Easy for Vallecano
Last Updated: 20/04/14 8:13pm
Joaquin Larrivey: Played his part in the impressive win
Rayo Vallecano continued their march towards safety with a convincing 3-1 win over Primera Division whipping boys Real Betis, who look more doomed than ever.
The tone of the afternoon was set when Betis defender Paulao mis-hit a back-pass towards his goalkeeper to gift Ruben Rochina the opening goal on 14 minutes, and things got even worse for the Brazilian when he diverted a cross into his own net shortly before the half-hour mark.
Joaquin Larrivey made sure of the points with a third goal early in the second half, although Javi Chica got one back for beleaguered Betis with 12 minutes remaining.
Rayo's fifth consecutive home win sees Paco Jemez's side move on to 40 points, half of which have been earned in their last nine matches.
Betis, meanwhile, remain 10 points adrift of safety and could be relegated to the Segunda Division as soon as next week.
The Seville club's sorry season was summed up by Paulo's error, which allowed Rochina to nip in ahead of the stranded Antonio Adan to slot home.
Betis had not played badly before going behind and showed positive signs at first after the goal, with Ruben Castro forcing a save from Rayo stopper Ruben Martinez and Jorge Molina going close with a header.
But their positive steps were undone on 27 minutes when Paulao's attempted clearance landed in the back of his own net.
The Brazilian was so embarrassed with his performance that he called for himself to be substituted and a few minutes later his wish was granted, with Alvaro Vadillo coming on instead.
Larrivey and Iago Falque could have settled the game before the break, while former Rayo winger Leo Baptistao, who was booed on his return to Vallecas, narrowly missed a chance to reduce the deficit, as did his team-mate Ruben Castro, who blazed over on the stroke of half-time.
Rayo smelled blood and went all out for a third goal once the second half began. They did not have to wait long for it to arrive.
Falque teed up Rochina, the former Blackburn striker's shot was blocked on the line by Damien Perquis, but Larrivey turned in the rebound to ensure there was no respite for the visitors.
Larrivey then passed up a chance to become the team's top scorer for the season, hammering the bar from inside the area, while Falque struck a post with a thumping drive.
Betis' afternoon could have become even more miserable had Alfred N'Diaye been penalised for blocking a goal-bound shot from Falque with his hand.
But in the end Gabriel Calderon's side made the scoreline look more dignified, Chica providing a classy finish and then dedicating his goal to the late Espanyol captain Dani Jarque and the Betis player Miki Roque, who passed away from cancer two years ago.
Spanish Primera BBVA