La Liga End of Season Awards: Game of the Year- Real Betis 3-6 ValenciaMay 29, 2018
This season in La Liga saw a whole host of spectacular games. Choosing a game of the season was surprisingly easy; even taking into account there were 4-4’s, 5-3’s and 5-2’s dotted across the league, it was a particular 6-3 game which grabbed out attention. Not the 6-3 where Real Madrid beat Real Betis rather, the 6-3 when Valencia beat Real Betis.
The Andalusian side found themselves stuck in the most bizarre games this past season. The free flowing nature of their play with a criminally exposed back line before February made them a must-see every week. Valencia on the other hand – under the tutelage of Marcelino – took La Liga by storm early on. They came into this game against Real Betis seven games undefeated, playing both Real and Atletico Madrid along the way. Their expansive nature captured the attention of La Liga supporters and we figured that these two playing eachother would result in the Game of the Season. Click HERE to check out our preview to the game.
The atmosphere created at the Benito Villamarin simply added to the glorious game of football that was about to unfold which included nine different goalscorers – four of which came from the bench. Surprisingly, the game didn’t see any goal for the first 35 minutes until Geoffrey Kondogbia powered a header into the back of the Betis net. After this, the game kicked into full flow.
Valencia were denied a penalty only two minutes later after Riza Durmisi fouled Carlos Soler in the box. That didn’t bother the visitors however as they doubled their lead just before half time. Portuguese winger on loan from PSG, Goncalo Guedes unleashed an unstoppable shot into the left hand top corner past a helpless Adan.
The second half started brightly for Real Betis as they won a penalty after ten minutes. Sergio Leon saw his effort saved by Neto however to keep his side two up. From this save, the ball remained in play where Valencia started a counter attack. Guedes again set his sights on Real Betis’ goal but was halted by Aissa Mandi.
Valencia went 3-0 up from a corner where the defending by the home side was pitiful. Things got worse for the home side shortly after when Adan saw his net rattle for the fourth time in the 74th minute. In a typical Real Betis way, their left themselves exposed at the back after committing too many players forward. Santi Mina was left one v one with Mandi in the box and his half deflected shot looped over Adan.
A turn of fortune for Real Betis came when Jeison Murillo came off in the 78th minute with an injury. Just one minute after Murillo leaving the pitch, Real Betis scored. Joel Campbell, making his first appearance for the club, was gifted a ball by Valencia centre back Gabriel and finished with ease. Just one more minute later, Campbell set up Antonio Sanabria to make it 4-2.
The Costa Rican didn’t stop there either. In the 84th minute, his cleared cross was gathered by Christian Tello where he curled a volley into the right hand bottom corner past a frozen Neto.
With only five minutes remaining, the scoreline read: Real Betis 3-4 Valencia. The away side went four goals clear and gave Betis a glorious chance of grabbing a point out of this game. With Betis so eager to do so, they ended up conceding two more goals.
On a counter attack – again – Simeone Zaza, even with a cramp was able to put the ball in the net to make it 5-3. The scoreline didn’t end there however as Andres Pereira was able to put his mark on the game. Goncalco Guedes stole the ball off an attacking Durmisi on the edge of his own box in the 93rd minute of the match. At this stage of an exhausting game, he would have been forgiven for simply clearing the ball. However, he continued a run down the field where he picked out Manchester United loanee Pereira on the edge of the box. The Brazilian turned onto his favourite right leg and curled a shot into the right hand top corner.
A most enthralling game that left the viewers gobsmacked. Even when Real Betis went 4-0 down, they stuck by their principals, kept playing and amazingly nearly grabbed a draw. Valencia however had no intention of letting that happen and were clinical in taking their chances. For the full match report click HERE.
Easily deserving of our Game of the Season, we can only hope for more of the same from these two clubs for the coming season.