Espanyol and Osasuna take a Cup with thirst for the First

Cornellà is visited by the parakeet executioner from last season, who tries not to emulate his steps. Arrasate and Moreno will mix, without an audience, holders and substitutes.


There was a time when Espanyol landed in Pamplona –with hundreds of parrots who had sold out tickets in half an hour– ready to save themselves, before a meek Osasuna in half a table. It was the time of innocence. An 8-M of 2020, in which the rojillos smeared the feet of the parrots with the cement of the descent only six days after everyone was left without an audience, without breath, perhaps without freedom. Today, only ten months but half a life later, they meet again in the Cup, although paradoxically with the First Division more present than ever (follow the game live on .

Only the field factor, favorable to the lower category team, reveals on which board Espanyol and Osasuna are currently playing. Vicente Moreno, so restrained that he hides his calls until almost game time, let his imagination fly in the preview - "it must be nice to win a title with Espanyol," he asserted - although pragmatism will lead him to mix LaLiga headlines with those who are less so, because if something has been achieved it is that few players feel substitutes. Oier, the goalkeeper of the Cup, will play, Lluís will return, sanctioned in the last league match, and Fran Mérida will be reunited with his former teammates. From here, pools, with Raúl de Tomás as the great unknown.

If the league competition is a priority for parakeets, it is almost the only thing on the table for the reds. For this reason, Jagoba Arrasate by Sergio Herrera, Aridane or Moncayola is dispensed with. Nor does Brandon Thomas attend, but in his case because he is on the way to reinforcing Leganés, Espanyol's direct rival. But they will appear in Cornellà an Enric Gallego who knows the city well - and who could have been a local on the stage of the match - or Budimir, and Manu Sánchez will debut, on loan from Atlético.

Despite the fact that the Cup appears right now as a kind of fly in Osasuna's soup, the truth is that until now it has actually been his oasis in a very turbulent season. The victories against Tomares and Olot have been the only respites in a terrible league streak, which reaches 12 games without winning. And falling with a crash, although it seems like a secondary tournament, ends up affecting the main competition: that they tell Espanyol and their bluff last year in Wolverhampton ... 444 444Thus, without a mere glimpse of the public from the previous occasion - the local club requested it from the Generalitat, but it has not prospered - and with the executioner in LaLiga last season, Espanyol receives an Osasuna who imitates his steps, almost 12 months later, with the desire to remove him from the Cup but, above all, to check his real level against a superior adversary and to retaliate for those tasks not today but next season, finding himself in the First Division.

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