SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain – Real Sociedad outlasted Espanyol 3-2 on Monday to post only their second home victory of the 2018-2019 LaLiga season.
The win lifts Sociedad to 25 points from 19 matches and they sit 8th in LaLiga despite their undistinguished record at San Sebastian’s Anoeta stadium.
Espanyol, with 24 points, are 10th at the mid-point of the campaign.
Undefeated since Imanol Alguacil took the helm as coach the day after Christmas, Sociedad stormed out to a 1-0 lead in the 3rd minute on Mikel Merino’s goal off a corner kick.
The second goal materialized just five minutes later, as Willian Jose converted from the penalty spot after the video assistant referee spotted a hand ball by Espanyol’s David Lopez.
The visitors, who came into the contest having lost four of their last five LaLiga outings, managed to steady themselves and clawed back a goal in the 32nd minute with a direct free kick by Naldo that caught the Sociedad defenders napping.
Espanyol pulled level in first-half stoppage time on an own goal by Sociedad’s Diego Llorente.
The Catalan club started the second half in determined pursuit of a winning goal, but just as the picture looked bleakest for the hosts, Jose scored his second of the night to put Sociedad ahead 3-2 in the 64th minute.
With 20 minutes left, Merino was sent off with a red card and the home side fell back to defend the narrow lead, though Mikel Oyarzabal came close to increasing the margin to 4-2.
Espanyol gave the Anoeta crowd some trying moments, but Sociedad hung on to take all 3 points.