Adams gets off to los­ing start at Granada

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Soccer -

Tony Adams’s first game as coach of Granada ended in dis­ap­point­ment last night as vis­i­tors Celta Vigo ran out 3-0 win­ners in their La Liga match.

The re­sult leaves the An­dalu­sians 19th, on 20 points from 32 games and still seven points from safety af­ter 17th-placed Leganes lost 1-0 at home to Es­panyol ear­lier in the day thanks to Leo Bap­tis­tao’s 92nd-minute goal.

Granada have not won a league game since March 1st and former Eng­land and Ar­se­nal cap­tain Adams promised when he was ap­pointed last week that he would “try to achieve a miracle”.

His new charges, how­ever, cre­ated few chances against the Gali­cians who made 10 changes to the first-choice side that start- ed their Europa League quar­ter-fi­nal first-leg win over Genk on Thurs­day.

Granada’s de­fence fell to pieces for Celta’s open­ing goal in the 23rd minute, with keeper Guil­hermo Ochoa rush­ing out of goal to head a clear­ance to Wakaso Mubarak, who lost the ball. Claude Beau­vue fed Joz­abed, who dinked the ball over Ochoa.

Marcelo Diaz dou­bled the vis­i­tors’ lead with a spec­tac­u­lar free kick in the 73rd minute and three min­utes later Beau­vue net­ted the third, fir­ing home af­ter Theo Bon­gonda’s shot came back off the post.

Also yes­ter­day, Va­len­cia held fourth-placed Sevilla to a 0-0 draw at Mestalla, while Real Betis beat Eibar 2-0.

On Satur­day, Barcelona kept up the pres­sure on LaLiga lead­ers Real Madrid ahead of El Clas­sico with a 3-2 win over Real So­ciedad at the Nou Camp, where Lionel Messi scored twice. Af­ter los­ing away to Malaga last week­end, Luis En­rique’s team — who were also beaten by Ju­ven­tus in their mid­week Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter-fi­nal first leg — could not af­ford an­other slip if they were to stay within strik­ing dis­tance of their ti­tle ri­vals.

Barcelona looked to be on course for a rou­tine vic­tory when Messi cracked in the open­ing goal from 25 yards af­ter 17 min­utes, be­fore adding a some­what for­tu­nate sec­ond when the ball re­bounded in off his trail­ing leg. How­ever, So­ciedad, still chas­ing the Euro­pean places, re­duced the deficit through an own goal by

Barcelona de­fender Sa­muel Umtiti, but Paco Al­cacer quickly re­stored the ad­van­tage for the hosts. Xabi Pri­eto’s neat fin­ish in stop­page-time, though, did set up a tense sec­ond half with

Ear­lier, a last-minute goal from Isco had seen a much-changed Real side bat­tle to a 3-2 vic­tory at Sport­ing Gi­jon. Real had to work hard for their vic­tory, with man­ager Zin- edine Zi­dane hav­ing opted to make some nine changes from the mid­week Cham­pi­ons League win over Bay­ern Mu­nich, in­clud­ing rest­ing Gareth Bale and Cris­tiano Ron­aldo.

Croatian for­ward Duje Cop volleyed Sport­ing into the lead on 14 min­utes, only for Real to hit back quickly when mid­fielder Isco fired the ball into the top cor­ner.

Mikel Vesga’s loop­ing header put the hosts back in front at the start of the sec­ond half. Zi­dane’s men, though, where level again just be­fore the hour when Al­varo Mo­rata nod­ded in at the back post. Just when it looked like Sport­ing would hold on for a point, Isco drilled a low shot into the bot­tom left cor­ner area to keep Real in charge at the top of the ta­ble.

Tony Adams: His Granada side lost 3-0 to Celta Vigo in his first game in charge

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