CORNELLA DE LLOBREGAT, Spain – Gerard Moreno’s goal early in the second half turned out to be all RCD Espanyol needed on Monday in a 1-0 victory over visiting Real Betis that lifted the hosts to 10th place in La Liga.
For Betis, the loss represented a squandered opportunity to climb into a tie on points with Sevilla for the fifth spot.
Besides Moreno’s thunderous strike in the 54th minute, the difference in the match was Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez, who made a handful of key stops to preserve the clean sheet.
In Monday’s other La Liga contest, Las Palmas jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 7th minute on a Loic Remy goal before going on to lose 3-1 to Deportivo.
The turning point came minutes after Remy’s strike, when the hosts’ top playmaker, Las Palmas native Jonathan Viera, left the field injured.
Despite the setback, the home side had a chance to make it 2-0 when Depor keeper Costel Pantilimon failed to clear the ball after a Las Palmas corner, but Vicente Gomez’s shot hit the cross-bar.
Seconds later, Celso Borges scored the first of his two goals on the night to bring Deportivo level in the 36th minute.
Conceding broke the morale of Las Palmas and Depor moved in for the kill in the second half. Borges scored again in the 54th minute and Lucas Perez converted from the spot with 20 minutes left to make the final score 3-1.
The loss leaves Las Palmas in 18th place, with just 6 points from 10 matches.
Deportivo move into 16th, 5 points above the drop zone.