I called this game a six-pointer in my preview last week, Rubén Castro said that Betis “have to win” and with three defeats in a row, it was beginning to feel a bit twitchy around the Benito Villamarín.
With over 37,000 fans showing true beticismo creating a superb atmosphere before the game, los verdiblancos ground out a 1-0 win courtesy of the two most important players of the season, those I labelled the ‘two bookends’ in my last post – Rubén Castro and Antonio Adán.
I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, but those of a betting persuasion should have picked up on my hint:
I don’t expect this to be an exciting match. It will be scrappy, hard fought and lacking quality with 1-0 written all over it…hopefully to the team in green or white.
My prediction ended up being spot on. 1-0. Rubén Castro header in the 81st minute to break the stalemate and give Betis a vital three points, allowing Juan Merino to exhale a very deep and relieving breathe. Rubén now has 17 la liga goals to make him the top Spanish goalscorer in the league alongside Aritz Aduriz of Athletic Bilbao and Borja Bastón of Eibar, who is having a great season. Remarkable figures really.
Adán standing firm in goal was just as important as Rubén up front and can’t be forgotten. Without his outstanding performances this season, Betis would probably be in deep trouble.
The win leaves us in 14th position, but more importantly, nine points above 18th placed Sporting. A distinct gap seems to have formed now between Espanyol and Rayo, with the relegation places looking like they’ll consist of three teams from the bottom five.
The result for Betis was good but the performance yet again wasn’t, which is worrying. Survival is the goal this season, yet the fans, including me, will be wanting more in the future. Entertainment, excitement and goals; all of which have been sadly lacking this season. We’ve now officially scored more goals than Getafe and Levante, which isn’t anything to write home about, let alone be proud of.
We can’t rely on 34 year old Rubén Castro forever. However, I think that it may be an impossible task to try and replace this legend of a player.