It was a bad evening for Betis as they fell 3-1 in Lepe. Pepe Mel started off with an 11 that theoretically featured many players you would expect to start in a La Liga match, but they didn’t really do themselves any justice at all.
Betis played earlier in the week and beat Coria 4-1, but they couldn’t repeat the process against a third tier Spanish side. They were lacking intensity and were out-fought in all areas of the pitch. Is this something to expect in a friendly match that means nothing? Possible yes, but you would like to see a bit of promise from the team, who are going to step up to a much higher level next season.
It was 1-1 at half time, thanks to Pezzella with his first goal for Betis after heading in from a Rafael Van der Vaart corner. Unfortunately, Van der Vaart could say the he’d opened his goal account too after having his penalty saved. With many potential league starters, the first half was very poor (as it was against Coria).
As expected there were a lot of changes at half time – 10 in fact – yet it didn’t make any positive difference, if anything it made Betis’ perform even worse. They created very little and conceded two more goals with errors occurring throughout the defence and from the usual reliable Adán in goal.
Mel has a lot to do to get this new look team in motion, on the same wavelength and performing well. The good news is that there is still plenty of time to brush off the cobwebs and work his magic.
The next match is against Athletic Bilbao on Thursday 23rd.