Playing With Conviction

Granada CF currently tied for 5th in La Liga table after 4 rounds.

Miami, Fla, 16 September 2019

It’s early in the season, but after four rounds of La Liga, fans of Granada CF are probably surprised by the club’s performance thus far: two wins, one draw and one loss. For a team which is one of the favourites to finish in the bottom three, these are good times in Andalucía.

The season has seen Granada open the campaign with a 4-4 goleado at the Cerámica against Villarreal, followed by a narrow 1-0 defeat at home against currently first-place Sevilla. Then came a surprising 3-0 win away at the RCD Espanyol stadium over the Péricos before the international break, and proving that was no fluke, winning over the weekend 2-0 at Celta de Vigo. The team has also scored 9 goals while conceding 5 (+4 differential).

Germán Sanchez heads home a goal in first half stoppage time.

Granada are coached by Diego Martinez who at 38 years old is young for a manager, but has a wealth of coaching experience having retired from playing at the age of just 20. He has steadily built his way up since, spending seven years on the coaching staff at Sevilla before getting his big break with Osasuna in 2017-18. His switch to Granada last summer ultimately worked out well for both clubs with Osasuna the other side to achieve direct promotion from the Segunda last season.

Sunday’s Result Versus Celta

Manager Diego Martínez said in the pre-game press conference that “we approach every game with maximum confidence and thinking that we can win.” And win they did, though the game didn’t go according to plan. Nonetheless, Granada’s win on Sunday came exactly 61 years after their last victory in Vigo. The game itself will likely be remembered more for the deployment of VAR than much else. Under unusually warm, sunny skies and dry conditions, something not that common in this part of Spain, the most influential person on the pitch was referee Prieto Iglesias, who issued not one but two red cards after consulting VAR that reduced Celta to nine men before 30 minutes had been played.

Referee Prieto Iglesias issues red card to Celta’s midfielder Fran Beltran in the 28′

Granada found the back of the net in first half stoppage time on a nice header from Germán Sanchez and again shortly after the restart, when, in minute 53, Yangel Herrera unleashed a blast that nearly destroyed the crossbar on its way in. From that point on, it was game over.


Related:

Summer Transfer Market: La Liga Santander And La Liga Smartbank Summer Transfer Market 2019 | Mercado de Fichajes 2019

A closer look at the squad: Granada CF (Transfermarkt)


At the post game press conference following the 2-0 victory, Manager Diego Martínez characterised it as a “marvellous victory,” adding that if someone had told him his club would have seven points after its first four matches it would have been beyond all imagination.

“Es una victoria maravillosa para un equipo recién ascendido como nosotros. Cuando salió el calendario, si nos dicen que vamos a tener siete puntos, no se lo hubiera imaginado ni el más optimista”.

One of the biggest tests of the season awaits the Nazarí side this weekend, as defending champions Barcelona make a visit to the Nuevo Estádio de Los Cármenes. Barcelona is playing well even in the absence of Lionel Messi, and has seen excellent performances turned in by young players such a Frenkie de Jong and 16-year-old forward Ansu Fati.

Discussing the upcoming game, Diego Martínez said he is hoping for a full stadium that supports Granada, and pledged that his team will approach every game as if it was the last.


Here is a newspaper article that appeared in Granada Hoy yesterday.

JAVIER AGUILERA, Granada, 15 Septiembre, 2019 – 23:37h

Diego Martínez, entrenador del Granada, se mostró exultante por la victoria de su equipo ante el Celta y, al ser cuestionado por las dos expulsiones del rival, dijo que “el fútbol es más justo con el VAR” y que “lo que es, es”.

“Es una victoria maravillosa para un equipo recién ascendido como nosotros. Cuando salió el calendario, si nos dicen que vamos a tener siete puntos, no se lo hubiera imaginado ni el más optimista”, manifestó el técnico gallego del Granada CF en rueda de prensa.

“Ha sido un partido extraño, en el que se ha parado mucho el ritmo, con calor y con un campo seco, algo inhabitual en esta ciudad. Dentro de que las expulsiones condicionan el desarrollo del partido, hay que saber jugar con cabeza, con inteligencia. Nos gusta tener más dinamismo para circular y presionar pero hicimos el partido que teníamos que hacer”, explicó Diego.

Martínez dijo sentir “un orgullo muy grande” por sus futbolistas dirige a “un grupo extraordinario ya que cree en lo que hace y trabaja muy duro cada día para poder mejorar. Muy feliz por querer reivindicarse en cada encuentro”.

Sobre el próximo partido ante el Barcelona, comentó que “esperamos un estadio lleno que apoye a su equipo, afrontamos cada choque como el último. Ha sido una victoria difícil, hay que recuperarse del esfuerzo y preparar ese partido desde la ilusión saboreando esta victoria”.

También reconoció que el de ayer era un duelo especial por volver a su ciudad y enfrentarse al club en el que se formó como futbolista. “Estoy contento por mi familia, que siempre soñó con verme debutar en Primera en Balaídos”, indicó.

El rival critica al VAR

El entrenador del Celta, Fran Escribá, dijo que “el VAR requiere un análisis más profundo y necesita un estudio por parte de la gente que ha puesto la norma” porque cree que “nos estamos cargando el fútbol”.

Game Summary From La Marca:

Marca.com

Published by

Ken Russo

With a background in legal, I work on combining my passion for soccer with the business, communications and team operations side of the sport. I am a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, the University of Miami School of Law and the holder of a certificate in sports business from Columbia University. Um advogado por formação, concentro meu trabalho nos negócios, comunicações e operações de equipes no futebol mundial. | Abogado con fundación avanzada en comunicaciones, enfocado en los negocios del fútbol y las comunicaciones.

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