Espanyol recorded their first league win of the season against newly promoted Bremen with new Brazilan full back Henrique bagging the decisive goal.
The full-time scoreline was somewhere surprising given both sides had 15 shots on goal, in a game where 14 corners were also shared. Oyarzabel capped off a decent week with another assist and the man of the match award and his little bit of extra quality was probably the difference in a hard fought encounter.
“Its only game two, but this was a must win fixture for us. We’ve identified where we need to be picking points up, and this was one of those fixtures. Last time out against Juventus, we gave a good account but came away with nothing, that was expected. After a clean sheet in Europe earlier this week, it was nice to record another one. It was also nice to have the lion’s share of possession. We’ve avoided any injuries or suspensions which could de-rail us a lot given our squad players are not quite there in terms of impacting our first team. Again its been a week of discussions with other clubs over possible deals, but the valuations we are being quoted is off the scale. So unless something drastically changes, i’m not envisaging any major deals in or out for the foreseeable. We do have a number of players we’ve identified, but one by one we are ticking them off, and moving on. We’ve in the main now got a young squad, with a lot of players who will rise in value and ratings over the next couple of years. We’ve worked extremely hard to get the squad age down, and bring in assets who have improvement in them. Pino is a good example of that. We parted with a 91 rated player in Fekir who was a star for us last season, to secure his signature. He is a full international for Spain, yet he has just turned 19. By the time he is 21, we are going to have some player on our hands. There is a path for him to break into our team with another rating rise, so won’t be entertaining silly offers. Football opinions are subjective, a player you rate highly others won’t, likewise with their own players, their valuation and yours can be polar opposites.
We now look to Sunday and Standard Liege. They’ve some injury issues at the back and we need to capitalise on that. They have started the season well though, and have some top players, some we know very well from their time here, and others have been transfer targets for us. They are a little like us and do tweek their tactics from game to game, but we are aware of that, and the threat this carry, so will pick a team/tactic capable of getting us a result”