Higuain's hat trick leads Real Madrid over Betis

Gonzalo Higuain scored his second successive 1 win over Real Betis on Saturday at the Bernabeu in La Liga.

Higuain scored a hat trick in a 4-0 win over Espanyol before the international break and returned with three more goals. He scored in the 46th, 70th and 73rd minutes, and Kaka added a fourth second-half goal.

Real won its third straight after a two-match winless streak, which included a loss and a draw, to remain within striking distance of leaders Barcelona.

After a scoreless first half in Madrid, Higuain opened the scoring just after the break when he took a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo and found the lower-right corner.

Ronaldo picked up another assist in the 59th, as Kaka turned his pass into the bottom right to double Real's lead.

Higuain sealed the hat trick and win, Real's fifth in La Liga, when he notched his final two goals in a four-minute stretch. He scored the first off a pass from Ruben Castro to the bottom left, then ran onto a through ball from Angel Di Maria to run his season total to eight goals.

Higuain is second in La Liga in scoring behind Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Jorge Molina scored for Betis, which opened the season with four straight wins but has now loss three straight.

Real, which has won its first two Champions League matches, hosts Lyon in the tournament Tuesday.

Barcelona 3, Racing 0

Barcelona, Spain - Lionel Messi scored twice to run his scoring total to 10 in just seven La Liga matches as Barcelona defeated Racing 3-0 on Saturday at the Camp Nou to maintain first place.

Barcelona remained unbeaten, holds a one-point lead over Real Madrid, and left Levante three points back ahead of its match Sunday. Racing is winless.

Messi scored the first goal of the match after 11 minutes, working with Andres Iniesta on the right before a brilliant individual effort set up an easy tap in at the right post.

Xavi added to the lead in the 27th when he headed a cross from Pedro in from the edge of the six-yard box and Messi completed his double and sealed the win after he fired home a rebound following Iniesta's hit post.

Barca hosts Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday in the Champions League.

Getafe 0, Villarreal 0

Getafe, Spain - Villarreal tied Getafe 0-0 on Saturday at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, as it played to its third straight La Liga tie ahead of a big Champions League fixture with Manchester City this week.

Villarreal has just one win and seven points from seven games in La Liga, and is in worse shape in the Champions League after a home loss to Bayern Munich and a road defeat against Napoli.

The Yellow Submarines, already 10 points off the pace of leader Barcelona in Spain, are at City on Tuesday. Villarreal hosts City in the following match.

Getafe earned its second result in its last three, but has just five points in seven games.

Mallorca 1, Valencia 1

Mallorca, Spain - Tomer Hemed converted a penalty three minutes into stoppage time, and Mallorca tied Valencia 1-1 on Saturday at the Estadio Son Moix in La Liga to extend its unbeaten streak to three matches.

Mallorca has a win and two draws in its last three games to recover from a bad start, when it lost three of its first four.

Adil Rami scored in the opening half for Valencia, which has totaled 14 points from seven games this season. Valencia is three points behind leader Barcelona in the standings.

Valencia, which has tied its first two Champions League matches, visits Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday in the tournament.

Granada 0, Atletico Madrid 0

Granada, Spain - Atletico Madrid's winless streak reached three matches in La Liga on Saturday, as it was held to a 0-0 draw at promoted Granada at the Los Carmenes.

Atletico Madrid has just nine points from seven matches, and is already eight off the pace of first-place Barcelona. Granada is winless in four and has just five points.