Real Mallorca 2-6 Granada
Many followers of Spanish football had diagnosed this match as the one with the largest consequences from Matchday 35, with both teams on the edge of the relegation zone. If anyone had predicted eight goals to be scored, then you might want to ask them for the lottery numbers too.
Javier Aguirre and Aitor Karanka have both based their reputations on pragmatic, effective teams who get results. Given the importance of the match itself, it’s perfectly reasonable to think that this was to be a cagey affair.
Granada’s Luis Suarez gave an early warning that there would be no such thing. A scrap in the box eventually broke to him and he finished from close range after a corner.
Mallorca responded well and for much of the first half, looked the better side. Pablo Maffeo had a goal ruled out, Vedat Muriqi had a couple of chances and he provided the assist for the equaliser too. Laying the ball back for Salva Sevilla to rasp a long-range effort into the corner.
That felt significant at the time. Yet just a minute into the second half Sergio Escudero played a one-two with Antonio Puertas, nipping behind the defence and finding the corner.
Less than ten minutes later, Puertas had one of his own – backheeling a Jorge Molina cross into the net from close range. Again Mallorca mustered a response. Brilliant work from Maffeo out wide provided Antonio Raillo with a ball to head home. For ten minutes, it looked as if Mallorca were going to mount a dramatic comeback.
Jorge Molina had already entered, five minutes into the second half and provided an assist five minutes later, but now he took control of the match. Picking up the ball in midfield he turned, then fired a precise effort along the ground inside the left post. That left it at 4-2 with 20 minutes remaining.
As Mallorca grew desperate, they failed to babysit the 40-year-old. He latched onto a goal-kick and held the ball, laying it into the path of an onrushing Myrto Uzuni. Another clinical finish condemned the match for good and sent the bishop of Granada, surely overheating in the stands, into delirium.
There was time for one final piece of Molina magic. This time Kang-In Lee was robbed in his own half, before Molina was given the ball, back to goal in the box. He twisted, turned and then fired: in off the right-hand post.
With two goals and two assists, all well-crafted, technical pieces of football, Jorge Molina seems to constantly be on a mission to remind viewers he is so much more than a target man.
The win moves Granada out of the relegation zone and two points ahead of Mallorca, who can drop in if Cadiz draw their game in hand. This was everything Aguirre was not brought in for and although its his voice that is usually low and rumbling, his eyes flashed thunder towards the end of this.
Karanka got his first win as Granada boss and a big helping of confidence for his side as they go into the final three games.