Spanish league: Baptista, Raul lead Real Madrid

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Julio Baptista scored with an overhead kick and Raul Gonzalez converted a penalty to move Real Madrid back atop the Spanish league.

Updated: September 30, 2007 13:57 IST
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Julio Baptista scored with an overhead kick and Raul Gonzalez converted a penalty to move Real Madrid back atop the Spanish league with a 2-0 victory over Real Betis on Thursday.

Substitute Baptista timed his jump to connect his right foot with a looping ball and beat goalkeeper Ricardo into the top of goal in the 85th minute.

"Baptista played well and I'm happy for him and his lovely goal. Sometimes you have to seek out those games and the moments when you get in" Madrid manager Bernd Schuster said.

Raul secured it in the 67th, slotting his low roller into the right of net to keep Madrid unbeaten in five games to start the season.

Madrid improved to 13 points, one more than Villarreal and Valencia, and two more than FC Barcelona, all of which won their fifth-round games on Wednesday. Winless Betis is 18th with two points.

Lionel Messi scored two goals for the second straight game to lead Barcelona over Zaragoza 4-1.

Valencia beat Getafe 2-1 and Villarreal beat Racing Santander 2-0.

Also on Wednesday, it was Osasuna 4, Levante 1; Almeria 1, Murcia 0; Mallorca 4, Valladolid 2; Recreativo Huelva 2, Deportivo La Coruna 0; and Atletico Madrid 2, Athletic Bilbao 0.

On Tuesday, Espanyol handed Sevilla its third straight loss in all competitions with a 3-2 win.

Schuster attributed the victory to his second half changes.

With the pace dropping by the 59th, Schuster brought on Robinho and Arjen Robben for Gonzalo Higuain and Javier Saviola, who had filled in for Ruud van Nistelrooy.

"The changes proved pretty important. The team had a lot more pace and life with the entry of Robben and Robinho," Schuster said. "It's nice to have these options. Thanks to them we were able to win the game."

Converting penalty

Robinho appeared to have scored in the 67th, but it was voided because of David Rivas' foul on Raul, who then converted the penalty.

Robben beat Ricardo from the left in the 71st only to nip by the far post, Rafael Sobis' free kick from the corner of the area deflected onto the crossbar by Mahamadou Diarra soon after. Gonzalez then hit the post on Betis' next attack.

Robben had another chance, but his goal was offside in the 77th.

Wesley Sneijder and Gabriel Henize returned after both missed Madrid's 1-1 draw at Valladolid on Sunday.

Ricardo got his fingers to Sneijder's curling free kick in the 32nd to tip it over the crossbar.

Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas managed to slow Edu's point-blank shot in the 34th, and Mark Gonzalez sent the rebound high as the Madrid defense recovered quickly.

David Odonkor hit the post in the 38th and Edu tested Casillas with a long curling shot in the 41st as Betis pushed for the equalizer.

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