Espanyol were just one spot and one point above fourth-placed Villarreal ahead of the match but the gap between the two teams looked much larger than that as Valverde´s in-form side swept aside their shellshocked visitors 3-0.
All of the goals came during a stunning first-half display, which could easily have seen Espanyol add to the efforts from Raul Tamudo (two) and Valmiro Valdo, and left Valverde delighted.
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