Thursday, December 08, 2011

Spain December 2011

A three game visit to southern Spain including seeing Granada defeat Real Zaragoza in La Liga.

Elche 3 Barcelona II 0 9,487

Elche have a good sized two-tier stadium decked out in the club colours of green and white.
For this match against Barca ‘reserves’ there was a reasonable turnout to fill most of the lower tiers.

Actually it was more Barcelona lite than regular Barcelona as they struggled to create chances despite the inevitable well honed passing game that no doubt pervades every level of the Catalan club.

Two strikes from Danish forward Bille Nielsen and a neat left footed free kick from full back Edu Albacar and Elche had it done by half time.
The home side were ultimately stronger and more direct than the visitors.

The result meant Elche moved up to second in the Segunda league.

I strolled back to my hotel and chose a substantial Asian buffet whilst watching Spain play Argentina in the Davis Cup.

Ejido 0 Melilla 2 300

Ejido are rock bottom of their group in Segunba B (3rd level) and they had a hard time making progress against a solid Melilla defence.
The away team had scored early after a defensive error and they added a header just before the break - both scored by the useful striker no.9, Chota.

This early kickoff was played in bright sunny conditions though it did get cooler later as I watched from the main stand (with views to the mountains)

The ground has open seating opposite and at one end, where there were a couple of small local ultra groups.
The ‘African’ visitors did have some support and Ejido were particularly egged-on by an elderly cheerleader who constantly berated the officials, all to no avail.

So I drove on towards Granada.

Granada 1 Real Zaragoza 0 22,000

I had planned to see three games on this Sunday but due to some rental car trouble going over the Sierra Nevadas I never made it to my planned second game, at Jaen.
Instead I settled for a double with the late game in Granada.

Where the home side secured an important win against one of their fellow strugglers.

Nigerian Ighalo scored the winner from close range just before the break after a period of home dominance.
The visitors did sustain some late pressure giving the home side, and their fans, some concerns but Granada held on for the three points.

It left Zaragoza bottom of La Liga but judging by this game both teams may well struggle during the rest of the season.

The home supporters, in what seemed like a sellout crowd, provided decent noise led by a couple of ultras groups.

The ground itself does somewhat resemble a real life subbuteo stadium with its three smallish tiers plus the addition of temporary looking filled-in corners.
However it is fairly cosy, at least in the ‘main stand’ which helped on a cold December night in Granada.

Tired after a late finish I had an early night.

more pictures at

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