MADRID, Oct 28 — Granada moved top of La Liga yesterday with a 1-0 victory over Real Betis that continues a magical start to the season while Sevilla and Real Sociedad joined a group of four teams just a point behind the surprise leaders.
Alvaro Vadillo’s smart finish in the 61st minute was enough to give Granada a sixth win of the season and take advantage of Barcelona not playing this week to take first place, while fellow Andalusians Betis stay in the relegation zone.
The win was also their third in their last four matches, all of which have been single-goal victories.
Vadillo’s strike was his second of the season after he scored the second in his side’s shock 2-0 win over Barca last month.
“I’m very proud of the players, you know that we’re not looking at the table, the only thing we see is 20 points,” said Granada coach Diego Martinez.
“Hopefully we will win more games and we continue improving, but we are enjoying this ride and the fans are enjoying it with us.”
The four sides trailing Granada are led by Barca, who did not play this weekend after their ‘El Clasico’ against Real Madrid was postponed amid mass protests in Catalonia.
Real Sociedad meanwhile are third after winning 1-0 at Celta Vigo earlier on Sunday thanks to Swedish substitute Alexander Isak scoring the only goal with eight minutes left.
Hernandez opens Liga account
Sevilla joined the pair and Atletico Madrid, who are in fourth after beating Athletic Bilbao 2-0 on Saturday night, on 19 points thanks to a 2-0 home win over Getafe that gave them their third straight win in all competitions.
Javier Hernandez got the ball rolling in the 69th minute with his first league goal for his new club when he latched on to Franco Vazquez’s through ball and slammed home a powerful finish.
Nine minutes later Lucas Ocampos sealed the three points, assisted by a huge gap in the Getafe defence and Jesus Navas’ through ball, which left him with the easy task of rounding David Soria and rolling home his third of the season.
“Getafe are a very tough team and the game was getting very complicated,” said Hernandez.
“It felt great to score at that time and that we rounded it up with Ocampos’ good goal.”
Real Madrid are a point further back having also played a game less than their rivals after the cancellation of their clash with fierce rivals Barca, whose Catalonia region has been struck by a wave of demonstrations following the jailing of nine regional leaders.
Yesterday tens of thousands of people marched for Spanish unity in Barcelona, a day after 350,000 Catalan separatists held a protest.
The match has been rescheduled for December 18 but on Thursday La Liga revealed they will appeal the Spanish Football Federation’s decision, saying that they want the match played two weeks before on December 4.
They cited among the reasons for their appeal that the league holds the responsibility for setting dates due to broadcasting considerations, while December 18 also clashes with the Copa del Rey. — AFP