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MADRID (AP) Real Betis defeated last-place Malaga 2-1 in the Spanish league on Monday to keep alive its hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Betis’ seventh win in eight matches left the team eight points behind third-place Valencia with three matches left. The result secured Betis a place in the Europa League for the first time in four years.

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

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Fabian Ruiz scored the winner with a shot from outside the area in the 73rd minute at Benito Villamarin Stadium. Youssef En-Nesyri had put Malaga on the board in the 20th and Riza Durmisi equalized for the hosts soon after.

Betis hadn’t conceded a goal in six matches.

”Happy with the three points and with the return to a European competition,” Ruiz said.

Malaga had already been relegated, along with Las Palmas and Clarence Seedorf’s Deportivo La Coruna.

Barcelona on Sunday won its seventh league title in 10 seasons.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga


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