El Centrocampista


It’s been a strange few weeks for Andalusian outfit Granada. Following the infamous umbrella incident halted their tie against Mallorca, last week saw the remaining 30 minutes of the game being resumed behind closed doors, although again not without controversy.

The islanders were quickly awarded a penalty after just five minutes, although there wasn’t any doubt over the decision. Hemed stepped up to score for Mallorca, levelling the tie at 2-2.

The point for debate came when minutes from the end, referee Clos Gómez failed to award what looked to be as clear-cut a penalty decision you’re ever likely to see.

Mallorca defender Nunes brought down striker Uche with a rough challenge and Uche clear on goal… the ball then came off the Granada forward and over the byline. Clos Gómez inexplicably awarded Granada a corner.

Conspiracy theories ensued over the following days in the Spanish press, suggesting that not only had Granada paid a fine and received a warning for the umbrella incident, but the referee had also made them pay the penalty, in more ways than one.

Happy to put the whole affair behind them, Granada manager Fabri González took his side to Getafe last Sunday December, looking to recover points and extend their five match unbeaten run.

In truth it was a game of poor finishing in two halves. Getafe were presented the better opportunities to open the scoring in the first half, but failed to take their chances. This was also the case for Granada in the second half, as they began to dominate the game, but lacked any end product.

A goal by Casquero nine minutes from time for Getafe was enough to win the game and end the unbeaten run of Granada, who left the Spanish capital wondering just how they hadn’t come away with any points. Effectively, the spectre of poor finishing had reared its ugly head again, with Granada remaining the lowest scoring team in La Liga.

Chance to forget the league for a game, came with an away first leg encounter at Anoeta against Real Sociedad, in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday night.

Granada manager Fabri González decided to chance shuffling his pack, changing the entire team and present opportunities for his fringe players. On loan Brazilian keeper Julio César and left-back Ribeiro made their club débuts, whilst there were also rare starts for defenders Lucena and Pamarot, midfielder Moisés and winger Mollo.

Granada couldn’t possibly have made a worse start to proceedings though, going two goals down inside the first seven minutes. Calamitous defending from the fully changed back four and poor goalkeeping to blame. This tore up the defend-and-counter plans that manager Fabri likes to employ, especially away from home.

From there on out, Granada were always chasing the game, but so many changes to the line up offered little else than the most disjointed team performance since the 4-0 loss away at Málaga earlier in the season.

First eleven regulars Siqueira, Jara and Uche were introduced within ten minutes of the start of the second half and although Granada looked a little more cohesive, they conceded a third goal in the 64th minute. Geijo pulled a goal back for Granada in the 72nd minute, but a fourth for Real Sociedad in the 90th minute all but put the tie to bed for the Basque side.

With problems scoring goals and Granada perhaps focusing more on league survival, it’s highly unlikely they’ll turn things around in the second leg.

After a good little unbeaten run pulled them out of the relegation zone, Granada now see themselves looking down the barrel again, as they prepare for their encounter with this seasons surprise package, high flying Levante, at home this afternoon.

Three points will put them back in the mid-table zone before they start the New Year with a trip to Real Madrid.

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