Granada get deserved win
Granada secured only their second win in seven league games with a deserved 2-1 victory over Osasuna.
Last Updated: 22/12/12 9:41pm
Granada secured only their second win in seven league games with a deserved victory over Osasuna at the Reyno de Navarra.
Nino had fired the hosts into an early lead with a looping header from Raoul Loe's flick-on, but Granada dominated thereafter and should have been level well before Diego Mainz did find the back of the net from Dani Benitez's free-kick four minutes before half-time.
And Benitez himself then put his side ahead two minutes into the second period with a wonderful left-footed strike from outside the area that left Andres Fernandez helpless.
Rumours earlier in the week had suggested that Granada boss Juan Antonio Anquela could be sacked if his charges failed to pick up a win before the winter break and early on it looked like his fate would be sealed by the combination of poor defending and finishing that has dogged the Andalusians all season.
Nino took advantage of some slack marking to nod in only his second goal of the campaign on seven minutes but only a series of remarkable misses from Odion Ighalo and Youssef El-Arabi prevented the hosts from going in well behind at the break.
Ighalo was slightly unlucky with his first effort as he hit the bar with a free header from 10 yards, but there was no excuse for El-Arabi as he skewed wide with an open goal from Gabriel Torje's fantastic low cross.
The Moroccan was again off target with another great opportunity from Torje's through-ball on the half-hour before Andres made a fine save to keep out Ighalo's next effort 10 minutes later.
However, within 60 seconds of that save the visitors were finally level as Benitez's in-swinging free-kick was flicked past Andres at the far post by Mainz.
And Benitez produced the game's one true moment of quality moments into the second half as he picked the ball up around 25 yards from goal and riffled a low shot past Andres to record his first goal since returning from a three-month suspension.
Granada were then quite happy to sit back and allow Osasuna to come at them, but the home side created very little until Roberto was forced into a comfortable save to turn away Joseba Llorente's attempted lob in stoppage time.
Victory moves Granada above Los Rojillos into 15th, while Osasuna will begin 2013 just one place off the bottom as they slip back into the relegation zone.