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Barcelona earn easy victory

Madrid: Real Madrid’s match at Real Betis was suspended Saturday after a series of power cuts while first-half goals by Luis Enrique Martinez and Javier Saviola gave FC Barcelona a 2-0 win at Athletic de Bilbao in the second round of the Spanish League.

In other games, league titlists Valencia defeated Recreativo de Huelva 3-0 while Deportivo de la Coruna battled back to beat Osasuna 2-1. Also, Malaga staged a comeback to defeat Rayo Vallecano 2-1.

Valencia and Malaga occupy the top two places in the standings as the only teams with 100 percent records after two games. Real Sociedad can join them if it wins at Espanyol.

The game at Real Betis’ sold-out Manuel Ruiz de Lopera Stadium was suspended after 44 minutes with the home team leading 1-0.

After a 20-minute delay at the start, play was briefly held up again five minutes into the match when the lights failed again. When the match got going, 52,500 fans saw Betis take control and international midfielder Jesus ‘Capi’ Capitan strike a deserve goal in the 36th minute.

However, the lights went out again just before halftime, and after a 35-minute wait match referee Juan Antonio Fernandez Marin declared the encounter suspended.

No announcement was made about when the match will be replayed. News reports said that Monday had been initially suggested but this had been ruled out as Madrid are scheduled to travel to Italy Sunday for their Champions League match at AS Roma Tuesday.

Usually when a match is suspended in Spain, the rescheduled match starts from where it was stopped.

FC Barcelona bounced back from their shock Copa del Rey elimination by third-division Novelda Wednesday with a confident performance against injury-hit Bilbao who had nine first-team players missing through injury.

The Catalan powerhouse’s first goal came in the 21st minute when former Spanish international Luis Enrique converted a cross by Dutch midfielder Philip Cocu for his third goal of the season.

Argentine international Saviola netted the second goal with a chip in the 36th minute from a brilliant pass by Dutch striker Patrick Kluivert.

Louis van Gaal’s team, which host FC Brugge in the Champions League Wednesday, were rarely troubled by the inexperienced Bilbao side and dominated the second half.

The Basque team, coached by German Jupp Heynckes, are without a point after two matches. The only other side with no points, Recreativo de Huelva, crashed 0-3 to Valencia in a dull encounter — only the third- ever league meeting between the sides.

Spanish international midfielder Vicente Rodriguez gave the titlists a good start, firing the first goal from the left of the goal in the ninth minute.

The home side’s second came two minutes before time through substitute John Carew, who had replaced off-form striker Juan Sanchez seven minutes earlier. The goal was the Norwegian international’s first for seven months. Carew celebrated ending his drought by adding his second with a simple tap-in seconds before the final whistle.

Valencia, Champions Cup finalists twice in the last three seasons, return to Europe’s top competition Tuesday when they host Liverpool.

Dutch striker Roy Makaay netted two goals in less than 60 seconds to turn the tables on Osasuna, who up to that point had dominated a below-par Deportivo.

The international headed the equaliser in the 74th minute and then quickly angled his shot home to earn a first victory of the season for Deportivo, who visit Bayern Munich in the Champions League Wednesday.

Earlier, Mexican international defender Manuel Vidrio, Osasuna’s summer signing from Pachuca, headed home in the 13th minute for his first goal for the club. The home side’s midfielder Patxi Punal was sent off in the 85th minute after earning his second yellow card for feigning a foul in the penalty area.

Malaga also fought back to earn a 2-1 victory over Rayo.

Dutch midfielder Kizito Musampa netted the winning strike in the 58th minute for the home side, which had fallen behind to 39th-minute goal by Bosnian international striker Elvir Bolic.

Musampa, who hit all the goals in the 3-2 win at Recreativo in Malaga’s opening league match, is the league’s leading scorer with four goals.

Panamanian striker Julio Cesar Dely Valdes atoned for a first-half penalty miss by striking Malaga’s equaliser in the 54th minute. Rayo, which suffered a surprise elimination from the Copa del Rey by third-division cultural Leonesa Wednesday, have one point from two matches.

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