Espanyol is the first Spanish team to start their European campaign as they welcomed the Iceland club Stjarnan. They were one of the few big names that began their Europa League journey beside Eintracht Frankfurt, Wolverhampton, and Torino.
After finishing at 7th in La Liga, Espanyol qualified for the Europa League second qualifying round following Valencia’s Copa del Rey triumph. A vibrant summer witnessed David Gallejo promoted to the first-team managerial spot in place of Rubi. Besides that, Mario Hermoso and Aarón Martín have departed from the club for Atlético and Mainz 05 respectively. While promoting some youngsters such as Adrià Pedrosa, Lluis Lopéz with him, he also bought a few experienced players to Espanyol. Loanee Bernardo Espinosa, 2012 Europa League-finalist Ander Iturraspe and Matías Vargas are the names that arrived at the Cornellà El-Prat.
Stjarnan Gardabaer, the Icelandic Cup champion, secured their spot for this season Europa League by finishing 3rd in the league. They travelled to Spain being rated as the outsider of this tie and the difference in quality was clearly shown in the match. Two goals from Facundo Ferreyra and Borja Iglesias gave Espanyol a huge advantage before the second leg.
If you want to read the full tactical breakdown of this game, head over to totalfootballanalysis.com or click HERE
If you love tactical analysis, then you’ll love the digital magazines from totalfootballanalysis.com – a guaranteed 100+ pages of pure tactical analysis covering topics from the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and many, many more. Buy your copy of the July issue for just ₤4.99 here, or even better sign up for a ₤50 annual membership (12 monthly issues plus the annual review) right here.