BARCELONA Tiny Leganes moved to the brink of safety in their first season in La Liga by thrashing Real Betis 4-0 helped by a sensational goal from 50 metres by Brazilian Gabriel Pires on Monday.
Captain Alexander Szymanowski put the minnows from Madrid ahead in the seventh minute with a penalty before Nabil El Zhar cemented their lead against struggling Betis by pouncing on a fortuitous bounce to score in the 15th.
Pires had most of the 11,000 capacity Butarque crowd on their feet with his enterprising strike in the 65th, winning possession around the halfway line and lobbing stranded Betis keeper Antonio Adan to score one of the goals of the season.
Argentine Szymanowski then delighted the home fans with an impressive run across the box to slam in the fourth with 10 minutes left, putting an extra shine on a win that took Leganes up to 16th in the table on 33 points, four behind Betis in 15th.
The win restored Leganes' six-point lead over Sporting Gijon, who occupy the final relegation spot, with two games remaining, meaning a point against Athletic Bilbao or Alaves will guarantee their top-flight status, while they will also stay up if Sporting fail to win their last two games.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris)