Friendly: San Roque de Lepe 3 – 1 Betis

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.

Trigoleador Chuli habla

Chuli talks post match

The video above is hat-trick man Chuli talking about the game post match. I’m thankful for the transcription because he talks about as fast as he runs, rápidamente!

General feelings

He said that he was very happy with the confidence the manager showed in him in that he gave him the full 90 minutes. He said he found [the game] very good and that he is getting better every time he plays with the team, which was demonstrated on the pitch. He said he wants to work the maximum minutes. His job is what he did today, score goals and help the team as much as he can.

Position on the pitch

He said that out wide he is further away from the goal, but the boss knows what he’s doing and what he wants from me. In the two positions [out wide and centre forward] I feel comfortable. I’ve got the two goals playing as a forward but it’s true that [Huddersfield] were more tired.

Clearly, he’s very modest as well.

For those who don’t know much about Chuli, he is a 22 year old from Huelva in Andalucía. He started off his professional career at Espanyol B before moving back to his home club Recreativo de Huelva – who at 123 years old, are the oldest club in Spain. He spent two seasons at Recre, first of all appearing for the B side before moving up to the senior side. He scored 37 goals in 70 games whilst at Recre. Betis then snapped him up for around €600,000 in May 2013. He has been given the number 9 shirt and he looks like a younger Rubén Castro, in looks and the way he plays. I think he will be able to come on leaps and bounds at Betis under the tutelage of Pepe Mel and Castro; I wait in joyful hope.