Sevilla hit Betis for five to take derby honours
MADRID (AFP) –
A first-half onslaught saw Sevilla set up a 5-1 win over Real Betis in a one-sided Andalusian derby due to the visitor’s hapless defence on Sunday.
Jose Antonio Reyes and Federico Fazio both struck braces as Sevilla came out on top in the typically highly-charged clash. Ruben Castro hit a second half reply for Betis who also saw Ruben Perez dismissed while their misery was complete with an injury time fifth from Ivan Rakitic.
Sevilla have had an up-and-down season but they have a solid home record and this win puts them a point behind their city rivals in seventh.
Betis keeper Adrian San Miguel appeared half asleep as he gave the ball straight to Reyes under no pressure in the first minute and he slotted home. From there it got a lot worse for a Betis side that was always on the back foot.
Betis had their first choice defence with Paulao and Mario Alvarez at centre half who have generally a solid partnership but they were torn apart especially from the physical threat of Alvaro Negredo and the Sevilla defenders when they came forward for set-plays.
They left Fazio completely unmarked in the fifth minute and he headed home a free-kick which already gave Betis a mountain to climb if they were to turn the match around.
The visitors were simply unable to keep possession and coach Pepe Mel took off midfielder Jose Canas for the more attacking Jonathan Pereira but it made little difference as Reyes got his second with Nelson this time at fault. Negredo headed against the crossbar and while the right back had plenty of time to clear the danger, he dawdled and Reyes nipped in to score.
Fazio was again left free to head home the fourth after a deep cross from Reyes who has been in and out of the team this season but looked back to his best.
Frustration got the better of Perez who was sent off after two needless yellow cards but Betis did get on the scoresheet through Castro after 66 minutes.
Betis were not finished though with Rakitic adding the final goal a minute into stoppage time.
An Arda Turan strike gave ten-man Atletico Madrid a 1-0 win away to Granada to keep them on the tail of leaders Barcelona.
Last season’s Europa League winners have continued to grow under Diego Simeone’s leadership and despite the strength of the top two in Spain they are just three points behind the Catalan side and have five more than city rivals Real.
Atletico needed to bounce back after suffering their first defeat away to Valencia and although they were far from their best against a lively Granada they did just enough to win.
Granada had more of the ball in the first half and took the game to Atletico with Youssef El Arabi a constant threat.
He forced Atletico keeper Thibaut Courtois into a block from close range on the half hour mark while the best chance fell to Gabriel Torje minutes later after a quick break but his shot was deflected by the hardworking Turan onto a post.
Atletico were always a danger in attack with Radamel Falcao eager to find the back of the net after failing to score in his last two games following his explosive start to the campaign where he was on target in his first nine league games.
It was Turan who broke the deadlock though as he converted a Jorge Resurrecion ‘Koke’ cross after 61 minutes and Atletico held on despite Mario Suarez being sent-off for a second yellow card.
Earlier, Levante moved up to fourth with a 2-0 win over Deportivo la Coruna while Getafe beat Valladolid 2-1 and Celta Vigo drew 1-1 with Mallorca.
On Saturday Barcelona continued their strong start to the season with a 3-1 win over Zaragoza that means they have taken 34 points from a possible 36. They maintained their eight-point lead over Real Madrid, who beat Athletic Bilbao 5-1.