He Betis won 0-1 to the Aris Limassol Cypriot on the third day of the Europa League thanks to a goal Ayoze Perezwith a quarter of an hour left, which places them as leaders of Group C, after the 0-0 draw between Sparta Prague and Rangersin a hard-fought, lackluster match in which the Moroccan Ez Abde was decisive due to all the danger he generated on the left.
After reaching the break at 0-0, with dominance but without any success from the Chilean Manuel Pellegrini’s team, the Betis continued to take the initiative, with the Argentine Germán Pezzella imperial in defense, but they also played with fire because, just one minute before the goal, Aris Limassol sent a ball to the post through the South African Mayambela and, already at 0-1, hit the post with another one with 2 left in a header from the Polish Stepinski.
Two teams with the same demand to win to advance met in Cyprus in a tremendously compressed quartet, with everyone tied at 3 points after two days, in the case of Betis, the favorite, a priori, after failing in the first game in Glasgow with Rangers (1-0), a rival against whom Aris Limassol, considered the ‘Cinderella’ of the group, gave the big surprise by beating them 2-1.
Pellegrini revolutionized his eleven during the visit to the Alphamega Stadium in Limassol. Only the Argentine Pezzella, the team’s only pure central defender for Europe, as the Moroccan Chadi Riad was not registered and due to Bartra’s injury, and the midfielder Marc Roca, who, as in the victory against Sparta Prague had to fall behind the rear axis.
The great novelty, furthermore, was the substitution of Isco Alarcóngreen and white offensive reference and their most quality man, who until now had played everything and who was given a rest by his coach, while up top he opted for the Brazilian Luis Henrique and his compatriot Willian José, escorted by two fast strikers like Ayoze and Abde.
The Spanish team seemed to start asleepconfused, and took a while to adapt to the small field of the Cypriot team, which, fragile at the back, soon revealed its weapons: setting up quick counterattacks, as in two shots by its most incisive man, the Gabonese Shavy Babicka, the last in the 5th minute, after cutting Rui Silva, and that Pezzella saved when he sneaked in.
Their bad start was progressively amended by the green and white, who, owners of the ballbegan to appear in some actions by Luiz Henrique, covered by the local defense, and in a good option by Ayoze, who raised the ball too much after Abde’s pass, although it was clear that the match had changed and that Betis had taken the lead. with the command.
Despite the fact that the Senegalese Gomis had a good chance at half an hour for Aris Limassol, after a pass from the electric Babicka and which was once again thwarted by Pezzella, who was providential in the cross, the Andalusian team took control from the midway point of the first half and , without overwhelming the rival, looked for the goal in several corners or in a long shot from Guido Rodríguez in the 39th minute.
The clearest opportunity came a minute later, thanks to the awakening of Abde and Ayoze in attack and the good connection between the two, but, after a magnificent pass in a run by the Moroccan, The Canary’s shot, first near the edge of the six-yard box, was miraculously cleared by Burkinabe Yago.
The lack of success in the first half punished Betis, who did not change their approach after the restart and, without losing defensive concentration to avoid the counterattacks of the team coached by the Belarusian Aleksey Shpilevsky, he continued to have possession and generated dangerous chances, especially due to the incursions from the left of a very inspired Abde.
The Moroccan already warned 2 minutes into this period, when, after receiving a great pass into space from William Carvalho, He entered the area and his shot was cleared by Vanáalthough the Betis, superior technically and in creation from the center of the field, insisted and Ayoze tested the Brazilian goalkeeper in the 61st minute, who kicked the ball out with one foot.
In any case, and with changes in both squads when Isco and the young Assane Diago came on for the Spanish side, for Luiz Henrique and Willian José, and then Borja Iglesias and the Mexican Guardado for Ayoze and Carvalho, the match was still open and Aris Limassol, in its own way, with vertical football, never gave up and gave Rui Silva a big scare with a cross shot against the South African Mayambela’s post in the 74th minute.
Just one minute later, the possible 1-0 went to 0-1 in the end, since Ayoze scored after a great play on the left of Abde who ended with a cross that deflected the Vaná goal to the crossbar, although Diao picked up the rebound and headed it to the crossbar so that, on the third attempt, Ayoze smashed the ball into goal..
From there, Betis controlled their advantage without too many problemsalthough the Cypriots, full of faith and intensity, did not say their last word and were about to tie two minutes from the end, but after a corner Polish Stepinski’s header, just out onto the field, hit a post and this did not prevent a valuable Betic victory.
0 – Aris Limassol: Going to; Boakye (Cajú, m.26), Moussounda, Yago, Urosevic; Szoke, Struski (Brown, d.62); Babicka, Mayambela (Spoljaric, m.85), Bengtsson (Montnor, m.85); Gomis (Stepinski, m.85).
1 – Betis: Rui Silva; Aitor Ruibal, Pezzella, Marc Roca, Abner (Rodri, m.89); Guido Rodríguez, William Carvalho (Guardado, d.79); Luiz Henrique (Isco, m.72), Ayoze (Borja Iglesias, m.79), Abde; William José (Assane Diao, d.72).
Goal: 0-1, M.75: Ayoze.
Referee: Filip Glova (Slovakia). He admonished the locals Bengtsson (m.28) and Gomis (m.55), and the visitors Ayoze (m.60) and Guardado (m.93).
Incidents: Match of the third day in Group C of the Europa League, played at the Alphamega Stadium in Limasol in front of less than 10,000 spectators, including 120 Betis fans.