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Spanish Primera BBVA

Estadi Cornella-El Prat (ATT 14,000) 28th April 2013 - Kick off 11:00 Ref: C Velasco Carballo

Espanyol Espanyol vs Granada Granada

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Granada 1

Nolito (37)

Granada pull clear of drop zone

Last Updated: 28/04/13 2:02pm

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Celebrations for Granada after beating Espanyol

Celebrations for Granada after beating Espanyol

Granada pulled themselves clear of the relegation zone after holding out for a narrow 1-0 victory at Espanyol.

A superb free-kick by Nolito was enough to see off Javier Aguirre's side, who were the better team throughout the match but were unable to take their chances.

The game took a while to get going, with neither side able to create many openings. Javi Lopez had the first real opportunity of the game when he burst into the box down the right hand side, but his cross-shot went wide.

With both teams well organised in defence, the match required something special for the deadlock to be broken. That moment arrived eight minutes before half-time.

Granada were awarded a free-kick 30 yards from goal after Gabriel Torje was fouled by Victor Sanchez. Nolito struck the ball with his right foot and it flew over the wall and dipped down just under the bar, leaving Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla frozen on his line.

Espanyol could have drawn level right on half time, but Granada stopper Roberto Fernandez produced an excellent save to keep out Sergio Garcia's header.

The Catalans were an improved side in the second half and should have got an equaliser. Christian Stuani headed over the bar from the back post after a cross from Joan Verdu and later on raced into the box and delivered a dangerous low cross across the face of the goal, but the ball was eventually cleared by the Granada defence.

Moments later Stuani was presented with another opportunity, this time volleying towards goal after a ball over the top by Verdu, but Roberto was equal to it.

Granada could have put the game to bed in injury time when Odion Ighalo found himself through on goal with just Casilla to beat, but the goalkeeper got down low to make the save and deny the Nigerian.

The final whistle sounded to confirm Granada's first win in nine games, one that takes them up to 16th in the Primera Division table.

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Matches

Table

Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Atletico Madrid 33 82
2 Real Madrid 33 79
3 Barcelona 33 78
4 Athletic Bilbao 33 62
5 Sevilla 33 56
6 Villarreal 33 52
7 Real Sociedad 33 51
8 Valencia 33 44
9 Espanyol 33 41
10 Levante 33 40
11 Malaga 33 38
12 Celta Vigo 33 37
13 Granada 33 37
14 Rayo Vallecano 33 37
15 Elche 33 35
16 Osasuna 33 34
17 Real Valladolid 33 32
18 Getafe 33 31
19 Almeria 33 30
20 Real Betis 33 22