Espanyol were reduced to ten men, but still managed a 1-0 victory over Granada at the Cornella-El Prat stadium last night.
Espanyol are an enigmatic team this season. Their defence is solid, but they just don’t score enough goals. In an unusually tight Primera Division, they must have been looking over their shoulders. Friday’s three points lifts them up to 8th place. Javier Aguirre will be sleeping sounder at night from now on.
Things didn’t start well for the Barcelona side. Defender Victor Alvarez was dismissed after half an hour for a reckless challenge on Granada striker El-Arabi. El-Arabi could then have put Granada ahead, but for a fine save from Casilla.
Granada are a team short on confidence, and it showed. They failed to make their superiority count, and retreated into their shell as the game progressed. The breakthrough came after a corner from the impressive Sergio Garcia was headed home by Hector Moreno on 79 minutes. As the remaining minutes played out, Espanyol never looked like relinquishing their lead.
Granada have gone four matches without a win. Youssef El-Arabi was their only player who showed any fight. On this form, they could soon be caught up in the relegation dogfight.