Valencia escapes Granada with vital win

March 4, 2012

Sofiane Feghouli's first-half goal was enough to hand Valencia a hard-fought 1-0 win at Granada.

In a game of few clear-cut chances it was the Algerian's strike after 32 minutes that proved vital as he burst onto Jonas Goncalves' pass, turned inside Guilherme Siqueira and fired in a left-foot shot that Julio Cesar will have been disappointed to see slip through his grasp and into the net.

Jordi Alba came within inches of doubling Valencia's lead just before the break and despite having the better of the game after half-time Jaime Romero's shot off the inside of the post was the closest Granada came to an equaliser.

Valencia had only won one of their previous eight league games since the winter break but they created the better chances against a toothless home side in the first half.


Roberto Soldado was in fine form as he scored a hat-trick for Spain in midweek, but he failed to find the finishing touch when one-on-one with Cesar 22 minutes in as his attempted lob was easily batted down by the Granada keeper.

However, Cesar was at fault when the visitors did go in front 10 minutes later as Feghouli's tame shot should have been easily turned round the post, but the Brazilian failed to get a strong hand to it and the ball trickled over the line.

Alba then nearly scored a stunning second as his instinctive volley from Adil Rami's ball over the top dipped just over the bar.

Granada had a little more threat going forward in the second period and Jaime was extremely unlucky as he showed great skill to turn inside Victor Ruiz but saw his shot come back off the inside of Vicente Guaita's near post and rebounded to safety.

Thereafter though the game was disrupted by a spate of fouls as referee Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez showed 13 yellow cards in the match and, despite seven minutes of added time at the end, Granada failed to create another good opportunity as Valencia held on to move six points clear in third place.