Wu Lei was back in action with a goal as Espanyol beat Alaves 2-0 in their return to La Liga action after an enforced break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chinese striker had tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of March, but showed no ill effects as he produced arguably his most effective game for Espanyol. Were it not for the heroic efforts of Alaves' substitute keeper Roberto Jimenez, Wu would have scored more than the cool finish he produced at the start of the second half to put Espanyol 2-0 ahead.
Wu also played a big role in perhaps the most important moment of the game when Alaves keeper Fernando Pacheco was sent off in the 18th minute.
Pacheco came to collect a long ball aimed at the Chinese striker, but made a terrible error of judgment and caught the ball outside his area, earning an automatic red card and leaving his side to play over 70 minutes with ten men.
Pacheco's replacement Roberto had endured a difficult time at his previous club West Ham United, but he was all that stopped Espanyol from scoring a hatful of goals.
Roberto made three excellent saves to deny Wu the opening goal of the game, but could do nothing to save Bernardo's header on the stroke of halftime, and when Wu finally beat him when clean through on goal in the first minute of the second half, it was game over.
It was only Espanyol's second home win of the season and although they remain second from bottom of the table, the three points are an important boost to the Barcelona-based club's hopes of survival. Enditem