Ghana midfielder Mubarak Wakaso has sparked Espanyol’s season as the midfielder was instrumental in giving them their first win in three matches on Sunday.
Wakaso, who was suspended by the club for returning late from the Africa Cup of Nations, impressively set up Espanyol’s second goal in their 2-0 win over high-flying Malaga.
In the absence of the Ghanaian, Espanyol have struggled even though they lost when he played in last week’s league match on his return from suspension.
On Wednesday, Malaga beat Porto to reach the last eight in the Champions League, but a disciplined Espanyol led by Wakaso’s tenacity power proved too much for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
After a subdued first half at La Rosaleda, defender Diego Colotto put Espanyol in front in the 49th minute when he fired in a corner kick spilled by goalkeeper Willy Caballero.
Espanyol had little trouble soaking up Malaga’s pressure and doubled its lead in the 66th off a counterattack led by Wakaso Mubarak, who raced down the left side and crossed for Sergio Garcia to deftly sidefoot into the net.
Malaga was left in sixth place, while Espanyol rose 11 points above the drop zone.
Watch video of the Wakaso’s performance below