• FT

    Elche

    2

    Espanyol

    1

  • FT

    Rayo

    1

    R Sociedad

    0

  • FT

    Levante

    2

    Real Madrid

    3

  • FT

    Barcelona

    4

    Valladolid

    1

SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISIÓN

Manuel Martinez Valero

Attendance: 22603

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Elche

  • Coro 40'
  • Coro 74'

2 - 1

FT

Espanyol

  • Thievy Bifouma 66'

Escriba pleased with progress

Elche coach Fran Escriba is pleased with the progress his side are making as they get ready to face Espanyol.

Los Franjiverdes got their first victory of the season by recording a 1-0 win at Celta Vigo last week, a result which lifted them out of the relegation zone and came after an excellent but albeit futile performance as they lost at home to Real Madrid.

"The team is growing and I'm not going to deny that we are improving with every game," Escriba told a press conference, ahead of the visit of Javier Aguirre's side.

"But we cannot forget that every opponent is difficult, and Espanyol have a great team and a coach who I really admire," he added.

"They have made a good start to the season, because they have good players."

Escriba faces a selection headache in defence, with centre-back Alberto Botia suspended after picking up five yellow cards already this season.

Sergio Pelegrin is still injured and left-back Edu Albacar, who was set to fill in for Botia at centre-back, is a doubt.

"If Edu doesn't make it, we have alternatives, like [Cristian] Sapunaru, Charlie [l'Anson], [David] Generelo or Domingo Cisma," Escriba said.

"We have other options and whoever plays will do a good job.

"The team are going to keep going in the same direction, they are full of enthusiasm, as the fans have seen every time we've played at home.

"We'll need the fans on our side, because it's going to be a very tight game."

Espanyol have some injury concerns of their own, with defenders Hector Moreno and Felipe Mattioni missing the game, although left-back Juan Rafael Fuentes returns, as do Manuel Lanzarote and Alex Fernandez, who missed the 2-0 defeat at home to Getafe.

Aguirre admitted the team needed to provide a quick response following two straight losses, to Getafe and Villarreal.

"We have to get out of this rough patch, we want to go into the international break having turned the situation around," the Mexican told reporters.

"The bad news is that Elche is a very tough place to go, and we're up against a difficult team that showed they were rigid and tough against Real Madrid."

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