Over 30,000 spectators were in attendance at the Benito Villamarín on Sunday evening to watch Betis demolish Lugo by five goals to one.
Betis are now six points clear of both Sporting Gijón and Girona, who could only draw against Zaragoza. Both teams are tied on 72 points, with four games left to play. This means that Betis need just six points from the last remaining four games to confirm beyond doubt their return to La Liga.
Betis got off to a good start and were 1-0 up after 13 minutes thanks to a certain Rubén Castro with his 27th goal of the season. Castro was slid through by Alfred N’Diaye, who had perhaps his best game of the season for Betis, just beyond the half way line. He then closed into the box at an angle and smashed the ball into the roof of the net. An emphatic finish. Lugo threatened temporarily to gate crash the party moved and drew level through Peña on 22 minutes. Ferreiro then had a few long range efforts, but didn’t force Adán into any saves, highlighting the difference in class between the two teams. Jorge Molina put Betis in front just before half time with a tap in from a free-kick after a knock down from N’Diaye.
Los verdiblancos started the second half like a house on fire. They really could have had four more goals before the 60th minute, but settled for just the two instead. After 13 consecutive Castro or Molina goals, Betis showed they could share them out with Molinero timing his run well to slot into the bottom corner from a Molina pass. Molina then really should have scored after again being set up by N’Diaye, he missed from seven yards with just the ‘keeper to beat. It wasn’t long before Castro once again showed his lethal finishing, after being set up by Molina.
A series of substitutions really slowed the game down and Betis moved into 2nd gear. The rout was completed by substitute Vincenzo Rennella, who scored a lovely header with just a few minutes left to play after a super cross from fellow substitute Cejudo.
Betis now play again on Thursday away to Racing, who are floundering in the relegation zone, but will be desperate for a win. Both Sporting and Girona have away ties on Wednesday, which means if Girona lose and Betis win then promotion is confirmed as they have a better head-to-head record and would be nine points ahead with nine to play for. Betis play Sporting on the last game of the season, so their head-to-head isn’t yet complete.
All in all a brilliant weekend for Pepe Mel and co and a La Liga return is looking exceptionally close now!
Viva el Betis!
sporting 3-1 racing
girona 1- 1 zara