Sociedad beats depleted Granada, tops La Liga table

Real Sociedad beat a nearly unrecognisable Granada side 2-0 on Sunday to return to the top of the La Liga standings.

Nacho Monreal

Nacho Monreal celebrates after scoring for Real Sociedad in Sunday's La Liga game against Granada.   -  Getty Images

Real Sociedad beat a nearly unrecognisable Granada side 2-0 on Sunday to return to the top of La Liga after the visitor's attempt to get the game postponed due to a spate of coronavirus cases was turned down by authorities.

The positive cases and La Liga's protocol, which barred any player who had travelled to Cyprus for Thursday's Europa League fixture with Omonia from playing, meant Granada was forced to make nine changes from last week's 1-1 draw with Levante and started with five players aged 20 or under.

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The federation and league organisers rejected Granada's request to postpone the game, however, as the side was able to field seven players from its first-team squad, with rules stating matches can only be postponed if five or fewer first-team players are available.

Granada's makeshift side made a decent start but Sociedad took the lead midway through the first half through left back Nacho Monreal while a Mikel Oyarzabal penalty five minutes later doubled its advantage.

Brazilian forward Willian Jose had a spot-kick saved by Granada's 18-year-old keeper Angel Jimenez in the second half while Sociedad ended the game with 10 men as defender Robin Le Normand was shown a straight red card in the 86th minute.

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Granada earned a penalty in added time but Darwin Machis was denied by an excellent save from Alex Remiro and the Basques celebrated a fifth consecutive La Liga victory.

Sociedad leads the standings on 20 points after nine games, while Villarreal is second with 18 points.

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