The Rain in Spain is supposed to stay mainly on the plain but on Monday night 7th May it was definitely in Granada which is on the edge of the Sierra Nevada mountainsj.
The match was at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes where in Laliga second division Granada C.F. hosted Rayo Vallecano. Both teams were recently relegated from Laliga, Rayo in 2015/16 and Granada in 2016/17.
Rayo is the other team of Madrid after Real and Athletico and a book called ‘Working Class Heroes’ was published in 2017 byPitch Publishing Ltd, written by Robbie Dunne about the team and it’s working class neighbourhood. This is on my future reading list.
Rayo are riding high at the top of the league and look firm favourites to be promoted whilst Granada have established mid table respectability as they re-group.
Straight away you could see even in the warm up that Rayo were eager to start and went through a very disciplined drill.
The first half saw good control by both sides and some skilful play especially some cross field balls hit with pace and precision but no one gained an advantage. Javi Varas the Granada keeper was the busiest and pulled off two fine saves.
The fan sat next to me consumed a bag of salted sunflower seeds and all that was left was a pile of kernels on the floor in front of him. It reminded me of the days of roasted peanuts at Highbury when the terraces were covered in the shells.
Rayo took control from the start of the second half as also did the rain. Light and with some warmth at first but on cue with Bebe opening the score on 62 minutes for Rayo the heavens opened. Bebe took his goal well beating Varas’s diving right hand into the corner of the net from the middle of the goal.
Now came the down poor with rumbling thunder and with cover on only one side of the ground everyone looked for shelter under the stand. This totally surprised me as fans watched from stairwells, nooks and crannies everywhere hoping for an equaliser. Where people stood would not have been allowed in Britain for safety reasons.
The rain did not stop and a muted cheer from the few Rayo fans who had stayed out in the rain on 68 minutes heralded Trejo’s goal and Rayos second. A few fans left but many stayed to see Granada spark to life for the last ten minutes that also saw the rain stop. No fairy story though as Rayo marched on.