2-0 is the result everyone dreams of getting in the first leg of European knock-out ties - and that’s just what Getafe got last night. They’ll travel to Amsterdam well set up. And while on Tuesday we saw the rare occurrence of Liverpool failing to shoot on target at the Metropolitano, yesterday Ajax repeated the unwanted feat at the Coliseum. Getafe are hot right now. Their coach Bordalás doesn’t waste many words, but puts out a well-worked side, one that’s capable of fighting on two important fronts: at the same time as they’re looking to qualify for the Champions League in LaLiga, they’re setting out their stall as Europa League candidates.
There were doubts over whether he’d rotate players, prioritising the domestic competition. The Europa League isn’t the Champions League, it’s Thursday to Thursday, so it made sense that Bordalás would rest some players, to avoid his best assets playing four games in 11 days. But he didn’t. Against Ajax he put out almost the same side that made Barça suffer in the Camp Nou and finished with a 2-0 win, a result that guarantees going through 83% of the time. The first goal was a phenomenal effort from the football laboratory, beating the run out from the Dutch defence at a free-kick near the area. The second, a quick attack right on the final whistle, when goals taste the sweetest.
That was the good news of the night for Spanish football, an excellent result to go along with a decent scoreline from Sevilla in Cluj, although it’s true the Andalusian side didn’t really shine. But 1-1 is a good outcome, because, according to the stats, it’s enough to see them go through 73% of the time. As for Espanyol, there’s little to say. They fell to pieces at Molineux, a legendary stadium where a fierce Wolves side tore them to pieces. At times they fought, but ended up battered, just hoping for the nightmare to end. A defeat that’s hard to deal with - the only silver lining is there’s more time to focus on avoiding relegation. What a sad season.