Aguirre: Penalty, red card helped

Javier Aguirre conceded that the red card and penalty aided Espanyol’s win over Rayo Vallecano, as he urged his team to push on from their 4-1 win.

A 25th-minute dismissal for Ruben Martinez after felling Sergio Garcia when through on goal resulted in the striker stepping up to convert a penalty against stand-in David Cobeno.

A second spot-kick from Garcia soon after for Los Pericos doubled the lead and whilst Saul Niguez pulled one back for Rayo entering the final 10 minutes, Garcia completed his hat-trick before Christian Stuani put the gloss on the result.

“There are always things to improve upon, even when you win,” countered Aguirre to reporters afterwards, though.

“The penalty and playing against 10 men conditioned the game greatly, because the opponent has had to work harder, with more effort.

“We took advantage of the circumstances and must offer congratulations to Rayo who never lost face in the game.

“The win gives us a boost and we have achieved a big result, but it means nothing. We must keep on adding points as soon as we can to get to where we want to be.

“It was an unusual game and there are things to improve because the goal conceded was a headed effort and to concede one like that leaves me unhappy.

“It is impossible to take the ball away from Rayo, who had more possession than their opponents, even including Barcelona and Real Madrid. We have looked to take advantage from their mistakes.

“I feel the tranquillity of the players, as you can see in how they play and train and that makes me calm. They have always been so and I am calm because I see togetherness, ideas and work.”

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