This was a game where football was the true winner…and Betis technically.
Excuse the facetiousness but surely a certain amount is allowed after coming out on top of a game like that? It had pretty much everything you would want for in a game of football. Completely none stop action from quite literally the 1st minute to the last of the 95 minutes played, and everything else in between. Eight goals between the teams, both hit the frame of the goal, the crowd were on fire and there was a feistiness between the players on the field with plenty of yellow cards, as you would expect from a gran derbi.
The only people that may have not enjoyed the spectacle quite as much, apart from nerve-wrangled Betis fans watching behind closed fingers during the last 15 minutes, were goalkeeping connoisseurs. Neither Antonio Adán or Sergio Rico made a single save between them for the whole game. Unbelievable.
In truth, it was a pure and exhilarating joy to behold and one of the best games I have seen in La Liga. Happy Day of the Kings indeed.
A Full Recap of a Stunning Derbi Sevillano
The tone for the entire match was set from the first few seconds. Just 21 seconds after Sevilla had kicked off, they were behind. After being played back to the defensc, the tireless Sergio León managed to block a clearance with Betis winning the high ball midway into the Sevilla half. A couple of passes and a jink later, Fabián finds himself 25 yards out with a bit of space and curls a delightfully accurate and powerful left footed shot into the bottom left of the goal beyond a despairing Sergio Rico. 21 seconds on the clock and 0-1. It was the second fastest goal in the derby of all time.
Dream start for Betis but we all know the defence can be shaky and it would be important to try and weather the impending Sevilla storm. And it was a storm. After probably a matter of time, Sevilla were level on 12 minutes after Ben Yedder flicked in a dangerous freekick from Escudero. 1-1.
Nevertheless Betis were not dettered and on the stroke of the 21st minute were back in front. This time Joaquin supplying a superb freekick delivery which Zou Feddal attacked and headed home in voracious fashion. 1-2.
Sevilla were again on the attack and looked likely to score at any point. They did make another breakthrough in the 39th minute when Kjaer headed over Adán. It came from another freekick stupidly given away by Boudebouz who had a very mixed half at best. After some scruffy defending the ball was flicked into the mixer and Kjaer showed more fight to get there first. 2-2. If viewers thought that half was exhausting, we still had the second half yet.
More of the same in the second half
There wasn’t long to wait before we had our first major action. On 49 minutes Betis leftback Rizi Durmisi whipped in a cross which made it’s way across the penalty area to a waiting Andres Guardado on the far side of the D. He struck a fantastic shot first time which pinged off the post and back onto the chest of goalkeeper Rico and then to a waiting Fabián who struck the post again from the rebound, only to be flagged offside.
From 62 minutes we were to have the craziest 5 minutes of the match, which is saying something. After a fantastic passing move from Betis, a phenomenom of Quique Setien’s style which had started to become more prominent in the second half, Rizi Durmisi popped up at the back post from a Boudebouz cross to poke home. Brilliant goal. 2-3.
On 64 minutes Betis were at it again. Ex-Barcelona winger Cristian Tello came on in the 59th minute and made a real difference with his pace and ability to dribble and all came into play on this goal. After cutting in from the left and going past a couple of defenders he provided the perfect through ball to Sergio León who had made a superb run. He prodded it first time back across the oncoming keeper and it seemed it like an eternity as the ball rolled towards wondering whether it would make its way in. It clipped the inside of the post and hit the back of the net. Strangely enough, Feddal found a sombrero from somewhere as he was celebrating. 2-4.
Nothing is ever simple for Betis and on 66 minutes Sevilla had pulled one back. A cross from Nolito was turned in by Correa, once again showing the weakness of the Betis defence when defending crosses. They next 30 minutes made for quite painful viewing as Sevilla seemed to have corner after corner. They actually finished the game with 12 corners to Betis’ 0.
To be fair to the Betis defence they did well to play the game out with Feddal and Javi Garcia in particular making several good clearances.
It came to the 94th minute and Sevilla had a dangerous freekick on the right hand side, similar to where they had scored two previously, and everyone, including the goalkeeper was piled forward. For once it was a poor delivery and didn’t venture past the first man. Tello won the ball from two Sevilla defenders on the half way line as Sergio Rico was sprinting back. Tello used his severe pace to take it forward and all the way to the box where he powerfully finished at the near post. 3-5 and the final whistle was blown. A manita five star showing from Real Betis, even without club legend Ruben Castro who remained on the bench, and whilst ripping apart Sevilla’s 14 month unbeaten home run.
In my preview article before the game, I said that everything pointed to a Sevilla win, and it did, but this game encapsulates just why Betis are an addictive team to support. Sometimes it can be a struggle when you’re losing to Espanyol and getting panned off Eibar, but there’s something about the club, the fans and the team, who can pull out a stunning performance like this one. The manquepierda philosophy of Betis is infectious. I wouldn’t like to analyse this game at all, but if you’re looking for pure footballing entertainment, you’d do very well to beat this one.
Fabián Ruiz – Star of the Show
If you’ve not heard or seen Fabián play before, he is a real talent who will probably go on to follow in the footsteps of Dani Ceballos. Fabián has been at Betis since the age of 8 after growing up on the outskirts of the city. He is Betis through and through. There is nothing better for a local Betis lad than scoring an away goal in the Seville Derby and going off to kiss the badge in front of the manically jubilant beticos celebrating in that upper segment of the Sánchez Pizjuán. The main image above sums it all up.
For me he was man of the match. A constant thorn in the side and covered a lot of ground, which explains the cramp he picked up in the 75th minute before being subbed. After the game Fabián said: “It is the happiest moment of his life”.
And that seems a fitting way to end this post.
Viva el Betis!