Real Betis moved up to joint fourth in the Spanish League on Friday with a late 2-1 home defeat of lowly Osasuna.
Betis went ahead in the 20th minute when Jorge Molina headed in a perfect centre from Joel Campbell. Osasuna improved in the second half and Chilean midfielder Francisco Silva made it 1-1 16 minutes from time by blasting home a centre from Alvaro Cejudo.
But six minutes later veteran striker Ruben Castro restored Betis’ lead with a cool finish, after taking a through-ball from Dorlan Pabon.
Mario Balotelli grabbed the headlines again as 10-man AC Milan consolidated its grip on third place in Serie A with a 2-0 win on Friday at lowly Genoa which extended its unbeaten league run to 10 games.
Balotelli, who started on the bench, scored the clinching second after the person he replaced, Giampaolo Pazzini, had scored the opener.
But the result was marred by an ugly second half incident as Guinea full-back Kevin Constant was sent-off for a sustained attempt to confront Genoa’s Cesare Bovo 25 minutes from time.
Despite receiving first a second yellow from the referee, and eventually the subsequent red, Constant refused to leave the field as he persistently attempted to approach Bovo. It was several minutes before a gaggle of teammates managed to usher him from the pitch.
But that did not stop Milan from continuing its recent unbeaten run which has taken it to within two points of second-placed Napoli ahead of the weekend games.
In a turgid first period chances were at a premium but teenage French forward M’Baye Niang brought a fine save out of his compatriot and home goalkeeper Sebastien Frey on 20 minutes with a powerful effort.
Spanish league: Real Betis 2 (Molina 19, Ruben Castro 79) bt Osasuna 1 (Silva 73).
Italian league: Genoa 0 lost to AC Milan 2 (Pazzini 22, Balotelli 60).