Barcelona, Spain: Granada’s Yousuf Al Arabi scored a hat-trick to steer the home side to a 3-1 win over Malaga in the Spanish league on Friday.
Granada forward Yacine Brahimi also shone in his team’s third victory in four rounds by setting up two of El Arabi’s goals, after the striker opened the scoring three minutes into the second half following an error by Malaga’s defence.
“This one is to take home,” Al Arabi said when he was given the ball he had placed in the net three times at Los Carmenes Stadium.
Al Arabi was left unmarked to push in a rebound after goalkeeper Willy Caballero denied Fran Rico, who had stolen a poor pass by Malaga defender Marcos Angeleri in front of the area.
Malaga’s Juanmi Jimenez came on in the 54th minute and levelled the scores seconds later, but Al Arabi then redirected Brahimi’s square pass to restore the hosts’ lead.
Al Arabi claimed his third goal in the 77th minute, when Brahimi drew in the defence before slipping the ball back to his striker to fire past Caballero.
Granada provisionally moved level on points with Real Sociedad in seventh place. Malaga, meanwhile, were left mid-table and winless in seven away games this season.
Elsewhere, Almeria won 1-0 at Osasuna as the promoted club continued their turnaround with a third straight victory.
After starting the season without a win in the first 10 games, Almeria have squeaked out the trio of victories by one goal each to escape last place.
Almeria again had in-form striker Rodrigo Rios to thank for the 18th-minute winner with his team-leading seventh goal of the campaign.
Rios got a lot of help from Osasuna goalkeeper Andres Fernandez, who fumbled a corner kick inside the six-yard box to allowed the striker to prod the ball across the line.
Almeria goalkeeper Esteban Suarez saved teammate Hernan Pellarano from scoring an own goal in first-half injury time when he reacted in time to stretch and push a deflected ball on to a post.
Sixteen-year-old Jose Garcia debuted for Osasuna as a substitute and almost grabbed the equaliser with an individual effort one minute from time.
“Three for three is great for us,” said Almeria defender Nelson Tomar. “Ten weeks without a win is a long time
“The important thing is that the team is feeling more confident because the season is long, especially for a team like us that has just come up.”