Liga - Granada humble Sevilla

Mon, 31 Oct 22:06:00 2011

Granada came from behind to pull off a major upset with a 2-1 victory at local rivals Sevilla, their first away win in the top flight since 1975.

Gary Medel Sevilla Liga 2011-2012 - 0

Manu had fired the home side ahead in the very first minute, but from there Marcelino’s side failed to extend their lead mostly thanks to a string of superb saves from Granada goalkeeper Roberto.

And the introduction of Odion Ighalo from the bench led to a pair of assists from the on-loan Udinese forward in the final 11 minutes as Alexandre Geijo and Mikel Rico found the back of the net to stun the home crowd at the Ramon Sanchez.

Granada finally move away from the foot of the table with only their second three points of the campaign, while Los Rojiblancos find themselves drifting away from the top four at the opposite end of La Liga after their first defeat of the season.

It is when you play host to the bottom club in the league that your fans expect the most, and no Sevilla supporter would have been disappointed when their side took the lead with less than 40 seconds on the clock.

Jesus Navas lost possession on the right flank only to regain it through sloppy defending, and his driven cross cannoned off the legs of a defender, into the path of overlapping right-back Martin Caceres just inside the Granada box.

And though his fierce shot was well kept out by Roberto, the rebound fell at the feet of Manu who made no mistake hammering an early breakthrough into the roof of the net from close range.

The in-form attacker could have had a brace on the 10 minute mark, were it not for another great stop by Roberto, this time pushing a low shot around the near post after he had been put clean through by Frederic Kanoute at the peak of a sharp Sevilla counter.

The visitors finally started to look capable of finding their way back into the game around halfway through the first period, and Abel’s 20-yard free kick was heading for the top corner before Javi Varas came to the rescue with a superb save at full stretch.

The resulting corner was dealt with, but eventually led to another Granada attack culminating with Ikechukwu Uche nearly forcing an own goal off the feet of Caceres, only for the ball to bobble the other side of the nearby upright.

But it was Roberto once again preventing the hosts from doubling their lead four minutes before the interval as a long free-kick pumped into the danger zone by Ivan Rakitic was headed down by Kanoute into the path of Julien Escude, who was milliseconds away from beating the keeper to the ball and poking it past him for 2-0.

Sevilla continued to hunt for daylight after the break, with Manu and Navas both missing the target with headers before Roberto well and truly kept his side in the game on 63 minutes.

Saving a wicked volley from Manu, the keeper was somehow able to get back into position to parry the follow-up header from substitute Emiliano Armenteros and again from Piotr Trochowski in a tremendous triple stop.

Uche was left red-faced with little over 20 minutes remaining when a set piece was headed down into his path only for the striker to somehow shoot over from four or five yards out, and it wasn't long before Fabri Gonzalez replaced him with Ighalo.

Within minutes of entering the fray, Ighalo rattled the crossbar from the edge of the box, but Geijo was there to equalise from the second ball, just like Manu had in the first minute.

Roberto once again kept the home side out in the dying embers, this time at the expense of another replacement, Luis Alberto, before play raced up the other end and the underdogs sealed their incredible comeback.

Mikel Rico's unstoppable low 20-yarder came in the final minute of regular time and came from another Ighalo assist, this time a headed square pass after out-muscling his marker battling for a poorly-cleared ball.

Liam Happe / Eurosport

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