Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 – 3 Real Betis – Third victory on the trot in England

Béticos at Wolves (from RBetisBalompie twitter)

Béticos at Wolves (from RBetisBalompie twitter)

Real Betis showed good grit and determination to come from 2-1 behind to grab victory over Wolves at Molineux.

I wasn’t in attendance at this game and I couldn’t find a good stream on the internet so I followed the action via Betis Radio and various twitter feeds. For two good write ups (in Spanish) see Jose Maria García’s over at beticismo.net and the recount on alfinaldelapalmera’s website brought to you via Mateo González who is following Betis around on the English adventure.

The game came less than 24 hours after last night’s 2-0 victory over Bolton so Pepe Mel gave starts to Sara; Steinhöfer, Caro, Jordi, Álex Martínez; Matilla, Nono, Salva Sevilla; Chuli, Braian Rodríguez (making his Betis debut) and Cedrick (making his first start in England).

Wolves made an energetic start and were 1-0 up after just 4 minutes when Stearman scored from a corner. Salva but Betis back on level terms around 10 minutes later. The game became quite open and this is what makes Betis look frail at the back and is the reason why Mel is so intent on securing a defensive midfielder. According to beticismo.net, Braian barely touched the ball first half. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt after as he has only just arrived in the country as of a couple of hours ago!

The other debutee, Dídac Vila, came on at half time for Braian, however, Betis started the second half very poorly and were back behind when Griffiths scored for Wolves in the 50th minute. This must have shocked Betis a little as they went back on level terms just 6 minutes later thanks to Cedrick. With Salva, Nono and Matilla in the middle, it’s been said that the midfield was too flat and the gap between where the creation takes place and the forwards was too much.

Despite this Betis went in front for the first time in the game when Matilla capitalised on a defensive error and finished in the 71st minute. Pepe Mel brought on a few substitutes after this and the game ended 3-2 to Betis. Apparently, Guille Sara in goal for Betis had a fine game. So did Stephan Anderson yesterday against Bolton. It gives Mel a bit of a headache, if not a good one, before the start of La Liga as to who will start number 1.

Betis now have a bit of a break to recoup, refresh and hone their skills before the face Fulham on Monday 5th August at Craven Cottage.

“Buenas sensaciones” from the first two friendlies.

friendly los barrios

Betis vs Los Barrios (courtesy of beticismo.net)

Real Betis Balompié kicked off their pre-season campaign with two convincing wins against Tercera opposition. Lots of Seville-based media described the “buenas sensaciones” – good feelings – that are surrounding the club as the head into the new season.

First up on Friday night came Los Barrios, a club based in right down in the south of the Province of Cádiz. Los Barrios ply their trade in Grupo 10 of La Tercera División, thus a comfortable win was always expected. Betis ended up 7-0 winners with goals coming from Jorge Molina (a nice lob), Caro, Cedrick, Rubén Castro (2), Álex Martínez (great freekick) and Salva Sevilla.

The next night Betis took on Arcos CF, who play in the same league as Los Barrios. This time the winning score was 5-0. Betis were 3-0 up half time with goals from Molina, Chuli and Juan Carlos. Two more goals were added in the second half thanks to Rubén Castro and Nacho.

Videos of both of the games can be seen here on Betis TV, although the quality isn’t great.

As standard in these friendlies Pepe Mel fielded pretty much two completely different ’11s’ for each half. It’s nice to see that almost all the new signings have had a run out and got some minutes under their belt: Verdú, Cedrick, Juanfran, Chuli, Lolo Reyes and Anderson.

Players who have stood out in these early encounters include Juan Carlos, Cedrick, marauding right wingback Juanfran and young cantero Carlos García. Rubén Castro has bagged three goals so far but he is not yet firing on all cylinders, missing a hatful of chances against Los Barrios and a penalty against Arcos. Maybe a few too many off-season manzanillas.

It’s been a great, positive start to this exciting season ahead and there is a real buzz around the club. Betis have two more friendlies to play (Coria del Río and Sporting Braga) before they embark on their English campaign.

Beñat who?