April 28, 2013
Mikel Rico (right) and Granada dumped Verdu and Espanyol for their first victory in nine league games.
Alberto Estevez/EPA

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Granada won 1-0 at Espanyol Sunday in the Spanish league to end a nine-game winless streak and escape the relegation zone.

Elsewhere, Malaga beat visiting Getafe 2-1, while Sevilla drew 1-1 at Valladolid.

Granada forward Manuel "Nolito'' Agudo curled a free kick over the wall that grazed the underside of the crossbar before settling into the net for what proved to be the 37th-minute winner.

Espanyol improved after halftime but Granada's defense held firm to collect the much-needed three points.

"We played a no-nonsense game, solid in defense and willing to help one another,'' said Granada coach Luis Alcaraz. "Nolito scored a great goal. We bettered Espanyol in the score and surpassed them in our need to win.''

Granada rose two points above Real Zaragoza and Celta Vigo, which are both facing the drop along with last-place Mallorca, a further two points behind.

It was Espanyol's first loss in 10 home games under replacement coach Javier Aguirre.

Malaga's win over Getafe pulled it even with fifth-place Valencia before it visits Real Sociedad later.

Malaga is currently in the Europa League positions, but it is banned by UEFA for one season for not paying wages and taxes on time. Even so, Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini said his team "will keep fighting to finish as high up the standings as possible.''

Roque Santa Cruz and Weligton scored for Malaga in the 40th and 47th before Juan Valera pulled one back for mid-table Getafe in the 70th.

In Valladolid, striker Javi Guerra gave the hosts the lead in the 41st when he finished off a counterattack by scooping the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper after Patrick Ebert played him through Sevilla's defense.

Sevilla forward Alvaro Negredo drove a spot kick down the middle after Marc Valiente had blocked a cross in the area with his arm to equalize in the 62nd. It was Negredo's 19th goal of the season, the fourth highest total in Spain's topflight.

Both Negredo and Guerra had chances to break the deadlock.

Sevilla has only one win in 17 games away from home this season, and it crept into 10th place ahead of Espanyol and Valladolid.

Barcelona leads the league by 11 points after drawing 2-2 at Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid's 2-1 victory at Atletico Madrid. Also on Saturday, Real Zaragoza beat Mallorca 3-2, and Celta Vigo won 1-0 at Levante. On Friday, Osasuna drew 2-2 at Rayo Vallecano 2-2.

Real Betis hosts Deportivo La Coruna on Monday.

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