Sevilla FC qualified for the Europa League in ninth position in La Liga, taking of advantage of Malaga's ban and Rayo's ineligibility, but it is not their favourite tournament for nothing, and just when it looked like the journey was coming to an end, a 94th minute goal sent the side from Hispalis into the final.
Two hours before the start of the game Betis knew their fate, though most "Beticos" were resigned to second division football, a fortnight ago, or longer. As the line-ups were read out, the home fans chastised, maybe hoping to shame them into a farewell gift. It was not to be though, from the kick off, the flame of Betis' status as a top-flight side was slowly and painfully extinguished by a hungrier Real Sociedad side
Betis’ victory against Sevilla FC in the Europa League may have unleashed a level of joy hitherto unseen this season in the green and white half of the city, but at what price? If they get through, that means another two games at least. If the visitors are Juventus or Porto that could mean an embarrassing drubbing, if they have to go as far as Mackhachkala, a 10,000 kilometre round trip, then the scant energy left in the threadbare squad may be pushed too far to have a chance of top-flight survival.
Real Betis line up for what will most likely be their last derby for at least a year. Although the dream of survival is still a mathematical possibility, the side must make plans for life in Spanish football's second tier.
(* mi alma is an affectionate term used in Seville meaning something akin to "Goodbye Chuck", inexplicably mispronounced to sound more like my weapon rather than its literal translation of my soul")
An eagerly awaited Seville derby on an unusual Friday night just days before the city's fair sees both sides looking to dispute one of the most important derbies in recent times.
When the dancing begins on Monday, which of the two will still be celebrating?
Barcelona are in town looking to help Messi towards another milestone and heap more misery on Real Madrid. The only thing in their way is a resurgent Betis side capable of the sublime and the ridiculous.