Granada pound slumping Real Betis 4-1

Granada (Spain), Feb 18 (IANS) Granada moved to within two points of safety in La Liga football championship with a 4-1 victory against Real Betis, who are winless in their last five matches.

The hosts scored three goals during a 15-minute span in the first half here on Friday, equaling their total over the previous seven games and the number of goals conceded by Betis in their last seven outings, reports Efe news agency.

Neither side seemed anxious to have the ball for the first quarter-hour and Ruben Castro blew the visitors’ only solid chance of the half, shooting wide of the net.

Castro’s miss was the signal for Granada to go on the attack.

Wakaso Mubarak, playing his first match as a starter, robbed the ball in midfield and relayed it to Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez, who beat Betis goalkeeper Antonio Adan with a fine shot to put the home side up 1-0 in the 18th minute.

Ten minutes later, Hector Hernandez scooped up a loose ball and delivered a perfect cross to Adrian Ramos, who made it 2-0 for Granada.

Andreas Pereira got a third goal for the hosts in the 33rd minute, hammering in the rebound after Adan made the initial stop on a shot from outside the area by Carcela-Gonzalez.

Betis had no answer to the Granada onslaught and even a half-time substitution of forward Tonny Sanabria for defender Ryan Donk did little to generate offense.

Instead, the visitors conceded another goal, as Ramos got his second of the night in the 64th minute on a textbook counterattack launched by Uche Agbo.

Both sides were reduced to 10 men in the 66th minute, when Pereira and Betis’ Nahuel Leiva were sent off with red cards after a bout of pushing and shoving.

Petros got a consolation goal for Betis in the 75th minute.

Granada’s third win of the season brings them to 16 points, six better than last-place Osasuna and two behind Sporting, who sit in the 17th spot.

With 24 points, Real Betis remain in the 13th place.

–IANS

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