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Feb 2, 2013

Granada holds off Real Madrid to win

New Granada boss Lucas Alcaraz enjoyed a dream first game in charge as his side pulled off a shock 1-0 victory over Real Madrid at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on Saturday.

Alcaraz took over this week following the sacking of Juan Antonio Anquela, who left with the club in 17th place in the standings, two points above the relegation zone.

Osasuna's win over Celta Vigo earlier Saturday meant Granada had dropped into the bottom three by kickoff, but it climbed out again thanks to an own goal from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Karim Benzema's horrible miss six minutes from time summed up a poor evening for Madrid, which struggled to create many clear-cut chances throughout the game.

The only goal of the game came after 22 minutes when Alvaro Arbeloa turned a dangerous cross from Carlos Aranda behind for a corner.

Gabriel Torje swung in a dangerous delivery towards the near post and the ball skimmed off Ronaldo's head as he tried to clear and into the far corner.

Things were not going much better for Ronaldo at the other end of the pitch, either, with nothing coming from two of his trademark free kicks.

The first was fired wide and the second straight into the wall as Real rarely threatened to find an equalizer.

It was no surprise that manager Jose Mourinho made two changes at the interval, with Benzema coming on for Sami Khedira and Jose Maria Callejon replacing Gonzalo Higuain.

Benzema almost got on the end of a good Ronaldo cross after 55 minutes, while the former Manchester United man then sent a weak shot trundling straight at goalkeeper Antonio Tono.

But proof that it was not going to be the away side's night arrived just before the end when Benzema embarrassingly side-footed wide when it looked easier to score after Callejon's shot had been well saved by Tono.

Earlier Satuday, Emiliano Armenteros' second-half strike was enough to move Osasuna out of the relegation zone as it leapfrogged Celta Vigo with a 1-0 win at the Reyno de Navarra.

The hosts controlled a first period that was disturbed by a fierce wind in Pamplona and could easily have been in front before the break as Armenteros saw a header come back off the crossbar and Alvaro Cejudo was twice denied by good saves from Javi Varas.

However, the goal did arrive just 10 minutes after the break as Lolo cushioned a header into the Argentine's path and he rifled the ball low past Varas.

Getafe registered its first win in 10 games as it came from a goal and a man down inside 11 minutes to beat Deportivo la Coruna 3-1.

Miguel Angel Moya was sent off for bringing down Riki inside the area early on and Pizzi converted the resulting penalty to give the visitors the perfect start.

However, the hosts were level at the break as Diego Castro also scored from the spot after Ze Castro had upended Abdel Barrada, and when Depor's Abel Aguilar was sent off for a second bookable offense with 20 minutes to go, Luis Garcia's men took full advantage with two goals in two minutes from Alvaro Vasquez and Adrian Colunga.

Espanyol continued its climb away from the relegation zone with a deserved 3-2 home win over Levante.

Two goals in as many second-half minutes from Christian Stuani and Sergio Garcia effectively secured a win that was made to look more nervy after a late Obafemi Martins strike.

Espanyol dominated the opening period but relied on Vicente Iborra's own goal to hold a 1-0 halftime lead it relinquished almost immediately after the break to Ruben's clever header.

The hosts have lost just once in nine games under new boss Javier Aguirre, and they showed why they are on the rise as Stuani and Sergio Garcia combined to score the quickfire double that proved decisive.

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