El-Arabi double downs Athletic Bilbao

01 October 2013 09:11

Athletic Bilbao missed the chance to move into the top four of La Liga as Granada beat the Basques 2-0 to register their first home victory of the season.

The game swung in the hosts favour with a controversial penalty call eight minutes into the second-half when Ander Herrera was harshly penalised for a foul on Yacine Brahimi and Youssef El-Arabi scored from the penalty spot.

And El-Arabi sealed the points for Granada just nine minutes later when he headed home Pape Diakhate's flick-on at the back post to move the Andalusians up to 12th.

With Villarreal having suffered their first defeat of the season away to Betis on Sunday night, Athletic had the chance to move into the final Champions League spot.

However, for the third consecutive away game they came unstuck and were thankful to goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz for avoiding an even heavier defeat.

Iraizoz made a fine stop from Diego Buonanotte to prevent Granada going in front on 18 minutes after Michael Pereira had left Aymeric Laporte in his wake.

Athletic then had their best chance of the game when Ibai Gomez was released by Herrera, but Roberto was off his line quickly and the keeper made a smart save down to his left.

Granada were gifted their first goal at home in four games this season after the break when referee Alfonso Alvarez Izquierdo adjudged Herrera's weak challenge on Brahimi to be worthy of a penalty and El-Arabi confidently slotted home the spot-kick.

And the Moroccan forward converted an even easier opportunity moments later when a corner to the near post was helped on by Diakhate and he was left unmarked to nod home from close range.

Iraizoz then made a great save to deny El-Arabi his hat-trick and also held Buonanotte's header from inside the area, but Athletic offered little in response as Granada sealed their first victory since the opening day of the season.

Source: AFP