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Santa delivers for Betis as they move top, Espanyol leave it late

Last Updated: 22/09/11 11:01pm

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Real Betis maintained their 100 per cent start to the new Liga season while Espanyol left it late against winless Getafe.

Real Betis have surpassed Valencia at the summit of Primera Liga with a thrilling 4-3 home success over Real Zaragoza.

The home side were in control early on thanks to goals from on-loan Roque Santa Cruz and Salva Sevilla's successful penalty.

On-loan Celtic midfielder Efrain Juarez reduced the arrears, but Betis assumed control again thanks to Benata's effort and a second from Santa Cruz.

Zaragoza were thrown a lifeline when Betis keeper Costa was sent off and they took full advantage with a quick-fire brace from substitute Juan Carlos.

However, despite late pressing from the visitors Betis held on to move into top spot with 12 points from a possible 12.

Walter Pandiani scored his first goal since returning to Espanyol deep into stoppage time to give his side a deserved 1-0 league over Getafe.

Both sides struggled to create anything of note before half-time but after the break the hosts were denied on several occasions by Getafe goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya.

Espanyol had showed almost nothing in the final third during a dull first half but were reinvigorated after the break and almost went ahead within two minutes of the restart as Thievy Bifouma cut inside Valera but was denied by the feet of Moya.

The visitors should have taken the lead with 10 minutes remaining but Juan Valera blasted over from six yards with the goal at his mercy and Getafe were made to pay in the second minute of stoppage time.

Moya made the initial save after Sergio Garcia had met substitute Rui Fonte's cross but the rebound fell kindly for Pandiani to fire into the top corner.

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