MADRID (Reuters) - Relegation-threatened Espanyol secured a heroic 0-0 draw at Champions League-chasing Getafe on Tuesday after playing most of the La Liga match with 10 men.
Espanyol were almost immediately on the backfoot when defender Bernardo Espinosa was dismissed in the 16th minute for appearing to elbow an opponent while waiting for a cross.
Last week the Catalans had reaped the benefits of Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco getting sent off in their first game back as they went on to win 2-0 but after finding themselves in a reversal of fortunes in Tuesday’s game they coped well.
Espanyol could even have taken the lead later in the first half when Jonathan Calleri combined with Chinese forward Wu Lei but could only fire straight at goalkeeper David Soria.
The numerical difference began to show after the break and Espanyol had to cling on for most of the second period, with keeper Diego Lopez making two big interventions including pulling off a double save in stoppage time to thwart Getafe.
The point took Espanyol off the bottom of the table and into 19th place on 24 points, two points from the safety zone. Getafe remain fifth on 47 as they again missed out on the chance to move into the top four having lost 2-1 at Granada last Friday.
They are level on points with fourth-placed Real Sociedad, who play their game in hand at lowly Alaves on Thursday.
“The draw feels very good when you think about how the game went for us, losing a player so early and the type of team Getafe are, so we have to be content with how we coped and how hard we worked,” said Espanyol defender David Lopez.
“We showed an outstanding attitude and we have to keep going in this direction and continue to show we’re not giving up and no-one should presume we are dead.”
Getafe keeper Soria was visibly frustrated that his side could not take advantage of Espinosa’s sending off.
“This feels more like two points dropped than one gained, perhaps playing with an extra man made us more anxious and we played with to much desperation.”
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris