Betis beats Girona 1-0 to strengthen bid for Europa League

MADRID (AP) Real Betis beat Girona 1-0 for its fifth straight win in the Spanish league on Friday, moving a step closer to a Europa League spot next season.

Loren Moron scored late in the first half as Betis strengthened its hold on fifth place. Betis moved five points ahead of sixth-place Villarreal and six clear of Sevilla in seventh spot. They have both played one games less than Betis.

Girona has not won in four matches and remains in eighth place and two points behind Sevilla, which hosts Villarreal on Saturday.

Moron struck from inside the penalty area after fine play from captain Joaquin Sanchez, who made a surging run before setting up his teammate with a pass behind the Girona defenders in the 36th minute.

League leader Barcelona, which is 11 points clear of Atletico Madrid, hosts third-place Valencia on Saturday.

Atletico is at home lowly Levante on Sunday, while fourth-place Real Madrid visits last-place Malaga.

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