Real Betis 2-Athletic Club 1 Athletic Club lost against Real Betis Balompié by 2-1. Rubén…
Real Betis 2-Athletic Club 1
Athletic Club lost against Real Betis Balompié by 2-1. Rubén Castro and Nelson scored the goals for the Verdiblancos, whereas Javi Martinez, who ended up being sent off, scored the goal for our team. The match was faithful to the phrase that what starts wrong ends badly and although today once again a point escaped us at the last minute, the scene was not that of previous matches in which something was aligned with the rival to dim previous superiority. It is true that the frustrating feeling increases when we lose this way, more so when we played 25 minutes with one less player, a nontrivial question, but despite that, Betis enjoyed more occasions to set the balance in its favour. However, the calendar does not stop there and on Thursday in Moscow a double European challenge: Lokomotiv and the cold weather spell.
The rojiblanca proposal has been as well-known as attractive: to control the ball and initiative, although the locals bet hard on pressure and for many minutes things were quite open, especially as a result of the first serious goal attempt, Betis opened up the scoreboard with a great goal by Rubén Castro when he finished off a loose ball on target from within the area.
From that point on the tendency was accentuated: Betis enjoyed more space and in addition when they stole the ball in the centre circle they had many meters to run. Contrary to Athletic’s superiority, occasions in the midfield were not few either, mainly once they surpassed the Numantine resistance of Beñat and, mainly, Iriney. Though it is true this last one did reach the interval without being booked with a yellow. With clean arrivals to the edge of the area Athletic was unable to do much with them.
Nevertheless, dead ball situations once again paid dividends and Javi Martinez equalized the match with a header in the 23rd minute from a corner served by Susaeta. With the scoreboard equalized Betis became more anxious and things became more exciting until the break. On the visiting part Iñigo Perez tested Fabricio on two occasions with individual drive shots. The goalie responded well and Llorente had his try with a header that went wide to the left.
For the locals Montero has been the greatest nightmare, first for his quick diagonal shots taking advantage of the one-on-ones which he had at his disposal and because he has been the best striker with a line drive that barely missed wide and another shot on goal that hit the crossbar in the minute 45 after a sparkling individual play. The deflection Salva Sevilla shot wide with a header.
In view of the second half Bielsa chose to leave Iñigo Perez on the bench and introduce San Jose hoping that a three defender line-up would give more solidity to the team to confront the comings and goings that the match required. Iturraspe moved further up and the wingers were placed closer to the ends. This time Iriney was booked with the yellow at the beginning of a more electrical second half. Iraizoz was able to parry off a shot by Molina to the crossbar a shot on goal from up close in the 48th after an awesome pass by Beñat. Sevilla scored, but from a clear offside.
After the scare Mel brought in Pereira for Montero, although Athletic gave signs of aspiring for the win when in the 55th a cross by Iraola was hopelessly headed by Llorente, however Fabricio deflected it, Javi Martinez shot a forced left in the 58th but up to the stands, and in the 62nd Iraola alone before Fabricio but he was called a non-existent offside. Straight after that play, the local attack ended with Javi Martinez being booked with a second yellow and sent off.
With one less player and even being a team from Bilbao, Athletic noticed its decrease in manoeuvrability and Betis pressed the accelerator. Whist Bielsa again recomposed the back by giving way to Ekiza in for Muniain another 3-line defensive, but less capacity to reach the front.
Sevilla tried it again, but Amorebieta got in its way. Betis dominated, though without options, whereas on the part of the rojiblancos Iraola and Aurtenetxe closed up the lines and in the way was Iturraspe, De Marcos and Susaeta fought behind Llorente, or on the par. On the contrary, recoveries lasted very little and the ball too quickly returned to Betis.
Pozuelo replaced Sevilla and Santa Cruz later came in for Molina. As of the minute 75 Athletic shook up control and by means of a battery of fouls and favourable corners, they spent a lot of time on the rival’s pitch, but it’s all been unfruitful. Ball losses were frequent by both teams although during those clashes the Verdiblancos won the better part. Beñat made Iraizoz fly in the 83rd and Betis rounded the rival’s area more frequently, although without clear options, except for a loose ball which Castro could not get to. The referee didn’t see Ekiza’s hand upon a free kick, but Villamarín followers did not consider it because in injury time, once again, punishment came in the way of a thundering shot from outside of Nelson’s area in his Liga debut; by chance.
A pity for the time being, but what started off badly ended fatally and Real Betis already has a privilege that, surely, this season will be within the reach of very few, to have defeated Athletic Club on two occasions. It is impossible to always gain points and the only thing that awaits us is to begin a new good running spell in Russia.