Second win in a row as Real Valladolid steer past Granada
LA LIGA SANTANDER
ESTADIO NUEVO LOS CÁRMENES, GRANADA, SPAIN
Domingos Duarte 63'
REAL VALLADOLID 3
Óscar Plano 45+2'
Marcos André 53'
After enduring a torrid start to the season, Real Valladolid bagged consecutive victories for the first time as they overcame a lacklustre Granada side. There was further reason to celebrate as young Portuguese midfielder Jota marked his debut with the final goal to seal a 3-1 win for Pucela.
With Sergio keeping the faith in the same line-up who overcame Athletic Club prior to the international break, the visitors should have gone ahead inside three minutes when Óscar Plano received a defence-splitting pass from Sergi Guardiola, but he missed wide of Rui Silva’s goal.
Guardiola, too, was guilty of wasting a good opportunity shortly before half-time. The striker exploited a static home defence to latch onto Rubén Alcaraz’s clearance but he dragged his shot across the face of the goal.
In stoppage time at the end of the first half, the Guardiola/Plano combination finally paid off when the midfielder stole across Granada captain Germán Sánchez at the near post and nodded in his teammate’s cross from the left to open his account for the season. This was Plano’s first goal since the final matchday of 2019/20.
After the break, Real Valladolid continue to keep their opponents on the backfoot despite the gulf in league positions between them. Granada looked somewhat fatigued, having had European matches to contend with as well as a Covid breakout in their camp in recent weeks.
Pucela showed no mercy and were 2-0 ahead before the second period was even ten minutes old. Guardiola played a nice ball across to Plano who, in turn, fed it onto Marcos André. Buoyed by his first goal for the senior side in the win over Athletic, the Brazilian took on his marker as he descended into the box before slamming a left-footed shot past Silva and into the net via the far post. With two goals in as many matches, the striker is keeping summer signing Shon Weissman firmly on the bench as he continues to stake a claim for the starting spot.
The tide turned significantly after that second goal as Granada responded by making a triple substitution. This worked effectively and they pulled a goal back just ten minutes later. Centre-back Domingos Duarte lost his marker, Bruno, at a corner and was the beneficiary of a knock-on from fellow defender Dimitri Foulquier, as he tapped home inside a crowded penalty area.
As the match wore on, Granada further emerged from their slumber and began to establish the kind of rhythm which has seen them climb to fourth in the table. Substitute Luis Suárez was an injection of energy and the Real Valladolid defence needed to be alert on several occasions to contain his presence.
Having featured for the Portuguese under-21 side in their last match, Jota was introduced to the action for the first time since his arrival on loan from Benfica. He proved to be decisive, robbing Luis Milla of possession and slotting calmly past Rui Silva in the 90th minute to out the result beyond all doubt and cap a fine evening for the blanquivioletas.
This victory saw Pucela climb out of the relegation zone for the first time since they became mired in the bottom three following their loss to Real Madrid in Matchday 4 and sets up a crucial encounter with Levante, who are just two points behind them, at home on Friday night.
GRANADA (4-2-3-1): Rui Silva; Carlos Neva, Domingos Duarte, Germán Sánchez (Capt.), Dimitri Foulquier, Ángel Montoro (Alberto Soro 80’) , Luis Milla, Darwin Machís, Maxime Gonalons (Luis Suárez 54’), Fede Vico (Yangel Herrera 54’), Jorge Molina (Roberto Soldado 54’).
Unused subs: Aaron Escandell, Arnau Fàbrega; Nehuén Pérez, Jesus Vallejo, Pepe Sánchez, Yan Brice Etaki.
REAL VALLADOLID (4-4-2): Jordi Masip (Capt.); Nacho, Bruno, Joaquín, Pablo Hervías (Javi Sánchez 77’), Óscar Plano (Toni Villa 77’), Rubén Alcaraz, Fede San Emeterio (Jota 77’), Fabián Orellana (Saidy Janko 68’), Sergi Guardiola, Marcos André.
Unused subs: Roberto; Luis Pérez, Ignasi Vilarrasa, Kike Pérez, Roque Mesa, Míchel, Shon Weissman, Waldo.