Espanyol had the merit of surviving the dominance of Betis so that a match that was played in a single direction, the Andalusian, ended in the midst of great emotion. There were several sections that were experienced in a frenetic clash, which Betis, far superior, had to face in numerical inferiority due to the red card to its central Pezzella in minute 77. Betis forgave so much that Espanyol arrived alive until the final. The good game of the Andalusians was blurred by his lack of forcefulness when he could have sentenced. The result was an agonizing end, with eight minutes to go and a final goal from Espanyol in the 97th minute that meant the final draw. This is football. A team that finished up to 22 times, Betis, had to be content with an equalizer.
The tie leaves a bitter feeling in the green-and-white group, who had all three points in their pockets until they began to forgive over and over again. A veteran, Diego López, was the great architect of the point achieved by Espanyol. Also Cabrera with his shot in the last play of the game. The center-back took the lead and scored in a tribute to Alexanco. Tricks of the old football in a modern football, with eternal extensions and an expulsion of Pezzella in the 77th minute that the referee Soto Grado sanctioned with yellow. The blood that was seen on the monitor and the VAR did the rest and the Argentine saw the red one. In reality, the new arbitration vision did justice.
Betis, who gave Espanyol a review for more than an hour of the game, with players like Fekir and Canales at a high level, also showed some deficiencies in defense that Espanyol knew how to take advantage of. In reality, the ultimate talent in soccer lies in efficiency. The 2-2 on the scoreboard thus testifies to it, no matter how much Betis showed a great game at times. Espanyol did not give up and sought, when the game allowed, its options. He found a point that tastes like gold on Cabrera’s volley. Betis could not complete their fantastic week. If in Granada they won in the last minute and Espanyol was defeated by Atlético in the extra time (minute 99), now it was the Catalans’ turn to smile. The tie crowned the madness that was lived in Heliopolis.
Nothing like a goal against for Betis to activate. The verdiblanco team began the clash against Espanyol like a real cyclone, seeking the goal of Diego López in a start that well symbolizes the ambition of this group that Manuel Pellegrini is creating. In just five minutes, Diego López had saved against Willian José and Rodri had sent a missile to the post. What looked like a Betic banquet suddenly turned into a famine. Víctor Ruiz was injured and Betis accused the blow. Aleix Vidal scored after a great action from Raúl de Tomás.
Without caring to concede back, Betis was activated in an estimable way. With Fekir and Canales at the helm, Álex Moreno found a highway on the left side. Betis insisted and insisted, taking risks, but reaching Espanyol’s goal again and again. Morlanes and Darder were overcome by the frenetic activity of the Verdiblancos players. Betis, unleashed, was only going in one direction. Willian José, Álex Moreno and Rodri enjoyed three clear goal options. Football, that great unknown, offered one more sample of its mystery. Willian José equalized after a great pass from Canales just after Embarba could have made Espanyol’s second. It would not have been fair 0-2. Nor that Fekir did not score. After two players in the area with two hats included and a shot at the post, the world champion made his debut in this League after a great pass from Bellerín. Thirteen shots for six of the Catalans showed the Betic dominance in the first half.
The dynamics continued into the dawn of the second half. Espanyol put in attack men, like Loren, and Betis arrived again and again in a frantic quarter of an hour. Diego López made the afternoon stop at Fekir, while Rodri, Willian José and Guido continued to accumulate arrivals. The only mistake of Betis was, logically, not to translate his enormous offensive flow into a goal. That, in the elite, is usually paid. Espanyol came out of the shooting alive. Something also to keep in mind.
And so much. Pezzella was sent off in the 77th minute and Espanyol’s siege was evident. Betis held out as best he could, until in minute 97 Cabrera leveled with a volley. This is football if the superiority shown in the game does not materialize in goals. Espanyol knew how to take advantage of their moment and took a point.
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