Betis lose, Real and Barca stroll

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo struck La Liga hat-tricks while Real Betis lost the last remaining 100% record in La Liga at struggling Getafe.

The Argentine wizard celebrates another hat-trick.

Monday

Real Betis lost the last remaining 100% record in La Liga after going down to a narrow defeat at struggling Getafe, although they remained top of the standings.

Diego Castro's 31st-minute goal decided the match in Getafe's favour at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez as Betis were brought crashing back to earth after winning their opening four games since returning to the top flight.

Despite the loss though, Betis were still a point clear of reigning champions Barcelona, Levante and local rivals Sevilla at the top of the standings, while Getafe climbed up to 16th place after claiming their first victory of the campaign.

Sunday

Substitute Sebastian Fernandez almost settled a La Liga bore draw in Malaga's favour against Real Zaragoza at La Romareda.

The forward, who had only been on the field for seven minutes, forced a superb reaction save from home goalkeeper Roberto in the last seconds of the 90 minutes.

But a dramatic winner at that stage would have been more than a lacklustre 0-0 draw deserved - and also harsh on Zaragoza, who saw a Helder Postiga goal disallowed by a marginal offside call shortly after the hour mark.

Levante continued their dream start to the season with a 3-1 victory over Espanyol to move up to third.

Ruben Suarez gave the hosts the lead from the penalty spot on 14 minutes after Rui Fonte had felled Juanlu in the box, and repeated the trick from another spot-kick early in the second half when he was brought down by Jordi Amat, the defender seeing red for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Despite being down to 10 men Espanyol responded as Hector Moreno turned in Walter Pandiani's scuffed shot.

However, Jose Barkero sealed the points with a stunning left-footed effort 15 minutes from time before Espanyol's misery was completed with a second red card, this time for Pandiani as he barged Nano in an off-the-ball incident.

Fran Rico salvaged a point for Granada with an excellent volley midway through the second half in a 1-1 draw with Osasuna.

The visitors took the lead after 28 minutes when Pape Diakhate's error allowed Raul Garcia to score his first goal since returning to the club with a simple side-footed finish into an empty net.

Granada struggled to create chances but were handed a lifeline when poor defending by Osasuna allowed Rico acres of space just inside the area and he crashed home Ikechukwu Uche's cross with 25 minutes remaining.

Sporting Gijon picked up their first point of the season with a goalless draw against Racing Santander, although they were left to rue a host of missed opportunities in a match they dominated.

Racing barely mustered a shot until deep into the second half, while David Barral hit the post for Sporting, who lacked the cutting edge to finish off a game of low quality.

In the early kick-off, goals by Victor Casadesus and Gonzalo Castro guided Real Mallorca to a 2-1 win over Real Sociedad.

Home manager Michael Laudrup had come under scrutiny after a run of form which saw his side lose their last three La Liga games without scoring a goal.

And that pressure intensified when Imanol Agirretxe put Sociedad ahead after 14 minutes.

Victor levelled five minutes later, though, and Castro grabbed the winner at the start of the second half.

Saturday

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo struck their second La Liga hat-tricks this season against Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano.

Ronaldo helped 10-man Real Madrid end a disappointing week with a 6-2 derby triumph over Rayo Vallecano, while Messi's treble led Barcelona, having drawn 2-2 at Valencia in midweek, to a 5-0 mauling of Atletico Madrid.

There had been talk of crisis at Madrid after Jose Mourinho's men dropped five points away at Levante and Racing Santander this week, and the nine-time European champions looked in more trouble as they fell behind after just 14 seconds tonight, Miguel Cuesta the scorer.

Three goals in 13 minutes either side of half-time from Ronaldo (two) and Gonzalo Higuain looked to have put Madrid back on track, but they found themselves with more problems soon after when Cuesta pulled a goal back and winger Angel Di Maria was sent off for a second booking.

That left Madrid facing the final half-hour with just a one-goal lead and a man less, but the home fans had no need to worry as strikes from Raphael Varane, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo completed an ultimately comfortable victory.

Ronaldo's final effort, which was his second from the penalty spot, completed his second treble in five league games this season - having netted seven in all competitions last term.

Messi, who finished second behind Ronaldo in last season's scoring charts, was not to be outdone however and he added three more goals to the hat-trick he scored in last weekend's 8-0 thrashing of Osasuna - taking his tally to 12 hat-tricks in Barca colours.

Atletico went into their trip to the Nou Camp on the back of successive 4-0 home wins and with new record signing Radamel Falcao having struck five times, but the Rojiblancos' hopes of causing an upset lasted less than half-an-hour as Barca raced into a 3-0 lead.

David Villa opened the scoring in the ninth minute before Atletico defender Joao Miranda deflected the ball into his own net to make it 2-0 six minutes later.

Messi then added a third in the 26th minute with a trademark individual goal before the Argentinian completed the scoring with two late efforts to leave Barca in second place, a point above Madrid and one behind leaders Real Betis, who face Getafe on Monday night.

Elsewhere, Freddie Kanoute's goal gave Sevilla a 1-0 victory over previously-unbeaten Valencia in a game dominated by three red cards at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Kanoute put Sevilla in front on 18 minutes after being sent clear by Jesus Navas.

Sevilla should have been more than one up at the break but were denied by Vicente Guaita on numerous occasions and the hosts were nearly made to pay for those wasted opportunities as first Piotr Trochowski and then Julien Escude were sent off.

Escude's dismissal also resulted in a penalty for Valencia which Ever Banega hit against the post before the visitors were also reduced to 10 men for Aritz Aduriz's apparent stamp on Emir Spahic.

In Saturday's other game, a second-half equaliser from Villarreal's Nilmar cancelled out Igor Gabilondo's goal for Athletic Bilbao and ensured the Basque side's winless streak in the Primera Division under new coach Marcelo Bielsa continued.

Monday's Results and Reviews

Getafe 1-0 Real Betis

Sunday's Results and Reviews

Real Zaragoza 0-0 Malaga

S. Gijon 0-0 Racing Santander

Granada 1-1 Osasuna

Levante 3-1 Espanyol

Real Mallorca 2-1 Real Sociedad

Saturday's Results and Reviews

Barcelona 5-0 Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid 6-2 Rayo Vallecano

Sevilla 1-0 Valencia

Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Villarreal

Monday's Match Preview

Getafe vs Real Betis Preview



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