Arsenal beats Reading 5-2 in Premier League

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Associated Press

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 2:01 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 18 at 2:04 AM

READING, England (AP) — Santi Cazorla had a hat trick Monday to help Arsenal bounce back from its recent disappointments with a 5-2 win at last-place Reading in the Premier League.

Coming off an embarrassing loss on penalties at fourth-tier Bradford in the League Cup last week, Arsenal was back to its best for the first hour at the Madejski Stadium, attacking at will and taking a 4-0 lead when Cazorla netted his third in the 60th minute.

Reading rallied after scoring two goals in five minutes, but Cazorla settled any nerves by setting Theo Walcott up for the fifth in the 80th.

Lukas Podolski opened the scoring for Arsenal in the 14th, while Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe scored for Reading.

The win lifts Arsenal to fifth place, two points behind Tottenham and Chelsea, and more importantly restored some confidence after last week's letdown at Bradford and a stretch of inconsistent league results.

"We showed people, hopefully, the real Arsenal," Walcott said.

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MADRID (AP) — Jorge Molina scored late to give Real Betis a 1-0 win at Celta Vigo, lifting his team into fifth place in the Spanish league.

The Betis forward beat defender Gustavo Cabral before scoring in the 81st minute. The hosts nearly tied it in injury time, but Betis goalkeeper Adrian San Miguel saved from Andres Tunez and Mario Bermejo hit the post a minute later.

Celta striker Iago Aspas had wasted chances earlier, shooting wide in the 40th after a solo run and again in the 67th.

The win puts Betis in fifth place with 28 points while Celta is 15th on 15 points.

In Monday's other match, Deportivo La Coruna drew 0-0 against Real Valladolid, a result that leaves Deportivo last in the standings. Valladolid is eighth with 22 points.

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