Sevilla FC's Suso against Betis
Match reports

1-1: SHARED POINTS IN A TIGHT DERBY

Sevilla FC leave the Villamarín with a point in a match that came to life in the second half. Suso scored with Sevilla's first shot on target, but Betis quickly equalised with a penalty. Later, Bono would deny Betis the win by saving another penalty

Sevilla FC couldn't quite make it seven wins on the bounce. The team drop from the Champions League spots after losing out on two vital points against the eternal rival at the Benito Villamarín. Despite Betis' bad form and numerous injuries, the Verdiblancos had the best chances in the first half. However, Sevilla managed to strike first in the second half through Suso and the team's first shot on goal. The lead was short-lived however as Canales equalised following a foul on Loren by Diego Carlos. The home team had the chance to win the match after Acuña fouled Fekir and the referee pointed to the spot again. Fekir dusted himself off to take the penalty but Bono was a match for it and kept the match to a draw. The match petered out and left both teams with a feeling of what if.

It was expected that neither team would push the boat out too much in the opening minutes and that is exactly how things panned out. Betis controlled the ball as Lopetegui's team pressed them high and looked to win it back. The Nervionenses did not have their best attacking performance in the first half and Betis had the best chances to open the scoring. The first chance fell to Canales after fifteen minutes with a shot from distance that went wide. Fekir would have an excellent chance soon after, but he dragged his shot wide following some impressive dribbling both from himself and Lainez.

Lainez was dangerous down the right wing in the first half, but Betis could not find the goal

There was not too much precision present in either team, but Sevilla were having the harder time to create a sustained sequence of play. The only avenue of attack on Bravo's goal was through scarce counters which bore little fruit. That said, Pellegrini's side did come to the break with three bookings: Mirando, Víctor Ruiz and Guido Rodríguez. It was Víctor Ruiz' booking that led to Sevilla's only shot of the half - a free-kick from Jordán that went well over. There was still time left in the half for Betis' clearest chance yet, when Lainez set Canales up for a shot which deflected off Gudelj and went inches wide of Bono's post who could do nothing about it.
 

Betis did not make the most of their dominance in the first half and Sevilla punished them two minutes into the second. Mandi cleared the ball poorly, with the deflection off Ocampos falling for En-Nesyri who had just come onto the pitch. The Moroccan waited for Suso to come running at the edge of the box, slid it into him and Suso did the rest, placing the ball perfectly into the bottom corner out of Bravo's reach. It was a blow for Betis but they would soon find themselves with the chance to equalise after Diego Carlos was adjudged to have fouled Loren, even though the Betis player himself acknowledged after the game Carlos got the ball. Canales sent Bono the wrong way to level the match up. It was back to square one and Sevilla's game had not improved much. The team had one good chance when Ocampos broke down the left and cut inside, but he sent his side-footed shot wide of Bravo's post.

Pellegrini's team were not at their best either, but they did have the chance to win the game with 20 minutes to go. Del Cerro Grande was advised by VAR to give a penalty for Acuña's foul on Fekir. The French midfielder took the responsibility of taking the spot kick, but Bono came out on top in the duel and kept the score at 1-1. As the game went on, it became clear both teams were happy to settle for a point and Sevilla's closest opportunity was a shot from Gudelj outside the box.

Sevilla come away with a point at the Benito Villamarín in a result that brings an end to the record-breaking run of six consecutive away wins. The dropped points take Sevilla out of the Champions League spots as they still sit with two fewer games played. The games in hand come against Atlético and Elche. The year starts off with a point in the derby and it continues on Tuesday against Linares in the second round of the Copa del Rey.

SUMMARY

1. REAL BETIS: Bravo, Emerson, Mandi, Víctor Ruiz, Miranda, Guido Rodríguez, Canales (Akoukou, 81'), Lainez, Ruibal, Fekir and Loren (Borja Iglesias, 84').

1. SEVILLA FC: Bono, Jesús Navas, Koundé, Diego Carlos, Acuña, Gudelj, Jordán (Óscar Rodríguez, 77'), Óliver Torres (Rakitic, 46'), Suso (Munir, 77'), Ocampos (Aleix Vidal, 90') and De Jong (En-Nesyri, 46').

GOALS: 0-1, 47': Suso; 1-1, 53': Canales pen.; 

REFEREE: Carlos del Cerro Grande. Yellows for Miranda, Víctor Ruiz, Guido Rodríguez, Lainez, Emerson, Óliver Torres and Rakitić.

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