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Malaga routs Betis 4-0 to rise to 2nd in Spain

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The Associated Press

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -Malaga rose into second place in the Spanish league after its 4-0 rout of 10-man Real Betis on Saturday, while Valencia beat Zaragoza 2-0 for a much-needed second win after six rounds.

Malaga dominated the match following the early sending-off of Betis goalkeeper Casto Espinosa for fouling Eliseu Pereira in the box.

Joaquin Sanchez netted the resulting penalty in the 12th minute to get the undefeated Malaga rolling at La Rosaleda Stadium.

After Malaga's Ignacio Camacho hit the post, Javier Saviola flipped a throughball to Francisco Portillo, who smartly returned the favor for the former Benfica forward to slot home in the 28th.

Backup goalkeeper Adrian del Castillo kept Betis alive until Antonio Amaya deflected Ignacio Monreal's cross into his own net in the 72nd.

Young standout Francisco "Isco" Alarcon then capped the host's big win two minutes later.

Manuel Pellegrini's Malaga, which hasn't lost in nine games in all competitions despite the exit of several players in the offseason, moved up to within one point of Barcelona.

Barcelona visits Sevilla later with an eight-point lead over Real Madrid, which hosts Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.

Also, Real Sociedad won the Basque Country derby 2-0 over 10-man Athletic Bilbao thanks to Antoine Griezmann's goal in the 62nd and Carlos Vela's penalty 10 minutes later after Fernando Amorebieta was shown his second yellow card for handling in the box.

Sociedad remained a perfect three-for-three at Anoeta Stadium, while Bilbao's troubles deepened with its third loss of the season.

Looking to put its shaky start to the season behind it, Valencia had little trouble downing visiting Zaragoza through Sofiane Feghouli's 12th-minute opener and Jonathan Viera's goal to seal the win in the 59th.

Valencia played a man down from the 61st after Feghouli received his second booking, but Zaragoza failed to capitalize on the advantage.

Also on Sunday, it's: Granada vs. Celta Vigo; Valladolid vs. Rayo Vallecano; Osasuna vs. Levante; and Espanyol vs. Atletico Madrid.

Mallorca visits Getafe on Monday.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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