Espanyol kicked off their 2019/20 La Liga campaign by hosting Sevilla. Both teams have had a makeover from their previous season. The Catalan club managed by David Gallego were put up against a very fresh and dynamic Sevilla, recently taken over by Julen Lopetegui. After strong performances against Liverpool and Hoffenheim, the Andalusian side were expected to present a stiff challenge to the hosts in the inaugural round of the new Spanish season. In this tactical analysis, we take a look at how both sides played each other out.
It was clear from the start that Espanyol would be missing their attacking prowess after the departure of Borja Iglesias to Real Betis. The hosts, who also lost their manager, Rubi, to Sevilla FC’s rivals lined up in a 4-4-2, a shift from the 4-3-3 that they were used to under Rubi. The move was definitely a defensive one anticipated by Gallego, fully aware that Sevilla would look to control possession and unlock the Espanyol defence. With Borja Iglesias no longer leading the attacking threat for Espanyol the responsibility lied on Chinese international Wu Lei and the Argentine, Facundo Ferreyra, on loan from Benfica.
Want to read more? Click here