Liga - Valencia go top with win

Sat, 01 Oct 22:55:00 2011

Valencia went top of La Liga with a 1-0 victory at home to Granada sealed with a stunning fourth-minute Sergio Canales strike.

Valencia's players celebrate after Sergio Canales (16) scored against Granada during their Spanish first division soccer match at the Mestalla Stadium - 0

The on-loan Real Madrid playmaker created space 25 yards out on the left by shifting the ball on to his left foot before firing across the goal and into the bottom corner.

Pablo Piatti, who had given the ball to Canales with a backheel as he hared across the face of the box, was a threat in the first half hour while fellow diminutive attacker Pablo was also tricky on the opposite right flank.

However Canales, Piatti and Pablo all struggled to get into the game from that point on, with the latter pair withdrawn by Unai Emery soon after the break.

Away keeper Roberto was forced into several top-drawer saves, particularly from Roberto Soldado, while at the other end Dani Benitez was unlucky to see a crisp free-kick tipped over by Vicente Guaita.

After the break Alex Geijo struck a shot just wide of the post low down as Granada found their feet and soon after Inigo Lopez headed downwards from a corner - the ball came back up and hit the crossbar with Guaita beaten.

Soldado almost made it two immediately, Jonas breaking away on the right and feeding a low ball across the box that took Roberto out of the game - but at full stretch he could not direct it on target.

Jonas, on as a sub, then had a drive deflect off Diego Mainz which Roberto again stopped and held on to at the foot of the post.

Granada sub Carlos Martins felt that he was impeded in the box as he looked to strike after a run down the middle and the away side struggled to create anything else in the final 10 minutes including injury time.

Jonas should then have scored inside the six-yard box, but somehow Roberto's legs blocked his finish after a Soldado pass across from the right.

Granada remain, along with Sporting, the lowest-scoring side in the league this season with two goals.

Malaga later went level top of the table with Los Che after a sensational 3-2 win at home to Getafe.

Jonathan Symcox - on Twitter: @jonathansymcox / Eurosport

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