Narrow win for Real Betis

A review of the weekend's action in Spain's Primera Division, with another big win for Barcelona.

Last Updated: 02/12/12 at 23:37 Post Comment

Joel Campbell scored Real Betis' winner against Espanyol.

Joel Campbell scored Real Betis' winner against Espanyol.

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A review of the weekend's action in Spain's Primera Division.

Real Betis moved clear in fourth place as Joel Campbell's wonder goal 14 minutes from time secured a 3-2 victory over Deportivo La Coruna in a highly entertaining game at La Riazor.

Two fine finishes either side of half-time from Ruben Castro had put the visitors in a strong position but Riki pulled a goal back almost immediately and then levelled with a neat volley on the hour mark.

Both sides then went in search of the winner but it was Betis who got it as Campbell cut inside onto his left foot and curled a brilliant shot into the top corner from 25 yards.

Roger's 89th-minute strike rescued a point for Levante as Celta Vigo failed to make their dominance count at Estadio de Balaidos.

Enrique De Lucas got the benefit of a marginal offside call to put his side ahead in the first half, yet despite dominating possession after break the home side could not add to their tally.

Levante made them pay late on as Roger popped up to turn the ball home from close range after fellow substitute Michel had volleyed across the face of goal.

Roger's last-gasp heroics denied Celta back-to-back wins for what would have been the first time this season and they are now three points clear of the relegation zone, while the point keeps Levante comfortably inside the top 10.

Victor Casadesus made up for his first-half penalty miss with an 86th-minute goal that gave Real Mallorca a share of the spoils from a 1-1 draw against 10-man Real Zaragoza.

The game exploded into life in the 13th minute when the islanders were awarded a spot-kick after Emilio Nsue was hauled down by Glenn Loovens, who picked up his second booking, although Victor saw his effort from 12 yards parried to safety by Zaragoza keeper Roberto Jimenez.

In a stunning twist, the visitors then took a shock lead in the 16th minute after Helder Postiga profited from loose defending and it seemed they would hang on after Mallorca missed several gilt-edged chances to level after the interval.

But Victor atoned for his miss by powerfully heading into the net late on to rescue a point for the hosts.

Both Granada and Espanyol remain in the bottom three after neither side managed to find the breakthrough in a 0-0 draw at Nuevo Los Carmenes.

The hosts had most of the possession and pressure but it was Espanyol - led for the first time by new coach Javier Aguirre - who had the better opportunities in each half.

On Saturday, Barcelona continued their amazing start to the season with another victory, Lionel Messi's 83rd and 84th goals of the calendar year helping the Catalan club trounce Athletic Bilbao 5-1 at the Nou Camp.

Two goals in three minutes - from Gerard Pique and a deflected Messi effort - midway through the opening 45 minutes put Barca firmly in the ascendancy and Adriano added a superb third in first-half stoppage time.

Cesc Fabregas notched a neat fourth soon after the break and, after Ibai Gomez had pulled a goal back with Athletic's first noteworthy attack of the match, Messi rounded things off with a brilliant fifth goal.

Messi's brace left the 25-year-old needing just one more goal to equal Gerd Muller's record of 85 in a calendar year, set in 1972.

Real Madrid ensured Atletico Madrid's run without a win in the Madrid derby will stretch into its 14th year with a comfortable 2-0 victory at the Bernabeu.

A wonderful free-kick from Cristiano Ronaldo lit up what was an otherwise disappointing first half before Mesut Ozil secured all three points with a tidy finish 25 minutes from time.

Despite the defeat, second-placed Atletico remained ahead of their neighbours in the standings but slipped six points behind Barcelona with Real a further five points behind.

Real Sociedad moved into seventh with a comprehensive 5-2 demolition of 10-man Valencia at the Mestalla.

Roberto Soldado's second-minute strike had given the hosts an early lead but they were never in control and were pegged back before half-time as Alberto de la Bella fired in an equaliser minutes after Jonas had seen a straight red card for lashing out at David Zurutuza.

Sociedad took control in the second period as further goals from Mikel Gonzalez, Diego Ifran, Imanol Agirretxe and Carlos Vela rendered Soldado's second of the evening meaningless.

A first home defeat of the season for Valencia sees them slip to 12th, but they had got off to the perfect start as a fantastic crossfield pass from Fernando Gago found Juan Bernat on the left and his low driven cross was slotted home at the near post by Soldado.

Getafe moved level on points with Malaga in fourth thanks to Alberto Lopo's solitary goal 11 minutes into the second half.

Neither side hit top gear in a pedestrian opening period but the game came to life after Lopo nipped in between Eliseu and Willy Caballero to head home Pedro Leon's corner just after the break.

Malaga will feel they should have had an equaliser as Roque Santa Cruz lifted the ball over with a glorious opportunity moments after coming on, before Miguel Angel Moya produced a stunning save to turn Javier Saviola's fierce shot from close range onto the bar 12 minutes from time.

However, Getafe held on to register their third consecutive league victory despite having Diego Castro sent off in stoppage time for a soft second yellow card.

Kike's early strike lifted Osasuna to a narrow 1-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano in Friday night's encounter at Estadio El Sadar.

The forward's emphatic finish was enough to see Osasuna scramble out of the relegation zone and into the relative safety of 16th place ahead of the remainder of the weekend's fixtures.

Osasuna have now put together a four-match unbeaten run to ease their troubles at the foot of the standings, while Rayo's second loss in three saw them miss the chance to climb into sixth.

Six minutes were on the clock when the hosts went ahead, Alvaro Cejudo threading the ball beyond the Rayo defence for Kike to run on and blast high into the left corner.


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