Malaga and Real Betis picked up their first wins of the season in La Liga, tormenting Rayo Vallecano and Valencia respectively.
Bernd Schuster’s Malaga suffered defeats to Barcelona and Valencia and drew against Sevilla before the international break, but ended their barren run impressively on Sunday as Mounir El Hamdaoui marked his first start for the club by scoring three in a 5-0 win.
Rayo were the visitors to La Rosaleda and, although Paco Jemez’s team actually started quite well, they found themselves two goals down at half-time.
El Hamdaoui opened the scoring with a controlled volley from Vitorino Antunes’ left-wing cross and the Moroccan then turned provider, squaring the ball for Francisco Portillo to tap in.
It was 3-0 to the hosts four minutes after the break as Eliseu cut in from the left and curled a marvellous shot into the far corner, while El Hamdaoui got his second just after the hour mark when he capped off an intricate passing move.
With 23 minutes remaining El Hamdaoui wrapped up the win and his hat-trick, jolting past a defender on the left side of the area and firing low past the helpless Ruben.
Betis’ first three matches also included two defeats – at the hands of Real Madrid and Celta Vigo – but they too triumphed in comfortable fashion on Sunday.
Jorge Molina broke the deadlock with a low shot from Salva Sevilla’s pass in the ninth minute. Molina then returned the favour to Sevilla, flicking a pass into the area for the midfielder to finish a well-worked move.
Sevilla scored his second of the match before half-time following Alvaro Vadillo’s cutback, thus equalling his tally of two for all of last season.
A Ricardo Costa header found the net in the second half, but Valencia could not prevent Betis running out comfortable 3-1 winners.
At the foot of the table Osasuna’s woes continued with a fourth consecutive loss. After a poor start to the season the club made the surprising decision to sack coach Jose Luis Mendilibar three matches in, but his replacement Javi Gracia was unable to inspire an immediate turnaround in fortunes against Getafe.
The Pamplona-based club did take the lead in Madrid as Roberto Torres scored in the 11th minute, but Miku hit back with goals either side of half-time to give Getafe a 2-1 win, their first in the league this season.
The day’s earliest match saw Espanyol pick up a slender 1-0 win at Granada. The game’s solitary goal came in the final 15 minutes as Manu Lanzarote delicately found the top corner with a free-kick inside the hosts’ penalty area following a handled backpass.
Granada substitute Odion Ighalo received two yellow cards within a few seconds of each other late on, both for arguing with the referee.
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