In a week that’s proven difficult for Spanish clubs in Europe, Granada did La Liga proud by securing an excellent 2-0 victory over Serie A side Napoli in the last 32 first-leg of the Europa League at Los Carmenes on Thursday evening.
Barcelona, Sevilla and Real Sociedad all lost before Granada got proceedings underway, but the Andalusians managed to pull a strong victory out of the bag in what’s their first season participating in European competition. Yangel Herrera opened the scoring in the 19th minute before Kenedy doubled the lead just two minutes later.
Granada have become a force to be reckoned with under Diego Martinez, overcoming significant odds to even be in Europe in the first place. They sit eighth in La Liga, three points behind Real Betis and 15 behind fourth-placed Sevilla. Last season, their first back in the Primera after earning promotion, they finished seventh, four points behind fifth-placed Villarreal.
“We have to go to Naples to win with all the concentration we had here today,” goalscorer Herrera said post-match in comments carried by Mundo Deportivo. “In football nothing is decided in the first match of a tie. It’s true that we played a very good game and that the team was very good. But there is still a second leg and we have to start as if it were 0-0.”