Girona 0-1 Real Betis: Loren strengthens Betis top-five bid

Surprise packages Real Betis strengthened their bid for a top-five finish in La Liga with a 1-0 victory at Girona on Friday night.

Loren scored the only goal of the match in the 36th minute as Betis recorded a fifth successive win – their best league run in over two decades.

Betis, who have now gone 383 minutes without conceding a goal, remain fifth in the table and are now five points above Villarreal as they seek a rare foray into Europe.

Betis have not finished in the top five of La Liga since 2005 but, with six games to go and neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid to face, they must now fancy their chances of ending that wait.

Their win over stuttering Girona was secured when Loren coolly lofted the ball into the net following a brilliant run and pass by veteran midfielder Joaquin Sanchez.

Eighth-placed Girona tried their best to get back into the match but saw three efforts ruled out as they slumped to a third defeat in four games.