Real Betis Balompié forward Dani was on top form as his team swept to an impressive 4-1 home Primera División win over nine-man RC Celta de Vigo on Sunday.
The 20-year-old had a hand in three of his side's four goals, which helped propel Betis into third place in the table, two points behind leaders Valencia CF. The Mediterranean club stayed top thanks to a 2-0 win over FC Barcelona on Saturday, while champions Real Madrid CF are just a point behind after their flattering 3-1 win over Deportivo Alavés.
Former youth-team player Dani was a constant thorn in the side of the Galician club as he teased the Celta defence with his tricky dribbling skills. He forced a penalty after being felled by Fernando Cáceres when he darted into the area in the 25th minute and Brazilian winger Denilson duly smashed home from the spot. Dani then played a part in his side's second goal as he earned a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the area after being brought down by Sylvinho. Juanito got his foot to Denilson's resulting shot and the ball was headed over the line by defender David Rivas to make it 2-0 on 37 minutes.
It was no surprise when Ito added a third with a simple tap-in after Dani and Capi had combined to carve open the Celta defence ten minutes after the break. Celta pulled one back on 67 minutes through Edu but any hope of a comeback was effectively ended when Russian midfield player Valeri Karpin was dismissed after receiving his second yellow card in the 73rd minute. Gabriel Amato added a fourth with an 89th-minute penalty, and the Galicians ended the match with a final disappointment when Aleksandr Mostovoi was sent off for dissent in injury time.
Vital draw for Rayo
Ten-man Rayo Vallecano fought back from two goals behind to claim a vital 2-2 draw at fellow strugglers Real Sociedad. Sociedad got off to a flying start through Turkish international Nihat Kahveci, who scored after just four minutes. Things went from bad to worse for Rayo when Elvir Bolic was dismissed just before the break. John Toshack's Sociedad side made the most of their numerical advantage to add a second three minutes after the break through Luiz Alberto but Rayo refused to throw in the towel. Headed goals from Pablo Sanz and substitute Juan Perez Bolo gave the Madrid-based side a share of the spoils and moved them up one place to 18th in the table, a point behind Sociedad.
Former Spain coach Javier Clemente got off to a winning start as new coach of CD Tenerife as his side secured a 3-1 victory at home to Club Atlético Osasuna for their first victory in eight games. Despite the win the Canary Islanders remain bottom of the table, but are now level on points with RCD Mallorca, who slumped to a 4-0 home defeat against Sevilla FC.
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