MADRID - An early Sergio Canales strike was
enough to earn Valencia a 1-0 home win over promoted Granada
that made them overnight leaders in La Liga on Saturday.
The Spanish youth international, on loan from Real Madrid,
scored with a low shot from outside the area in the fourth
minute and although Valencia lived dangerously at times they
moved on to 13 points from six games.
Granada, who won successive promotions to return to the
top-flight after a 35-year absence, hit the crossbar in the
second half but a lack of firepower left them as the league's
joint lowest scorers with two goals from six games.
The troubled trio of Villarreal, Real Mallorca and Racing
Santander all came back to grab draws.
Villarreal were held 2-2 by Real Zaragoza in front of their
own fans, their late equaliser coming only after the visitors
had been reduced to 10 men.
Well-worked goals from Zaragoza's Luis Garcia and Pablo
Barrera in the first half had Villarreal on the back foot
despite Giuseppe Rossi having levelled at 1-1 with a twice-taken
penalty in the 41st minute.
A red card for Zaragoza's Maurizio Lanzaro after 80 minutes
lifted them and Hernan Perez headed in from a corner, but
Villarreal have now managed only one win from their last eight
outings, which includes two defeats in the Champions League.
Mallorca´s 2-2 draw at Osasuna was played against a
background of boardroom squabbles, after the club parted company
with coach Michael Laudrup in acrimonious circumstances during
The Dane's number two Miguel Angel Nadal took temporary
charge of the team with former Athletic Bilbao boss Joaquin
Caparros waiting for final approval on a deal for him to take
over next week, according to local media.
Israeli midfielder Tomer Hemed put Mallorca ahead from the
penalty spot after 34 minutes but Osasuna levelled and then took
the lead, Raul Garcia scoring both with headers at corners.
With Mallorca down to 10 men, Hemed levelled with another
penalty in the 79th minute.
Racing notched their first goal in five games when Adrian
Gonzalez scored with a second-half header at home against
promoted Rayo Vallecano, but they remain without a win this
season as they drew 1-1.
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