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Spanish strugglers Espanyol reach knockout stage of Europa League
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Spanish strugglers Espanyol reach knockout stage of Europa League

Agency News

MADRID, Nov 8: Espanyol may be struggling second from bottom of the Liga Santander in Spain but Pablo Machin's side booked their place in the knockout stage of the Europa League with a 6-0 win at home to Bulgarian side Ludogorets on Thursday night.

Espanyol's task was made much easier by the fact their visitors were reduced to nine men by the 33rd minute of the game after Rafael Forster was sent off for a professional foul in the 11th minute and Jacek Goralski shown the red card for handball in the 33rd minute, but by the time Goralski Oscar Melendo and Lluis Lopez, who took advantage of a bad keeping error, had already put Espanyol 2-0 ahead.

Matias Vargas made it 3-0 before halftime and in the second half Victor Campuzano, Adria Pedrosa and Facundo Ferreryra rounded off a win which would have been even greater if Fernando Calero hadn't missed a late penalty. Elsewhere Munir el Haddadi scored a hat-trick and Munas Dabbur added two more as Sevilla booked their place in the last 32 of the competition with a 5-2 win away to F91 Dudelange in Luxembourg.

Getafe, meanwhile, have more work to do after losing 2-1 away to Basel. Arthur Cabral put Basel ahead and although Jaime Mata levelled from the penalty spot before halftime, Fabian Frei scored an excellent side foot shot to ensure the points stay in Switzerland. (XINHUA)