The grand tours (Tour, Giro or Vuelta) or stage races have some classified as reina. Certainly, they all have the same prize or financial endowment but it is not the same glory nor does it have the same impact. Yesterday there were three points at stake, but those three points have a special value and meaning.
It is an expected match, also feared because the repercussion is great at all levels, and it was preceded by an aura of favoritism for our team that we already know from experience is not always fulfilled. During the week, a European competition match was successfully resolved, but it seemed like one of those hills that in the road book are barely insignificant and then in the race they become hard. To make matters worse, we lost Bravo due to injury and he couldn’t be part of the game in the derby having to abandon and get onl team car.
Raymond Poulidor He is one of the most popular cyclists in history, and yet in his record there are not so many victories and there are many second places. He is second three times and third five times in the Tour. My dear friend Jose Mariafaithful follower of his “noble and fierce” Deportivo Guadalajara, he reminded me of it as a similarity to yesterday’s game. It could have been won well but that something that makes the difference was missing: success.
Betis appeared in Nervión with the presumed gala eleven with Fran Vieites, goalkeeper of the reserve team, between the sticks. As soon as the match started we had a huge chance from a colossal Isco again who headed practically at will but “at the dummy” when he didn’t even have a minute left. This play and another by Guido served as a preamble to define what the match was: an enormous number of chances (like I never remember in a derby) for break the race and reach the finish line with a historic victory. One drive after another.
Sevilla resorted to fouls, some of a certain severity, to stop the incessant Green and White arrivals and in the 15th minute Bellerín scored but the goal was disallowed due to a tight offside in the play that caused it. Follow Betis pulling hard and Miranda has a double chance after Isco’s pinpoint pass that inexplicably does not go in. Another from Isco but when it seemed that the ball was going in, Willian José intervenes and a final one in the first half from Isco himself that Pedrosa intercepts at the last minute when a goal was called… Many, many occasions and in sport this is usually punished until with the defeat the one second place overall that then few remember as Poulidor said. Bittersweet feeling at half-time, because Betis should have left with a large score in their favor and it couldn’t be. Of course, the team’s staging at the Pizjuán was impeccable and Fran Vieites was practically just another spectator.
In the second half Sevilla wants to have more of the ball and be intense, but Betis continues to have chances, not many but very clear, with dangerous counters. I highlight a wonderful play by Isco who serves to Ayoze who prepares phenomenally and the shot hits the post with the goalkeeper beaten. The Canary Islands player himself had another very clear one in the 61st minute, scrambling around on a tile, but it was not to be.
In this phase we suffered from crosswind because Sevilla insisted on our left wing and Pellegrini immediately changed it, bringing on Abner and Abde for Miranda and Willian José, placing Ayoze on point. And it had an effect because finally in the 71st minute the long-awaited and well-deserved goal came from the Canary Islands on a rebound inside the area after a poor start by Dmitrovic.
There was little race left to finish but the history of Granada, Vitoria or Getafe was repeated again. Once again they tied us with a short time difference with a powerful long-range shot by Rakitic in the 80th minute when the game was under control and the local stands expressed their displeasure with their team.
The only thing missing was success and, as many chronicles agree, Sevilla escaped us alive when we were able to score a goal against them. minute important. And it is true but to win a queen stage or grand tour We have to do more as Pellegrini says and this team has potential for improvement which allows us to be optimistic. In another context, a draw at the home of the eternal rival could be cause for celebration, we were satisfied with arriving in the platoon. But the feeling is of having lost two points and that ambition is what must serve to continue growing.
Come on Betis, pedal hard and without giving up. Great victories are difficult to achieve but they are the most remembered. And with the encouragement of your fans they will arrive.
The post first appeared on www.betisweb.com