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Espanyol concedes late, loses chance to take lead in Spain

Girona FC v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga

GIRONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 17: Daniele Verde of Real Valladolid CF runs with the ball during the La Liga match between Girona FC and Real Valladolid CF at Montilivi Stadium on August 17, 2018 in Girona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

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MADRID (AP) Espanyol conceded in injury time to draw Valladolid 1-1 and miss a chance to take the outright lead in the Spanish league on Friday.

Espanyol was in front until Italian forward Daniele Verde converted a free kick a minute into injury time to even the match and keep the visitors from moving past Catalan rival Barcelona at the top of the standings.

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Espanyol now has the same 18 points as Barcelona but trails on goal difference. Barcelona hosts Real Madrid in the league “clasico” on Sunday at Camp Nou Stadium.

Forward Borja Iglesias put Espanyol ahead with a powerful right-footed shot from outside the area in the first half. Verde’s late free kick appeared to deflect on the wall, taking goalkeeper Diego Lopez out of play.

It was the first league goal for Verde, who is playing on loan from Roma.

Promoted Valladolid, owned by former Brazil striker Ronaldo, had won four straight and could have joined Barcelona at the top had it won the home match. It has 16 points and is in sixth place. The team’s next league game is at Real Madrid.

Espanyol hasn’t lost since a 1-0 defeat against Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in the fifth round.

Valladolid is playing in the first division for the first time since 2013-14. Ronaldo, a two-time World Cup winner and a former Madrid and Barcelona striker, became a majority stakeholder in the club this season.


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