Real Betis 1-1 Getafe: Points shared in
dramatic La Liga mid-table clash
Photo Credit(gettyimages/QualitySportImages)

Real Betis held Getafe to a 1-1 draw at the Estadio Benito Villamarin on Sunday to continue their average start to the La Liga season. After Jaime Mata’s early penalty had given the visitors the lead, William Carvalho’s 25th minute red-card caused even bigger problems for the hosts. However, Betis held their nerve and earned a penalty themselves in the 72nd minute, which Joaquin scored to split the points for both sides.

Story of the Match

Despite much excitement among the Betis faithful, Getafe took the hosts by storm with a thunderous start. They created their first chance in the 3rd minute when Marc Cucurella’s shot scraped the woodwork in an early threat.

Their intense pressing paid off in the 13th minute when Jaime Mata swung in an inviting ball from the right, but Cucurella was blatantly brought down by Antonio Barracan inside the box. Mata stepped up confidently to score from the spot-kick, giving his side an early lead. However, things went from bad to worse for Betis when William Carvalho was sent off for a bad last-ditch challenge on Mauro Arambarri in the 25th minute.

Getafe almost scored from the corresponding free-kick, with Jason’s free-kick taking a wicked deflection but Joel Robles dived strongly to make a stunning save. The hosts had their first chance in the 32nd minute when Sergio Canales roared forward before taking a powerful shot which was parried out by David Soria.

The visitors almost doubled the lead in added time, but Jorge Molina’s stinging attempt from close was kept out strongly by Joel to keep his side in the game going into the break.

Both the sides rushed forward with great intent in the second period in a search for goals, but not much was made from their accelerating moves. That was until the 71st minute, when substitute Loren Moren played Nabil Fekir through on goal, as the Frenchman was clumsily brought down inside the box by Djene resulting in a penalty for the hosts.

Experienced campaigner Joaquin showcased great composure to tuck it in, getting his side back into the game. Immediately after the Betis faithful went beserk after Loren put the ball into the net, but the referee pulled it back for a foul leading up to it.

Getafe almost got the winner in the 87th minute when Cucurella sent substitute Angel Rodriguez through on goal to score, but a minute offside position cancelled that out. Betis went down to nine men in added time after Loren Moron saw red for a reckless swing, but the hosts held on to earn a point from the game.

Takeaways from the Game

Real Betis are a mess defensively

The hosts had a wild game but were all over the place when it came to defending against Getafe’s pacy threat. Their questionable high-line didn’t work at all, often allowing their oppositions strikers to get behind defenders and find space going forward. Barragan was lucky not to see red, while Carvalho, unfortunately, did for a defensive error. While Getafe didn’t take their chances completely well, they exposed the growing vulnerabilities of Betis’ attack. They just can’t comprehend against proactive attackers and forget the basics in the hunt for going forward. Having already conceded nine goals from four games, perhaps it’s time for manager Pepe Bordalas to sort out his back-line before things get worse.

Jaime Mata and Jorge Molina’s partnership among best in La Liga

So Getafe didn’t really get the positive result they wanted from Betis, but at least their strike force tried their hardest to get a strong win. Indeed, the almost telepathic connection between Mata and Molina is a real thing of beauty. Both of them link-up with each other really well, but more importantly know exactly where to find each other in attack. It was their clever work which earned the penalty and later a few close swipes at goal as well. Despite being in the 30s, both strikers share that lethal connection which can cause nightmares for even the most rigid backline.

Getafe aren’t ready for the Europa League

Despite having a near fairy-tale campaign in La Liga last season, Getafe are feeling the pressure with impending European commitments now a headache to deal with. Despite being pitted in the UEFA Europa League, they still aren’t that strong a unit to dominate in Europe. After being paired with Swiss giants FC Basel, who possess a formidable attacking line and Turkish side Trabzonspor, they must bring their A-game to progress into the knockout rounds. However, the fact that they haven’t won a league game so far, are struggling to convert chances and don’t look the strongest defensively indicates problems could arrive soon. Getafe will just hope European pressure doesn’t further slide them down the La Liga ladder as well.

Stand-Out Players

Jaime Mata hasn’t yet been so lethal as he was in his breakthrough campaign last time, but he looked on point exposing Betis’ vulnerabilities at the back. The 30-year-old’s crisp movement all over the attack, clever delivery into the box and foxy nature tormented the hosts. He also delivered with a strong penalty but was unlucky not to see his side get all three points after such a spirited effort.

Marc Cucurella also continued his impressive work after arriving at Getafe in the summer, being a constant thorn for Betis down the left flank. Apart from winning the crucial penalty with a clever move into the penalty area, he also threatened with his powerful shots to test Joel Robles’ resolve. A livewire in Getafe’s attack, Cucurella’s fiery performance must’ve caught Barcelona’s eyes as well.