ELCHE RELEGATED AFTER DEFEAT AT ALMERIA
Elche relegated to Spanish second tier after defeat at Almeria
Almeria moved up to 14th with the win.
After four seasons in the Spanish top flight, Elche will play their football in LaLiga2 following a 2-1 defeat to Almería, which confirmed their relegation.
Having previously found the back of the net only twice inside the opening half-hour of away league games this campaign, Elche were surprisingly fast out of the blocks as Gerard Gumbau and Lucas Boye fired chances wide within the opening 10 minutes.
Almeria were left perplexed when referee Alejandro Hernandez nonchalantly waved away appeals for a penalty kick despite it appearing that Lisandro Magallan had clumsily stood on Adri Embarba’s foot.
However, there was nothing to stop the hosts from taking the lead six minutes later as Leo Baptistao timed his run perfectly before instinctively nutmegging Axel Werner.
Knowing anything less than a victory would confirm their relegation, Gumbau wasted a glorious opportunity to put his side back on level terms before the interval, as the Spanish midfielder aimlessly fired his close-range effort over the bar.
Referee Hernandez was again the centre of attention when he ignored Luis Suarez’s appeals for a penalty after going down under the challenge of the last defender.
Nonetheless, like a carbon copy of the first half, Rubi’s side found the back of the net only minutes later as Embarba sublimely fired his effort into the bottom corner, despite Werner getting his fingertips to the ball.
With one goal already to his name, Embarba came within inches of adding to his tally for the evening, as the winger’s ambitious long-range effort cannoned off the post.
Elche pulled a late consolation back through Ezequiel Ponce’s injury-time header, however, Almería kept their cool to move five points clear of the relegation zone ahead of Saturday afternoon’s clash at Osasuna.
Meanwhile, Elche look set to finish at the foot of the standings after suffering a league-high 23rd defeat of the season.
Man of the Match: Adri Embarba (Almeria)