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Real Betis’ Champions League hopes hit by defeat to Elche

Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis slipped to a 1-0 home defeat to Elche (Jane Barlow/PA)
Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis slipped to a 1-0 home defeat to Elche (Jane Barlow/PA)

Real Betis’ Champions League hopes were dealt a blow as they slipped to a 1-0 LaLiga defeat at home against Elche.

Elche winger Tete Morente scored the only goal in the 82nd minute to send Betis to their first defeat in seven games in all competitions.

A miserable night was complete for Manuel Pellegrini’s side when Paul Akouokou was shown a straight red card in the closing stages for his challenge on Lucas Olaza.

Betis could have leapfrogged fourth-placed Atletico Madrid with victory by two or more goals but remain three points behind having played a game more.

Villarreal boosted their hopes of a top-six finish as a 2-0 home win against Valencia lifted them to within three points of Real Sociedad.

Arnaut Danjuma scored twice to give Unai Emery’s side a two-goal lead at half-time, converting his first from the penalty spot in the 10th minute after VAR adjudged Eray Comert to have handled.

Danjuma struck his second seven minutes later after being set up by Juan Foyth.

Bottom club Alaves’ survival hopes were dealt a blow as they lost 2-1 at relegation rivals Mallorca.

Alaves thought they had taken an early lead, but Florian Lejeune’s header was ruled out by VAR and Abdon Prats fired Mallorca into the lead soon after.

Vedat Muriqi extended Mallorca’s lead deep in first-half stoppage time and, although Antonio Raillo’s own goal threw Alaves a late lifeline, the visitors slipped to a fifth defeat in their last six matches.