LEVANTE STUN ESPANYOL LATE ON
European hopefuls Espanyol were brought back to earth with a bump as Levante snatched a late 2-1 Primera Division victory over them.
Mauricio Pochettino's side came into the game at Cornella-El Prat within touching distance of the top four, behind Athletic Bilbao only on goal difference.
They were keen to take three points against fast-fading Levante but were forced to re-evaluate when Valdo put Levante ahead in the first half and Kalu Uche's header put Espanyol level. But Ruben Suarez's free-kick in the 89th minute restored Levante's lead and earned them a thrilling win.
Cristian Gomez had an early sighter which went off target as Espanyol looked to establish themselves, with Vladimir Weiss looking lively in bursts.
When a firm chance was finally created, it resulted in the opening goal for the Valencian outfit. Valdo was the man to produce it, making space to receive Arouna Kone's pass before sweeping home past Francisco Casilla.
Jose Barkero saw a cross caught by Casilla and Espanyol's Javi Lopez was similarly frustrated by Gustavo Munua's catch at the other end.
Munua then fumbled Cristian's cross but there was little cutting edge from either side.
Alvaro had a shot for Espanyol which went wide from 25 yards as the half petered out.
Weiss saw a cross cleared before firing wide from 12 yards with a left-footed shot which should have been better.
The tepid action was punctuated by Javi Lopez's 66th-minute shot from distance which went over the bar, before Levante nearly went 2-0 up.
Kone was the man who nearly provided the goal, volleying hard from 18 yards but seeing Casilla make the superb save. Gustavo Cabral mis-hit his shot from the loose ball as the action died down.
Levante were punished in the 75th minute when Uche equalised. Local boy Joan Verdu set the goal up, taking a free-kick from the right - earned by the lively Weiss - and floating in a ball for Uche to head home.
Uche and Rui Fonte had late chances to win it - but both shot off target - before Ruben swung in the winner with a free-kick from 30 yards with less than two minutes remaining.
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