Alvaro Negredo hat-trick as Valencia beat Granada Copa del Rey
Striker Alvaro Negredo scored a hat-trick, including two second half penalties, as Valencia thrashed Granada 4-0 in the first home leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 clash on Wednesday.
Negredo has been given a new lease of life under coach Gary Neville and the win was a confidence boost for Valencia who have yet to pick up a victory in La Liga under the former Manchester United and England player.
He robbed the ball off Diego Mainz and stroked it into the corner past keeper Ivan Kelava after seven minutes.
Santi Mina laid the second on a plate for Rodrigo Moreno and then Mina was fouled by Uche Agbo with Negredo scoring the subsequent penalty after 62 minutes.
Negredo, the former Manchester City player who has had appendicitis and was frozen out by former coach Nuno Espirito Santo, scored his third from the spot in the 83rd minute after he himself was fouled by Matheus Doria.
European club football half-time talk
Second half goals from Inaki Williams, Aritz Aduriz and Aymeric Laporte earlier saw Athletic Bilbao come from behind to beat high-flying Villarreal 3-2.
A confident Villarreal had won their previous five matches and went ahead through Leo Baptistao and Samu Garcia but Bilbao came back fighting after the break.
Baptistao slotted home clinically following a good team move after 16 minutes and Samu Castillejo then sent a defence splitting pass for Garcia, who rounded keeper Iago Herrerin and knocked the ball into an empty net.
Williams led the comeback with a 53rd minute strike, after being set up by Benat Etxebarria, and then found Aduriz to score from the centre of the penalty area.
Laporte completed the turnaround by converting a Benat free kick from a tight angle after 80 minutes.
A poor second half for Villarreal also saw the dismissal of Mario Gaspar with three minutes to go.
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Updated: January 6, 2016 04:00 AM