BARCELONA, Spain — Valencia’s tough start to the Spanish league season hit a new low Sunday after Real Betis’ pair of 35-year-old veterans ended the club’s three-decade wait for a win at Mestalla Stadium.

Ruben Castro and Joaquin Sanchez, both 35, combined for three goals to earn a thrilling 3-2 victory over a Valencia side that finished with 10 men and with its fans frustrated at another poor performance.

Valencia’s notoriously demanding supporters will now have even more reason to complain following a third loss in as many rounds that left the team in the relegation zone.

“It’s tough. We were looking for the winner and ended up on the losing end,” said Valencia manager Pako Ayestaran. “In these situations the normal thing is to give up, but we are going to keep going.”

Castro secured the win in stoppage time with his second goal after Valencia had rallied while playing a man down after Enzo Perez was ejected after 50 minutes for a studs-first tackle.

Despite playing a man down, Rodrigo Moreno and Valencia newcomer Ezequiel Garay both scored in a three-minute span to leave the teams level at 2-2.

But Castro grabbed the injury-time winner when he finished off a flowing buildup by tapping in a low cross to the far post by Cristiano Piccini.

“It looked like it was going to be an easy win. Up a man and by two goals? We can’t let them come back like that,” Castro said. “But we made a big effort at the end and got an important victory.”

Betis last won in the league at Valencia in 1986.


Raul Garcia’s 30-meter (yard) blast shortly before halftime stunned Deportivo La Coruna and gave Athletic Bilbao its first league win of the season.

Garcia’s right-footed strike went into the top corner of the net, leaving goalkeeper German Lux little chance of stopping it.

Kepa Arrizabalaga made two saves to protect the lead on his debut in the Bilbao goal.

Marlos Moreno played his first minutes for Deportivo as a second-half substitute after he joined the Spanish club on loan from Manchester City. The Colombian forward had a scoring chance inside the box in the 90th.


A last-gasp strike, combined with a mistake by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, helped 10-man Eibar grab a 2-1 victory at Granada.

Eibar forward Sergi Enrich struck the decisive goal on the break, firing in Antonio Luna’s low cross in injury time with the last kick of the match.

The small Basque club took the lead just before halftime when Ochoa let a long-range shot by Pedro Leon slip through his hands after the ball bounced in front of him and went over his head.

Eibar was playing a man down after its goalkeeper, Asier Riesgo, was shown a direct red card for fouling Ezequiel Ponce to stop his breakaway in the 32nd.

Granada squandered several chances before Artem Kravets leveled in the 76th. He pushed the ball in after it had come off the post and hit the back of backup ‘keeper Yoel Rodriguez.

Elsewhere, Sporting Gijon beat Leganes 2-1 at home.