|Granada (2)||Valencia (1)|
Jorge Molina 88′
|Kevin Gameiro 36′|
Christmas is over, but apparently it’s still the season of giving – referee Adrian Cordero Vega dished out three red cards in six minutes to close out 2020.
Two of those dismissals at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes belonged to Valencia, who blew a lead and fell to Granada in the final game of the year. The players’ despairing looks said it all.
Los Che have now won only once in 12 games, and the stark consequences are laid bare – the team is currently 17th and above the drop zone on goal difference. Relegation is now a real threat.
A win would have taken Valencia up to 11th, and when Kevin Gameiro smashed the ball into the roof of the net from a smart Denis Cheryshev cross in the 36th minute, all seemed well.
But the happiness was short-lived as Chelsea loanee Robert Kenedy retaliated with a free-kick on the stroke of half-time – the ball taking a wicked deflection of Gameiro’s boot to leave Jaume Domenech stranded.
Then, all hell broke loose in the final 20 minutes. Jason, who retained his place ahead of Yunus Musah on the right, kicked out at Granada defender Domingos Duarte off the ball in the 70th minute after a slight tussle. His bone-headed decision earned him a second yellow.
Goncalo Guedes joined him for an early shower just two minutes later for arguing with the referee over a perceived foul that was not given. Remarkably, the red card was whipped out a third time in the 76th minute when Duarte tripped Manu Vallejo during a counter.
The Bats’ misery did not end there as 38-year-old substitute Jorge Molina placed a header beyond Domenech two minutes before time to leave the visitors floundering.
It is an untimely end to what has been a tumultuous year, and things don’t look promising. Gracia and the boys need to start getting results, pronto.