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Espanyol ease through against Livorno

RCD Espanyol 2-0 AS Livorno Calcio (agg: 4-1) Jesús María Lacruz scored his first goal for Espanyol to help tee up a last-16 tie against Maccabi Haifa FC.

Jesús María Lacruz scored his first goal for RCD Espanyol as the Spanish side cruised into the UEFA Cup last 16, their 2-0 victory on the night sealing a 4-1 aggregate triumph against ten-man AS Livorno Calcio.

Rare goal
Fabio Galante had kept Livorno hopes alive with his strike towards the end of the first leg in Italy last week, but when Lacruz registered early on, that optimism was quickly consigned to memory. A summer signing from Athletic Club Bilbao, the defender found himself in unusual territory on 16 minutes, yet demonstrated a striker's poise as he dispatched Luis García's right-wing cross past Livorno keeper Marco Amelia. He was in more familiar territory from the kick-off, although he could do nothing as Cristiano Lucarelli headed narrowly over the bar on the counterattack.

Doubling up
It set the pattern of the match: Espanyol, and Luis García in particular, causing a menace while Livorno looked to pounce on the break. Stefano Fiore spurned a gilt-edged opportunity to restore parity on the night as he shot straight at Gorka Iraizoz on the cusp of half-time. Any vague ambitions were vanquished soon after the restart, however, as the lively Luis García teed up Ferrán Corominas who rifled in his third goal of the campaign. Livorno continued to press, yet their misery was completed 12 minutes from time when César was dismissed. Espanyol now face Israeli team Maccabi Haifa FC in the Round of 16.