Granada 1-1 Celta Vigo
Granada have had three managers this season, Aitor Karanka being the third. Yet a lot of their match against Celta Vigo showed the hallmarks of the first, Robert Moreno.
The theme of the match was the inability of Granada to deal with Celta’s pressing, which brought an opportunity within the opening ten minutes. Santi Mina robbed the ball and the cutback was saved by Luis Maximiano, before German Sanchez cleared Fran Beltran’s follow-up off the line.
Luis Suarez had the best and only Granada opportunity of the first half. A loss of Celta’s own doing allowed Suarez into the centre of the goal, but Matias Dituro was equal to it.
The moment of the first period belonged, naturally, to Iago Aspas. A driving run from his own half, including a shimmy which left German crumpled on the ground, ended with his effort just past the post.
The recovery of the ball high up the pitch was the key to Celta’s attack and after Iago Aspas again proved unstoppable for the defence, it was the heroics of Maximiano that held up. Even he couldn’t stop his own team though.
Still goalless at the break. ❌
🤏 @aspas10 came close to opening the scoring in the first half.
— LaLigaTV (@LaLigaTV) May 1, 2022
On the 72 minute mark, Denis Suarez dispossessed Luis Milla around half way, drove at the defence and slipped in Aspas, whose shot was bundled into his own net by Antonio Puertas.
The air of desperation filled Nuevo Los Carmenes as both team and fans realised this was destructive result. Once again Maximiano kept them alive just long enough for them to throw caution to the wind.
Matias Arezo had a tame header towards namesake Dituro, before Alex Collado let rip from range, drawing a cat-like save from him in the dying minutes. Into stoppage time, Darwin Machis, the substitute who ‘revolutionised’ the game as they said in Spain, curled a cross in from the left towards goal.
Milla didn’t seem to get a touch on it but his challenge did force Jospeh Aidoo to miss it – and everyone else. The ball nestled in the corner and heavy disappointment was swapped for relief – particularly for Milla.
Celta manager Chacho Coudet has complained about a lack of focus from his players previously and this was the exact problem he was guarding against. In a match where they had the difference-maker Aspas on form, they couldn’t finish their chances and couldn’t keep a clean sheet either.
For Granada, this was familiar. Karanka got an organised performance in his first match but for 75 minutes their opponents were smarter and more certain than them. When they do channel the soul of this side, it can be enough for late stampedes. Granada move within a point of safety, but that same pattern of performance is just not quite enough as it stands.