Valencia ease past Espanyol


Valencia continued their excellent start to life under coach Nuno Espirito Santo with a dominant 3-1 win over Espanyol, who will be worrying about their prospects in the Primera Division this season. Pablo Piatti finished off a cut-back from Rodrigo Moreno to put the hosts in front with just eight minutes gone, and second-half goals from Dani Parejo and Paco Alcacer finished off a sorry Espanyol side, although Sergio Garcia did manage to score a late penalty for the Catalans. Valencia now have seven points and seven goals from their opening three games and are playing with a confidence and fluidity not seen since Unai Emery was in charge. However, Espanyol coach Sergio Gonzalez has a lot of thinking to do, his side taking just one point so far and looking second best in each of their games. Valencia took a few moments to find their feet in the game but took the lead with their first proper attack. Rodrigo ravaged the Espanyol left hand side and then picked out Piatti at the near post, the Argentinian slotting home with ease. Rodrigo was close to notching another assist midway through the first half when he found Alcacer, but the striker's shot went over the bar. Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla managed to deny Rodrigo a goal of his own in the second half, but could do little to prevent Parejo from doubling the lead in the 65th minute. The midfielder found space in the middle of the park after intercepting and strolled towards the penalty area to pick his spot and slam the ball into the bottom corner. Valencia were not finished yet, however, and struck again 10 minutes later. Espanyol were caught outnumbered at the back and Sofiane Feghouli played a low ball into the box for Alcacer to run on to and round Casilla to score his third goal in as many games for club and country. Espanyol's tireless striker Garcia made one final venture forward in injury time and was fouled by Javi Fuego just inside the area. Garcia picked himself up to score from the spot but it was hardly a consolation for the Catalans, who need answers to their many problems fast.