Zaragoza take vital edge over Granada
Tomislav Dujmovic scored the only goal as Real Zaragoza secured a potentially priceless victory over Granada to move to within five points of safety in La Liga.
Dujmovic struck in only the sixth minute as Zaragoza moved into 18th place, one spot behind today's opponents who are still in grave danger of being sucked into the relegation zone with five games left.
Zaragoza finished the match with ten men following Ruben Micael's stoppage-time dismissal, but it came too late for Granada to take advantage. Realistically, nothing less than victory was essential today in the hosts' bid for survival.
There was an exciting start to the match, visiting midfielder Dani Benitez's left-footed shot hit the bar before Zaragoza took the lead. Dujmovic received the ball from Carlos Aranda on the right and fired a 20-yard shot into the top right-hand corner of the goal.
While there was plenty of intent in the remainder of the first half, there had been little in the way of clear-cut opportunities until shortly before the break when Franco Zuculini's right-footed shot from outside the area was somehow thwarted by Granada's Julio Cesar. Edu Oriol also had a shot on target for the hosts who reached half-time with a one-goal lead.
Little more than a minute after the break and Zaragoza could have doubled their lead, but Dujmovic was narrowly wide from close range. Granada had produced next to nothing as a threat since the opening minutes although Zaragoza goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez was eventually called upon to punch clear an Abel Gomez free-kick.
Benitez and Dujmovic both sent long-range shots wide before the former came within inches of equalising ten minutes from time when his 30-yard free-kick from the right came back off the post. Mikel Rico pounced on the rebound, but could only put his close-range header wide.
However, that was the nearest the visitors came as Zaragoza secured a crucial victory despite Ruben Micael's 94th-minute red card for his challenge on Odion Jude Ighalo.