Leeds United moved top of the Championship table on Saturday – while Ander Iturraspe’s Espanyol slipped ever further away from La Liga safety.

It can be a brutal game at times, football. Just ask Ander Iturraspe.

At the end of the 2018/19 season, an experienced Spain international found himself out of contract and on the lookout for a new club. And it didn’t take long before he was tipped to join forces once again with that brilliant, bespectacled coach who inspired a thrilling, free-flowing Athletic Bilbao side to the Copa del Rey and Europa League final with Iturraspe at the base of his midfield.

Marcelo Bielsa was looking to players capable of dragging Leeds United back into the big time and, according to AS, the unattached 31-year-old was in his sights.

But nine months on, with the sweet smell of success filling the nostrils in West Yorkshire, Iturraspe’s nightmare campaign looks certain to end in ignominy.

While Leeds moved top of the Championship table on Saturday, sweeping aside Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town at Elland Road, Espanyol suffered a devastating loss at Osasuna to leave them rock bottom of La Liga, six points adrift of safety.

As it stands, the Catalan giants look certain to be playing second tier football for the first time since 1993/94.

And, just to add insult to the quite literal injury, Iturasspe has been restricted to just a pair of La Liga starts during his debut season with Los Periquitos due to a long-standing shoulder problem.

Iturasspe must be wondering whether he made the wrong choice. Even the most devoted Espanyol fan couldn’t begrudge him that.

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