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Spanish League: Real Sociedad ends winless run, moves near top

Barcelona's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring his side's third goal with Lionel Messi during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Eibar and FC Barcelona at the Ipurua stadium in Eibar, Spain, on Oct. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

MADRID (AP) -- Real Sociedad came from behind to defeat Real Betis 3-1 on Sunday, ending a three-game winless streak and moving closer to the top of the Spanish league.

Real Sociedad reached fourth place with the victory, moving within three points of leader Barcelona after nine matches. The win ended a run that included a draw and two consecutive league losses.

Loren Moron put Real Betis ahead in the 12th minute at the Reale Arena, but the hosts equalized with an own-goal by Javi Garcia in the 22nd. Real Sociedad took the lead with Willian Jose's goal in the 36th and Portu sealed the victory in the 58th.

It was another good performance by Norway midfielder Martin Odegaard for Real Sociedad, which extended its home unbeaten streak against Real Betis to 16 years.

Real Betis has won only one of its last five games and is yet to win an away match in the league this season. It dropped to 18th in the 20-team standings.

Real Sociedad's last win was 3-0 against Alaves last month.

ESPANYOL'S STRUGGLES

Espanyol coach Pablo Machin debuted with a 1-0 loss to Villarreal, the team's third straight loss in the league and fifth consecutive at home.

The result kept the Barcelona club second-to-last in the standings with five points from nine matches. It trails Real Betis by four points and is three ahead of last-place Leganes.

Karl Toko Ekambi scored the winner for Villarreal, which moved to sixth with 14 points.

CELTA VIGO LOSES

Celta Vigo stayed just outside of the relegation zone after a 2-0 loss at Alaves. It was coming off a win over Athletic Bilbao but had been winless in its previous six matches.

It was the second win in three matches for Alaves, which moved to 14th place.

Barcelona took the league lead with a 3-0 win over Eibar on Saturday, while second-place Real Madrid lost 1-0 at Mallorca for its first league defeat of the season.

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