From a football perspective there’s not much to write home about on last night’s derbi match, there wasn’t much played. It was frantic, tense, fast paced yet very stop-start. Chances were few a far between, especially from Betis standpoint, and the game ran out zero apiece.
Saying all that it shouldn’t really have been an entertaining affair, but it was. It was terrible ugly, yet still an intriguing match from start to finish. The tune was set after the 3rd minute when Molinero scythed down Tremoulinas on the left flank. Definite yellow card. After that the referee didn’t have his whistle out of his mouth all evening. It seemed to be blowing every minute, contact or no contact. I do think the game, especially in Spain, is almost becoming a non-contact sport.
The play acting doesn’t help this of course and it’s fair to say that Dani Ceballos was probably the biggest culprit of this. He was making the most of every challenge, but he was getting under the Sevilla players’ skin; winding them up, squaring up, breaking up their play and being a general nuisance. He was certainly geared up for this game, his first senior derbi, and showed a tremendous amount of passion, something which I, and the rest of the fans love to see. It would have been nice to have seen his talent for football shining through more than his talent for rolling on the ground, but he’s 19 and got a lot to learn.
The game threatened to flare up on a couple of occasions with plenty of handbags being swung about. This even tumbled across into the dugouts with Unai Emery and big Betis coach Roberto Rios have a few choice words. Emery did the wise thing and walked away as you wouldn’t really want to mess around with Rios!
The only two chances of the match both fell to Sevilla forward Kevin Gameiro, who was a pain in Betis’ side all evening. Both chances were thwarted by the brilliant Adán. I’m wracking my brains to think of a Betis chance or danger moment but can’t think of one. This probably tells you all you need to know about the attacking quality…it wasn’t there. Rubén Castro barely touched the ball and neither really did Joaquín apart from a few good occasions in the second half. Joaquín was one of very few who actually looked like he could create something and seemed to have Mariano on toast at times, but then Pepe Mel took him off!
Aside from this, it was a great team performance. The players worked and fought for each other, particularly N’Diaye and Petros in the centre of midfield. Keep this team ethic, add a dusting of quality and attacking panache and we’ll be more than alright this season.
Overall, it was a game of emotions, not really of football. That being said, Betis matched Sevilla, there wasn’t a huge gulf in class and a draw was a just result. We now have two more derbi sevillanos to look forward to before the end of January!