Granada nets narrow win over Levante

First-half goals from Guillherme Siqueira and Abel Gomez were enough to give Granada their third win in five league games as they beat Levante 2-1.

After an evenly contested opening quarter the hosts took the lead from the penalty spot as Jose Barkero handled Abel’s fiercely struck free-kick inside the area.

Siqueira cheekily chipped the penalty down the middle of the goal.

Granada extended their lead just before half-time as Abel volleyed in the rebound after Odion Ighalo’s effort came back off the post, but Levante were back in the game just after the break as Arouna Kone headed in Ruben Suarez’s corner.

Levante pushed on in search of an equaliser but when Sergio Ballesteros’ deflected effort came back off the post in stoppage time it was clear it was not to be their day.

Granada manger Fabri Gonzalez had spoken ahead of the game about Levante’s threat on the counter-attack and his plan in the early stages seemed to be built around defending deep to prevent the visitors using the pace of Kone in behind.

However, slowly the home side began to take control of the game and were handed the chance to open the scoring when Barkero stupidly raised his hand to deflect Abel’s free-kick and referee Carlos del Cerro Grande had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

The visitors were extremely unlucky not to be back on level terms almost immediately as Kone got free for the first time in the match and after rounding goalkeeper Roberto his cut-back was deflected towards his own goal by Allan Nyom but somehow spun across the goal line and way to safety.

Levante then self-destructed before half-time as Xavi Torres was caught on the ball by Ikechukwu Uche who played in Ighalo, he was unlucky to see his shot come off the post but the ball bounced up perfectly for Abel to fire home.

However, 15 minutes into the second half Levante had a lifeline as Ruben Suarez Estrada’s vicious cross from the right found Kone unmarked at the near post and his flicked header found the bottom corner.

Granada then began to retreat and appeared happy to play on the counter-attack but that was allowing Ruben and Barkero to get on the ball in dangerous positions and both saw left-footed efforts go just wide.

Levante nearly got the equaliser their second-half display merited when Ballesteros drove forward from the back and saw his shot deflect off Inigo Lopez before coming back off the upfront and falling to a grateful Granada defender.

The win moves Granada up into a four-strong group of teams on 19 points in mid-table while Levante remain in fourth.