Santi Cazorla and Joaquin doubles secured 3 routine points for Malaga as they overwhelmed a hapless Granada 4-0 in the Eastern Andalucian derby. A defeat to fellow rivals Sevilla on the opening day spelt trouble for Malaga but they are now officially up and running.
Could this be the beginning of something? Judging by last nights performance it becomes hard to tell due to the quality of the opposition. It’d be like getting carried away after a victory over Swansea City! Nevertheless, Manuel Pellegrini’s men ran out convincing winners against a team who look to be in for the long run already.
To win last night was a matter of urgency, yet Granada offered little in the way of resistance. Malaga needed to begin quickly and within 4 minutes Santi had his first; a short corner routine that rarely works in England paid off thanks to some lacklustre defending. The diminutive Spaniard fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the area leaving Roberto Fernandez no chance.
The next arrived shortly afterwards, Granada’s marking beared comparisons to the 3 blind mice as Joaquin headed in under no pressure whatsoever from Jesus Gamez’s cross. Fabri Gonzalez will want stern words with his crumbled backline no doubt.
Chances came in abundance for the home side in a convincing first half display which merited more strikes than the solitary two, a topic Pellegrini must have touched on as Santi notched again straight from the restart. The ex-Villarreal and €20million man squeezed a free-kick underneath the wall from roughly 25 yards for his 3rd of the campaign.
Joaquin then completed the scoring by volleying in from Santi’s cross with 15 minutes remaining. Though Granada tried to steal a consolation, 4-0 proved to be an accurate representation of matters. It could easily have been more; Van Nistelrooy tested Roberto Fernandez but a combination of poor defending and clinical finishing ensured a comfortable victory for Los Boquerones who move up to 8th.
As for Granada, improvements are urgently required as they slump to bottom of the La Liga table. Though up against a real contender for the Champions League, defending of that nature won’t even win you games against the likes of Accrington Stanley. Exactly.