Saturday, October 16

Fekir and Juanmi unblock Betis to beat Levante

The French Nabil Fekir, with a great goal that made it 1-0 in the 70th minute, and Juanmi Jimenez, shortly after entering the field, they unblocked the game of Betis in the second part to return to the victoria (2-0) and continue to settle in the European posts, which could not be approached by the Levante, who controlled the situation well until he conceded the goals.

At the break of this match, played at the Benito Villamarín stadium and which opened the twenty-eighth day of LaLiga Santander, it was reached with a zero draw, with balance of forces and without great scoring chances, but in the second, when the script was very similar, the goal of the French international arrived, which left the Valencian team without reaction.

It seemed that one of the victims of last Sunday’s defeat at Sánchez Pizjuán in the derby against Sevilla was the Madrid goalkeeper Joel Robles, as the team’s coach, the Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, made his compatriot Claudio Bravo return to the goal after several weeks absent.

The left back Álex Moreno and the Mexican right winger Diego Lainez were others who returned to the title for the team to take another air after that defeat against the ‘eternal rival’ and return to the magnificent path that the Verdiblanco team is walking to ensure their return to a European competition.

But his adversary on this day came to Seville reinforced by his victory also in his derby against Valencia, making accounts to fight for the European places, despite the fact that his coach, Paco López, clarified that permanence is not yet assured.

The Valencian coach maintains the casualties due to injury of José Campaña, Gonzalo Melero, Sergio Postigo and Nemanja Radoja and they joined at the last minute that of Rubén Rochina due to a quadriceps problem, while the Costa Rican central defender Óscar Duarte was left on the bench not being in full physical condition due to the contusion he suffered in the lower back in the previous game.

The Levante, true to its style, He came out ready to discuss the possession of the ball to Betis and go with a lot of players towards the attack and very soon José Luis Morales and Jorge de Frutos showed their intentions to Claudio Bravo.

The local team had to squeeze in the center of the field with the Argentine Guido Rodríguez and the Mexican Andrés Guarded to counteract the rival push and for players like Canales, Fekir, Lainez and Borja Iglesias to start moving up.

In that struggle a balanced match advanced, with Levante well protected to go quickly to the counter and Betis with the intention of opening the game finding gaps between the rival defense on the flanks, as in an opportunity in which Álex Moreno crossed the ball too much in a foray down the left.

That occasion, and another two more followed by the Verdiblancos, gave more security to the locals and also caused some doubts to enter the granotas in the final stretch of a first half that, however, ended without goals.

The second began like the first, with balance, arrivals in the two areas and a strong fight in the center of the field in search of finding dominance at stake, but Pellegrini did not see it clearly and made the Portuguese William enter. Carvalho and Juanmi Jiménez for Guido Rodríguez, who had a card, and Lainez.

After those changes came the Betic goal, but It was from Fekir who made a great solo play in which he left several opponents and beat the goal Aitor Fernández at seventy minutes, which unblocked his team, to the point that five minutes later, at 75, Juanmi scored the second for the locals.

The goals made Paco López also move his bench for the final stretch of the match with a triple change, when Javier Hidalgo ‘Son’, the French Mickael Maisa and the former Sergio León entered, but the game was already uphill and Levante never gave the feeling of being able to fix the situation.


2 – Betis: Claudio Bravo; Emerson, Mandi, Víctor Ruiz, Álex Moreno; Guido Rodríguez (William Carvalho, m.66), Guarded; Diego Lainez (Juanmi, m.66), Fekir, Canales; and Borja Iglesias (Joaquín, m.90).

0 – Levante: Aitor Fernández; Miramón (Duarte, m.83), Róber Pier, Vezo, Clerc; De Frutos, Morales (Son, m.77), Vukcevic (Maisa, m.77), Bardhi; Dani Gómez (Sergio León, m.77) and Roger.

Goals: 1-0, M.70: Fekir. 2-0, M.75: Juanmi.

Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Extremadura Committee). He admonished the locals Guido Rodríguez (m.57) and William Carvalho (m.84).

Incidents: Match of the twenty-eighth day of LaLiga Santander played at the Benito Villamarín stadium. No audience. The Betis players wore black armbands due to the recent death of the father of the Verdiblanco winger Cristian Tello. The Levante coach, Paco López, became in this meeting in which the highest number of games (129) has led the Valencian team in its history.

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