Barcelona, Betis bag three in La Liga wins

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Barcelona have moved a step closer to securing second place in the Spain's La Liga by defeating 10-man Celta Vigo 3-1.

Memphis Depay put the hosts ahead on Tuesday at Camp Nou in the 30th minute and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added to the lead in the 41st and 48th.

Celta striker and skipper Iago Aspas pulled the visitors closer on 50 minutes but had defender Jeison Murillo sent off in the 58th.

The victory left Barcelona seven points in front of Sevilla ahead of the rival's home match against relegation-threatened Mallorca, and are eight points ahead of fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, who visit Elche also on Wednesday.

There will be two rounds left after the mid-week games are completed.

Real Madrid, who host Levante on Thursday, clinched the title two rounds ago.

Finishing second is important because it guarantees a place in the lucrative Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

The game was interrupted for nearly eight minutes as Barcelona's Uruguayan defender Ronald Araujo received medical assistance and an ambulance was brought onto the field to transport him to hospital with a head injury after colliding with a teammate.

"It's scary when something like this happens," Aubameyang said.

Real Betis defeated Valencia 3-0 to end a four-match winless streak and keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

In a rematch of the Copa del Rey final won by Betis in a penalty shootout last month, second-half goals by Willian Jose, Sergio Canales and Borja Iglesias took Betis within three points of Atletico.

Betis last played in the Champions League in 2005-06.

"While there is still a mathematical chance, we have to keep believing," Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini said.

"All we can do is win our last two matches, even though we know it will be difficult for the other teams to lose points."

At the other end of the table a 35th-minute Alex Collado goal at home to Athletic Bilbao boosted Granada's chances of avoiding relegation, lifting them five points clear of the bottom three.

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