Monday, December 4, 2023

Betis opens with a defeat against an impetuous Rangers

He Betis They came out this Thursday defeated 1-0 in Glasgow against Rangers on the first day of the group stage of the Europa Leaguein a match in which they started dominating but in which they entered into lethargy as the minutes passed, which made the Scottish team take their breath away until they achieved the winning goal in the 67th minute through the Senegalese Abdallah Sima.

Only that goal made the Spanish team and its bench react, when the Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini He moved the bench to give other ideas to the gamewhich worked, but without enough time for at least the tie to arrive.

A good opportunity presented itself at Ibrox Park for Betis to rebuild its figure after faltering last Saturday in the Barcelona field with the 5-0 conceded and to do so they faced a Rangers team, always powerful at home but far from the one they With Steven Gerrard he won the Scottish league two years ago and in 2022 he reached the final of the Europa League and lost it on penalties with Eintracht Frankfurt at Sevilla’s stadium, the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.

Pellegrini’s team, despite the league setback, has started the season on a good note and is the favorite to be first in the group in its third consecutive participation in the second continental competition, but to do so it had to prove it in the event, in principle, but complicated of this phase, in which Aris Limassol and Sparta Prague complete the group.

The Scottish formation, coached by the Englishman Michael Beale, who lost by a landslide in the Champions League preview against Dutch PSV Eindhovenpresented the game as an opportunity to regain self-esteem after a start in the league that is leaving much to be desired.

One of the novelties of the match was the presence in the goal of the Chilean Claudio Bravo, unprecedented until this Thursday due to an injury since the preseason and who had to force his return due to the injury in Barcelona of the Portuguese Rui Silva, until now a starter in these beginnings of campaign.

Claudio Bravo did not take long to appear in a Scottish counterattack after four minutesin which the Welshman Rabbi Matondo stood in front of him with great speed but the Chilean saved the ball with solvency due to the forward’s poor definition.

That was an isolated incident in a match that was controlled by Betis, owner of the ball and almost always in the Glasgow team’s field, which gave the option for the Moroccan Ez Abde, who was making his first start, to put the team in the first trouble. English goal Jack Butland.

Abde, very active on the left wing, had another good pass on the half hour, but it seemed that this was a trigger for Rangers’ reaction, who began to win the duels in the divided balls and, with a vertical game, came closer, Now yes, a lot to Bravo, who He had to intervene again successfully after Sima’s shot from inside the six-yard box.

Sima himself once again created danger at the start of the second half, this time with a great cross on Matondo, who failed to define, as did his compatriot Thomas Lawrence, who saw how the ball thrown over from a distance went wide. on a stringer.

They were the worst moments for Pellegrini’s team, which In the first ten minutes of the restart he did not leave his field and in which the Croatian Borna Barisic was also able to open the scoring with a direct free kick that ended with the ball hitting the crossbar.

Lawrence’s injury at the hour mark, and his replacement by the Dutchman Sam Lammers, seemed to give the Sevillian team a respite, but the local insistence was rewarded shortly after with Sima’s goal after a great save by Bravo, a series of rejections and even the review of the VAR for a possible handball.

The Chilean coach, who did not see it clearly before, now He made Rodri, Willian José and Ayoze enter the field in one fell swoopa lot of gunpowder with which to improve what Ez Abde, Borja Iglesias and Luiz Henrique had contributed, and this was instantly noticeable with Betis that went out towards him towards the rival area.

The Green and Whites, now, harassed the Scottish team and cornered them in their area, but time was against them to avoid a defeat that was not expected at this start of the European tournament.


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