El Hamdaoui hat-trick inspires Malaga

Morocco's El Hamdaoui powers hosts to a 5-0 rout of Rayo Vallecano as Espanyol beat Granada in Spain's Primera Division.

    El Hamdaoui hat-trick inspires Malaga
    An impressive start for the Moroccan striker El Hamdaoui in his first appearance for the club [EPA]

    Morocco striker Mounir El Hamdaoui scored a hat trick and set up another goal in his first start for Malaga on Sunday in a 5-0 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano in Spain’s Primera Division.

    El Hamdaoui joined Malaga at the close of the summer transfer window, and with one start he has already equalled his goal scoring tally from last season with Italian club Fiorentina.

    Elsewhere, Espanyol won 1-0 at 10-man Granada thanks to Manuel Lanzarote's 76th-minute free kick, while Getafe striker Nicolas "Miku'' Ladislao netted a double in a 2-1 win over last-place Osasuna.

    Blistering debut

    El Hamdaoui volleyed in Vitorino Antunes' out-swinging cross to open at their La Rosaleda Stadium in the 31st, and nine minutes later the former Ajax star played generously squared the ball for Francisco Portillo to make it 2-0.

    Malaga's Eliseu Pereira put the result beyond doubt three minutes after halftime with an unstoppable shot inside the far post.

    El Hamdaoui finished off a great team build-up in the 62nd with the ball passing through the legs of Portillo, Pedro Morales and Jesus Gamez before he pushed it home.

    He then used a hard left-footed strike to drive his third goal between the goalkeeper and the post to cap Malaga's first win in four rounds this season under new coach Bernd Schuster.

    Espanyol's victory at Los Carmenes Stadium kept the Barcelona-based side unbeaten to start the season.

    Lanzarote gently curled the ball off the post and into the net from a free kick inside Granada's area awarded to Espanyol after the referee ruled that goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez had handled a back pass from a defender.

    Televised replays showed that the ball appeared to take a deflection off an Espanyol player, suggesting that the free kick should not have been given.

    Granada's tempers boiled over in the 82nd when substitute Odion Ighalo received back-to-back bookings, both for protesting to the referee.

    "It felt like an evenly-matched game and that we had to stay alert to take our chances,'' said Espanyol coach Javier Aguirre.

    "It looked like a sure 0-0 that could only be broken with an individual action, and that's where Manu Lanzarote was great.''

    Nifty touch

    Miku's goal-scoring performance for Getafe helped ruin the debut of Osasuna's new manager Javi Gracia, who replaced the fired Jose Mendilibar two weeks ago.

    Osasuna started brightly on the road in Madrid with Roberto Torres scoring in the 24th, but Miku headed in a corner kick that had sailed over goalkeeper Andres Fernandez to level in the 35th.

    After his acrobatic kick had sent the ball off the woodwork, Miku used a nifty touch to slip the ball under a defender before placing his second goal just inside the post in the 52nd, sending Getafe on their way to their first win of the season.

    Osasuna almost grabbed the draw when Oriol Riera hit the crossbar in the 85th, but they remained the only team yet to take a point in Spain's topflight.

    SOURCE: AP


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