Eibar win 3-1 at 10-man Granada in promis­ing Span­ish league start

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Eibar won 3-1 at 10-man Granada on Mon­day to make a promis­ing start to the mod­est Basque club’s sec­ond sea­son in the Span­ish League.

The vic­tory by a two-goal mar­gin meant round one ends with Eibar as the un­likely leader at top of the stand­ings on goal dif­fer­ence.

Midfielder Adrian Gon­za­lez opened the scor­ing in the 22nd minute at Los Carmenes Sta­dium from An­to­nio Luna’s pass, and the left back broke free to easily as­sist Gon­zalo Es­calante in the 35th.

Granada pulled one back when sub­sti­tute Isaac Suc­cess set up Ruben Rochina in the 50th, only for the hosts’ come­back to be de­railed by Salva Ruiz’s di­rect red card for a studs-first chal­lenge of Dani Gar­cia six min­utes later.

Mikel Ar­ru­abar­rena made sure coach Jose Mendilibar en­joyed a win­ning de­but in his sec­ond stint with Eibar by scor­ing one minute af­ter be­ing in­tro­duced in the 66th.

“We played a great game and we are a united group, that was the foun­da­tion of this win,” Es­calante said. “We strug­gled a bit af­ter they scored, but luck­ily we were helped by the send­ing-off.”

Eibar also made a strong start last cam­paign, only to need what its fans must con­sider a mirac­u­lous turn of events to stay in the first di­vi­sion. Eibar was rel­e­gated on the fi­nal day of last sea­son af­ter fin­ish­ing in the bot­tom three spots, but it was later re- in­stated as a topflight team af­ter the league pe­nal­ized Elche for break­ing rules on debt lim­its by de­mot­ing it to the sec­ond di­vi­sion.

Granada’s loss was its first un­der man­ager Jose San­doval, who earned a new con­tract this sum­mer af­ter agree­ing to coach the team for the fi­nal four matches of last sea­son. San­doval led the team to three wins and a draw, good enough for it to avoid the drop.

On Sun­day, Luis Suarez scored in Barcelona’s 1-0 win at Ath­letic Bil­bao to be­gin its ti­tle de­fense.

Atletico Madrid, Celta Vigo, and Es­panyol also won their league openers.

Real Madrid, mean­while, stum­bled in Rafa Ben­itez’s lack­lus­ter league de­but af­ter draw­ing 0-0 at pro­moted Sport­ing Gi­jon.

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