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Alavés are performing another miracle with salvation in sight | Sid Lowe

It took until the sixth game for Alavés to win and by then two coaches had gone. Now survival in La Liga is within reach

In the words of one player, Abelardo Fernández is “an ordinary bloke” but he is doing extraordinary things, from revolution at the Molinón to resurrection at Mendizorroza, where at the end of their victory over Deportivo de La Coruña on Saturday, Alavés fans did something Alavés fans never do: they turned their backs on their team. Turned their backs, put their arms around each other’s shoulders, a human wall stretching across the east end of the ground, and bounced up and down, singing. In the middle of it, drums were held up and flags waved. At the final whistle, the manager had leapt from the bench, running on the pitch with his staff, embracing players; now they stood before the fans and bounced with them, applauding. When they eventually departed down the tunnel, the stadium still full, they did so to a standing ovation. Safely inside, the captain, Manu García, was asked if he was going to pay for the celebrations. The smile suggested he might.

All of which may sound a bit much for a 1-0 win against a team who have now not won in nine and are on their third manager of the season – but this was not only about Alavés’s win; it was about the six before that, about the way they had played and about the sensations: they felt safe. It was that Munir El Haddadi’s wonderful goal, curled over Rubén into the top corner, had carried them into 15th place on 28 points, 10 clear of the relegation zone. Yet it not only about how far away they were but how far they had come. And Alavés have come a very long way very fast.

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