Sat, Sep 26, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Fajr, Cartabia give Deportivo 2-1 win

’KEEPER CONCERN:Barcelona face Las Palmas without Claudio Bravo, who has only let in one goal this season, while his replacement has conceded 15 in six games

AP and AFP, MADRID

Real Betis Balompie’s Joaquin and Faycal Fajr of RC Deportivo de La Coruna vie for the ball at the Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville, Spain, on Thursday.

Photo: EPA

Second-half goals by Faycal Fajr and Federico Cartabia gave RC Deportivo de La Coruna a 2-1 win against Real Betis Balompie in La Liga on Thursday.

Although Betis began attacking and winning most of the possession in the first half, it took a long-range shot in the 54th minute by Deportivo forward Cartabia to break the deadlock.

Petros equalized in the 69th when he connected with Daniel Ceballos’ pass and sent it to the far post past goalkeeper German Lux.

Ceballos had come on to substitute Betis’ midfielder Rafael van der Vaart early in the second half after the Dutch player picked up an injury.

French midfielder Fajr scored the winner from Celso Borges’ headed pass in the 72nd minute.

Deportivo rose to seventh in the standings with the win.

Elsewhere, humiliated European champions Barcelona are looking to bounce back from their midweek 4-1 thrashing at the hands of RC Celta de Vigo when UD Las Palmas visit the Camp Nou today.

Barca’s 100 percent start to the league campaign was brought to a spectacular end on Wednesday as high-flying Celta inflicted upon them their heaviest league defeat since 2008.

Luis Enrique’s men slipped to fifth in the process, yet they have an immediate opportunity to move back to the top of the table for a few hours at least with Real Madrid, Celta, Villarreal and Atletico Madrid all in action later in the day.

“After a result like that you always feel down, although we think the score is more exaggerated than we deserved,” Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets said. “We need to turn the page and learn from our mistakes.”

“The best response is to win against Las Palmas on Saturday at the Camp Nou,” he said. “The league is very long and until now we had won every game.”

Worryingly Barca were almost back to full strength for the loss, as Gerard Pique made his first league appearance of the season after serving a four-match ban.

Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who is expected to be sidelined for at least the rest of the month, remains a real headache.

With Bravo in goal, Barca have conceded just once in three games this season. Yet, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen as the last line of defense they have conceded 15 times in six matches, and conceded four three times.

Cristiano Ronaldo will aim for Real Madrid’s all-time goalscoring record once more at home to Malaga later on Saturday.

The Ballon d’Or winner has been held scoreless in his past two outings as he stands just two goals short of Raul Gonzalez Blanco’s 323-goal record.

However, Karim Benzema has ably deputized for Ronaldo’s rare off days by scoring six times in his past five games, including twice in a crucial 2-1 win against Athletic Bilbao midweek.

“He is one of the best strikers in the world and we are lucky to have him in our team,” Madrid midfielder Luka Modric said of the Frenchman.

Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Danilo will again be missing for Real, but Sergio Ramos could make his return from a shoulder injury.

The game of the weekend sees third take on fourth when Villarreal host Atletico Madrid.

Villarreal are yet to be beaten in the league this season and a 1-0 win against Malaga on Wednesday gave them a share of the lead alongside Real Madrid and Celta.

“To have 13 points ou of 15 means we are very happy,” Villarreal boss Marcelino said.

“To beat Atletico Madrid would put the seal on an extraordinary week,” he added.

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