Ground: RCDE Stadium (Estadio Cornellà-El Prat)
Date: 20th February 2016
Match: Espanyol - Deportivo la Coruña 1-0 (Primera División)
Attendance: 28 455
In late December/early January I went on tour in Spain. I went to five games back then and as I was planning my annual mid-February trip I was yet again looking at Spain. Once kick-off times were confirmed I skipped the Malaga (vs Real Madrid) + Gibraltar option and booked a flight to Barcelona. The city of Barcelona is of course the home of the mighty FC Barcelona, a club I have yet to visit, but this time around it was actually RCD Espanyol I was going to pay a visit. Espanyol vs Deportivo la Coruña kicked-off at 18.15 on Saturday evening. On Sunday I was then going to Girona for Girona vs Real Oviedo in Segunda División. Last match on this tour would be Nîmes vs Metz in Ligue 2. My journey to Spain started on Friday evening and at 18.45 my flight Copenhagen airport. 2,5 hours later I was at the airport in Barcelona. Two friends of mine, Daniel and Romina, were also in Barcelona this evening. They were on holiday for 10 days and as I arrived at the Barcelona Sants train station around 22.30 they were waiting for me. We then had a drink together before leaving for our hotels. My hotel was next door to Sants station and shortly after mid-night I went to bed.
Espanyol play in the Cornellà area of Barcelona and from Sants it was only 17 minutes by the metro to Cornellà center. RCDE Stadium was then a 15-minute walk away. RCDE Stadium, also known as Estadio Cornellà-El Prat, was opened in 2009 and has a capacity of 40 500. It is actually the eighth stadium in the club´s history. I took a few exterior pictures before heading back to the metro station. My original plan was attend the three games mentioned above but a few days ago I was tipped off about the Segunda B fixture between Barcelona B and Atlético Levante. That game kicked-off at 20.45 at Mini Estadi, next door to Camp Nou. With the game at RCDE Stadium finishing around 20.05 I wanted to make the journey to check if the double was doable. Once at Mini Estadi I realized I would miss a few minutes of the that game but still decided to do this double. At the FC Barcelona ticket office I bought a ticket for the game as well as a ticket for the "Camp Nou experience". For an hour or so I did the ground tour as well as a visit to the museum at Camp Nou. With a capacity of 98 000 Camp Nou is the biggest football ground in Europe but it is not exactly a modern ground. It is a ground I have to visit though and I will be surprised if I am not back for a game next season. I knew I had to do some kind of "normal" sightseeing as well in Barcelona and after my visit to Camp Nou I went by metro to Familia Sagrada before finding a restaurant for a late lunch. Sagrada Familia is a large catholic basilica where building works commenced in 1882 (yes, 1882). The basilica is still not ready though but there are plans/dreams if it being completed in 2026.
Shortly before 5pm I was back at RCDE Stadium. An hour before kick-off the turnstiles opened and I went inside. My seat was in row 3 of the upper tier of the East Stand. From my seat I had an excellent view of the pitch. Before this game Espanyol were fourth from bottom and three points tonight was vital. To increase the support for the home team season ticket holders could get a another ticket for free. This campaign meant 28 500, a very good attendance for Espanyol, were at RCDE Stadium this evening. For the derby against FC Barcelona "only" 24 500 showed up. On the other hand tickets were ridiculously expensive for that game. Deportivo had round 150 fans in the corner to my left and all in all the atmosphere at this game was quite good. The first half was a bit boring but the last 45 minutes were really exciting. In the 52nd minute Espanyol made it 1-0. They then had several really good chances to increase their lead but the Deportivo goalkeeper had a good night. There were three minutes of stoppage time and to avoid the rush I left in the 92nd minute. No more goals though and three very important points for Espanyol. At 20.25 I left Cornellà metro station. My second game of the evening, Barcelona B vs Atlético Levante kicked-off at 20.45. I missed the first 1 minute and 50 seconds but was still quite pleased with my effort.
RCDE Stadium, rear of the West Stand
RCDE Stadium, rear of the southeast corner
Fans outside the ground
A very large shirt
View of play
View of play
Scarfs are out