August 18, 2013
Granada hold on for victory
Granada got their Primera Division campaign off to the best possible start with a nervy 2-1 win at Osasuna.
In a match between two teams who narrowly avoided the drop last season, the visitors seized the half-time initiative with goals from Youssef El Arabi and Hassan Yebdi.
Francisco Punal then replied for Osasuna before Piti missed a penalty for Granada, but Lucas Alcaraz's men held on for an opening win.
Osasuna threw down the gauntlet to their opponents in the first minute, with Alvaro Cejudo's left-footed drive forcing an early save from goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez.
Granada responded with Dani Benitez and El Arabi both firing narrowly wide, but chances then dried up and the crowd had to wait until 21 minutes before Joan Oriol tried his luck for Osasuna, although his 20-yard strike cleared the top of the net.
Both teams continued to pick away and Brayan Angulo was almost rewarded for his efforts after 36 minutes when the Granada defender drilled left-footed over the bar.
Instead it was team-mate El Arabi who struck the first blow two minutes later, latching on to Allan Nyom's cross before dispatching a low shot beyond home goalkeeper Andres Fernandez.
Yebda then doubled the lead on half-time, heading in Benitez's cross from the right by-line to further strengthen Granada's grip on the match.
Osasuna emerged after the interval still rattled from events and almost paid the price within three minutes of the restart when Fernandez was forced to tip another El Arabi effort round the post.
Yet they showed signs of recovery when Punal pulled a goal back after 57 minutes. Sisi Gonzalez's cross was cleared by Manuel Iturra but fell kindly for Punal, who smashed the ball into the bottom left corner from 20 yards.
Granada were then gifted the chance to restore their two-goal advantage eight minutes later when Oriol handled the ball in the area. Piti stepped up to take the spot-kick but struck his shot straight at Fernandez, who palmed the ball away.
It was a big let-off for Osasuna and they should have capitalised after 68 minutes but Alejandro Arribas' powerful header was pushed round the post by an agile Roberto.
The stage was set for a tense finish with Osasuna throwing everything at their opponents, but the closest they came to an equaliser was Sisi's stoppage-time strike which was swept clear by the visiting defence.
|13 Andrés Fernández||13 Roberto|
|14 Javi Arribas||24 Murillo|
|22 Jordan Loties||15 Pape Diakhate|
|3 Joan Oriol||16 Brayan Angulo|
|2 Marc Bertrán||2 Allan-Roméo Nyom|
|9 Emiliano Armenteros||10 Yacine Brahimi|
|23 Raoul Loe||8 Hassan Yebda|
|10 Francisco Puñal||18 Manuel Iturra|
|17 Ariel Núñez||9 Youssef El Arabi|
|8 Miguel de las Cuevas||11 Daniel González Benítez|
|16 Alvaro Cejudo||20 Piti|
|1 Asier Riesgo||Carlos Aranda 7|
|24 Damia||Orestis Karnezis 1|
|11 Sisi||Álvaro García 27|
|15 Oier Sonj||Alexandre Coeff 19|
|19 Oriol Riera Magem||Diego Buonanotte 12|
|18 Manuel Omwu||Fran Rico 4|
|21 Roberto Torres||Fatau 28|
|Oier Sonj for Raoul Loe (45)||Álvaro García for Daniel González Benítez (78)|
|Sisi for Alvaro Cejudo (45)||Fatau for Yacine Brahimi (85)|
|Oriol Riera Magem for Ariel Núñez (66)||Fran Rico for Piti (88)|
|Raoul Loe (27)||Hassan Yebda (32)|
|Allan-Roméo Nyom (90)|
|· Squads: Osasuna | Granada|