La Liga – Valencia 1-0 Granada: Mustafi the unlikely hero for hosts

A Shkodran Mustafi header was enough for Valencia to see off Granada 1-0 at Mestalla on Friday.

The Germany defender was the unlikely hero for the home team after nodding in a cross from Zakaria Bakkali on 26 minutes.

The slender victory is only Valencia’s second of the season in La Liga and represents a welcome boost for coach Nuno Espirito Santo ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Lyon.

The hosts had picked up just one point from their last two league outings following the disappointing 3-2 reverse at home to Zenit in Europe.

They were not totally convincing and had to rely on Mustafi’s header to see off a determined Granada side that have still never won at Mestalla in 22 attempts.

The hosts also needed goalkeeper Jaume Domenech to produce a fabulous save to keep out Ruben Rochina’s free-kick, while the woodwork came to their rescue when Youssef El-Arabi’s effort struck the crossbar and stayed out.

Valencia’s Paco Alcacer had a second-half goal chalked off for offside but it did not matter to the final outcome, meaning Nuno’s men move up to sixth in the table.

Granada, meanwhile, are stuck in the relegation places with just three points to their name.