Granada (Spain), May 20 (IANS) Spanish football club Espanyol climbed to the eighth spot in La Liga with a 2-1 victory over relegation-bound Granada, who end the season dead last.
The opening eight minutes of the match on Friday offered a microcosm of Granada’s disastrous campaign, reports Efe.
Leo Baptistao put Espanyol ahead in the third minute, exploiting a poor clearance by host defender David Lomban.
The visitors’ lead doubled to 2-0 just five minutes later, when Granada’s Ruben Vezo inadvertently deflected a Baptistao cross into his own net.
With a comfortable advantage over the worst team in the Spanish top flight, Espanyol relaxed, creating opportunities for Andreas Pereira, Granada’s best player.
The Brazilian tested visiting goalkeeper Diego Lopez at the quarter-hour mark before beating him with a shot from distance in the 22nd minute to make the score 2-1.
Granada improved as the minutes passed and Espanyol managed only one more shot on goal in the first half, a header by Baptistao that ended up in the hands of keeper Guillermo Ochoa.
In fact, the home side got a chance to pull level before the half-time whistle, but Lopez saved a direct free kick from Pereira.
The hosts played a respectable second half, enjoying an edge in possession against a visiting squad with their minds on the summer break.
Espanyol, with 56 points, are assured of finishing no lower than 10th.
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.