Hernan Perez volley boosts Espanyol beyond Rayo Vallecano
A stunning late volley from Hernan Perez earned Espanyol a much-needed 2-1 Primera Division win over fellow strugglers Rayo Vallecano.
The Paraguayan's 77th-minute wonder goal restored Espanyol's lead 10 minutes after former Manchester United winger Bebe had cancelled out Abraham Gonzalez's first-half opener.
And Constantin Galca's side fully deserved the points, overpowering the visitors for most of the game and spurning a number of chances to seal the points.
The Catalans made an intense start to the game and had Rayo pegged back into their own half for most of the opening 45 minutes. They took a deserved lead when the ever-present Marco Asensio crossed from the left and Abraham arrived to squeeze a shot past Yoel Rodriguez and into the near corner.
Espanyol were even more dominant after the break, and really should have put the game to bed.
Asensio took too long to get his shot away after turning a defender in the area, then raced forward on the break to lay on a pass for winger Burgui, who inexplicably shot wide of the near post, and Rayo defender Quini managed to clear a shot off the line.
Rayo punished their hosts' profligacy with a quick breakaway goal, Armenian debutant Aras Ozbiliz sliding the ball to Bebe, who lashed into the far corner.
Rayo had a couple of chances of their own to snatch what would have been a scarcely deserved win, but instead Perez restored Espanyol's lead with a perfectly executed volley.