action on Saturday when they travel to Osasuna and Alaves respectively.
(with inputs from AFP)
Barca sit ninth in the table ahead of a crunch week that includes league games against Valencia on Sunday and Real Madrid next weekend, with a Champions League match at home to Dynamo Kiev in between.
Having moved to the top of the group with victories over AC Milan and Porto, the six-time European Cup winners head to Madrid to face the Spanish champions Atletico.
Barcelona want to increase Camp Nou's capacity to 110,000 while also refurbishing its surrounding area, which includes a pavilion for the club's other sports, the museum and stores.