Real Betis win at Espanyol to move clear of drop zone
Real Betis moved further away from the relegation zone by beating Espanyol 3-0 and picking up their first away win of the season.
Top-scorer Ruben Castro put the visitors ahead by tapping in from close range after 10 minutes, and German Pezzella increased their advantage midway through the first half, turning in a cross from the impressive Chelsea loanee Charly Musonda.
Espanyol were the better side for much of the second half but failed to make the most of their superiority. And just a minute after Gerard Moreno had a goal correctly ruled out for offside, Betis defender Juan Vargas rocketed a free-kick into the top corner to grab a third and kill off any hopes of a fightback from the hosts.
Betis move three points ahead of Espanyol but stay in 13th, one place above the Catalans, who lie only two points above the relegation zone.
Espanyol's preparations for the game were rocked when eight players were sent home from training on Tuesday with gastroenteritis, although six of the affected players made it into Constantin Galca's starting line-up.
Betis were more incisive in the first half and took the lead when Pezzella volleyed a free-kick from Vargas to the far post, where Castro was waiting to grab his 13th goal of the season.
Argentine Pezzella then added a goal to his assist by appearing at the near post to finish off a wonderful individual move by Musonda.
Betis had thrown away the lead in two of their last three matches but Vargas' stunning free-kick on 71 minutes made sure they kept all three points this time.