SPORTS


Real Madrid destroy Betis, Barcelona edge Malaga

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Baku, August 30, AZERTAC

Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez scored two goals each to fuel Real Madrid' 5-0 rout of Real Betis in its home opener Saturday, while Barcelona edged Malaga 1-0 in the Spanish League, according to the Associated Press.

Rodriguez picked out Bale to set the tone from the second minute and increased the lead with a vicious free kick from a tight angle in the 39th.

After Karim Benzema made it 3-0 early in the second half, Rodriguez produced another brilliant strike with a bicycle kick to whip in his second goal in the 50th.

Bale was not to be outdone and struck a blistering long ball while on the run that hit the upright before landing in the net with two minutes left.

While Madrid eased to the convincing win, Barcelona needed Thomas Vermaelen to score his first goal for the defending champion to secure a second straight win at Camp Nou.

Barcelona leads Madrid by two points after two rounds, but it was Celta Vigo that took the overnight lead on goal difference after crushing 10-man Rayo Vallecano 3-0.

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