Moroccan striker Youssef El-Arabi struck a second-half hat-trick as Granada claimed their third win in four games in La Liga.
The southern Spanish club trumped rivals Malaga 3-1 on Friday thanks to El-Arabi’s goals with Yacine Brahimi the other star for Granada, setting up his team-mate’s latter two strikes at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes.
Granada took the lead three minutes into the second half in front of their home fans and although Juanmi equalised for Malaga in the 54th minute, El-Arabi and Brahimi combined after 58 and 76 minutes to secure three points for the hosts.
The victory took Granada to eighth in La Liga with 17 points, two adrift of the Europa League positions, while Malaga (13 points) remain 12th.
The hosts’ opening goal came after a mistake by Malaga defender Marcos Angeleri, who lost possession to Fran Rico, and while the Granada midfielder’s shot was saved, El-Arabi was there to knock home the rebound.
Juanmi drew the visitors level six minutes later with a simple finish following a goalmouth scramble but Granada edged ahead again soon after as Brahimi cut the ball back to El-Arabi for a close-range finish.
Brahimi’s second assist was top quality with the Algerian winger sending a diagonal reverse pass to El-Arabi on the edge of the area and the 26-year-old finished first-time past Malaga’s Wilfredo Caballero.
In the other La Liga fixture on Friday, Almeria defeated Osasuna 1-0 with Rodri scoring the winner for the visitors in the 18th minute.
Osasuna goalkeeper Andres Fernandez failed to hold onto a corner from Sebastian Dubarbier and the ball fell straight to Rodri, who flicked it home with the outside of his left boot.
The goal secured Rodri’s team their third straight win and took them out of the drop zone to 15th on 12 points, while Osasuna (10 points) slipped into relegation position vacated by Almeria.
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