The first game in the post-Quique Sanchez Flores era was a success for Espanyol as the Pericos ended a five match run without scoring as Gerard Moreno’s brace earned a Catalan derby victory.
Girona have stuttered in recent weeks as pressure has increased on their dreams of Europe and it appeared to be taking its toll as chance after chance went begging with Christhian Stuani among those to grasp at chances early on.
Just moments before the half-time whistle, Gerard Moreno broke the deadlock as Sergi Darder’s free-kick from deep found Moreno at the far post to take the ball down on his left foot and rifle in on his right.
Moreno added a second just after the hour mark to kill off Girona’s hopes, this time racing through and deftly chipping over Bono into an empty net.
The result leaves Girona in ninth, having dropped below their opponents next weekend, Getafe, and one point off Sevilla in the final Europa League spot in seventh, though the Andalusians do boast a game in hand, better head to head record and a superior goal difference.
Girona: Bono, Juanpe, Bernardo Espinosa (Michael Olunga, 67), Jonas Ramalho, Pablo Maffeo, Pere Pons, Alex Granell (Aleix Garcia, 80), Johan Mojica, Portu, Cristhian Stuani, Borja Garcia (Aday, 70).
Espanyol: Pau Lopez, David Lopez, Naldo, Javi Lopez, Aaron Caricol (Didac Villa, 82), Victor Sanchez, Carlos Sanchez, Sergi Darder (Esteban Granero, 71), Sergio Garcia, Jose Jurado (Leo Baptistao, 58), Gerard Moreno.