139 days have passed without Los Cármenes seeing their team win. More than four months, all 2022. But finally, when the Nasrid team needed it most, when that important step had to be taken to achieve permanence, when the league final is drawing near and permanence must be ensured. The Nasrids won by the minimum to an Athletic that pressed and that returns to miss another opportunity to enter the train to Europe. The Basques only have two bullets left to play the continental tournament and two to the Nasrids to seal a salvation that is closer. Much closer since the arrival of the new coach. The Karanka effect works…
Granada came out as if the victory against Mallorca had given them renewed energy. Intense, aggressive in divided balls and not letting Athletic do what they do best, run. In fact, at 30 seconds, Molina warned with a shot to a good center from Collado. Shortly after, it was Puertas who left up to three players in the area to attend to Milla, however, the man from Madrid took a long time to put together the shot and they jumped on top of him. Granada knew that they were three vital points, as did Athletic in their European aspirations. The game began to open up and the lions had a rush with several corners, a shot from Vencedor that Maximiano blocked and the Portuguese goalkeeper who could mess it up under Berenguer’s pressure. Granada won the divided balls and reached everything a second before, as with one more march. And the result of that intensity and aggressiveness came the goal. Great orchestrated pressure, Collado stole from Dani García, gave it to Uzuni who returned it so that he could look for the hole and lodge the ball in the mesh between the Basque defenders. Goal that freed the Andalusians. Since December 19 they have not come forward in their stadium, precisely against Mallorca. Athletic did not react, while Granada continued to do their thing and Uzuni, just before the break, was able to sentence the game.
After the restart, Marcelino tried to change the intensities of his team. But the match continued along the same lines. Athletic was stuck, without ideas and Granada with that energy that made it get to everything before anyone else. He tried to change the face of his Marcelino team with a triple change and the entry of Williams. However nothing changed. Granada defended the low block well, also when they went out to press, with help, solidarity and reaching out to everyone. Without errors. Athletic took a step forward, perhaps with more heart than football, but Granada had that confidence that has been lacking since 2022 began. And the Basques practically did not put the Nasrids in trouble. A center that Duarte touched, a shot from Williams and little else. The one who almost scored was Molina, but the striker, already at 82′, noticed the wear and tear and was slow to define in a great against his team. And, in the 85th minute, the game became even more uphill for Marcelino’s team with Vesga’s second yellow card, which left his team one less. It seemed that it was done, but the lions did not give up. Upside down. They went for the goal and created more danger than in the 90 regulation minutes. Crazy discount. He scored Luis Suárez in a corner in favor in which Unai Simón went up, but he was offside. In the next Raúl García crashed with the stick and in the subsequent corner Simón was about to put the tables. But today was the day. Luck was on Granada’s side and the points stayed with Los Cármenes. First victory in 2022 at the Nasrid Coliseum. Three points that taste of salvation and that distance Athletic from Europe…
Alex Petxarroman (57′, Lekue), vesga (57′, Dani Garcia), Williams (57′, Nico Williams), German (58′, Victor Diaz), Oier Zarraga (67′, Unai Winner), Raul Garcia (73′, Villalibre), Eteki (77′, Goals), Luis Suarez (77′, Myrto Uzuni), Santiago Arias (87′, Gates)
1-0, 34′: Alex Collado
Referee: Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez
VAR Referee: José Luis González González
Quini (40′, Yellow) vesga (71′, Yellow) Squire (76′, Yellow) vesga (84′, Red) Sunday Duarte (86′, Yellow) Eteki (91′, Yellow