Following the 9-1 demolishing Granada received at the hands off Real Madrid during the weekend, a response was needed from Abel Resino’s men during their home match against a hard working Celta team who sit safely in the middle of the table.
An early goal from winger Robert Ibanez in the third minute put the home side ahead after the ball ping ponged inside the 6 yard area. However they would go into the break with only ten men, after Colombian centre half Murillo was sent off due to two yellow cards in the space of just 4 minutes. Granada managed to hold off during the second half until the 93rd minute, when substitute Theo Bongonda scored to snatch the 3 points away from the home side. It was a devastating blow for the team, who still remain in the relegation zone with 26 points.
Rival relegation contenders Almeria suffered a damning defeat in the Camp Nou. Messi scored his 398th career goal for the Catalans, with defender Marc Bartra and Uruguayan Luis Suarez netting the rest it what was a simple game for the home side, after a difficult away game at the weekend to Celta.
It leaves Almeria sitting 18th with 8 games to go but they are only one point from safety after Deportivo’s draw with bottom side Cordoba, in which the former Champions League semi-finalists will count themselves lucky, after a Florine Andone own goal gave the home side a point from the encounter with 3 minutes from time. This leaves both league newcomers needing many more points to ensure their safety, with bottom club Cordoba 5 points from safety with matches against Villarreal, Bilbao and league leaders Barcelona coming up during the last 8 games.
Deportivo face an away trip to Sociedad next week while Almeria have a relegation nine-pointer against fellow strugglers Granada. It looks like it will be a fight until the end for all the teams involved, as all the sides have games against each other or other teams in the bottom half of the table, ensuring there are plenty of points available for each of the sides battling against relegation the Segunda Division.
The smallest side in the first tier of Spain, Eibar, are slipping dangerously down the table after a fantastic start to the season. However their win on Tuesday night against European chasers Malaga was much need, and produced 3 valuable points after a torrid run of 11 games without a win, spanning back to the middle of January. They now sit 6 points clear, not safe but in a fairly secure position with the 8 games left, in which they encounter Real Madrid this Saturday at the Bernabeu! One of the potentially decisive fixtures of the season is Eibar vs Cordoba on the last day, where both sides could need all 3 points.
Although most look at the top of the table, there looks to be an intriguing battle down the other end, with any three of potentially six or seven teams being relegated from the BBVA this season.