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Real Betis 1-1 Alavés: Battle for sixth place ended level as European race remains wide open

Real Betis 1-1 Alavés: Battle for sixth place ended level as European race remains wide open

Los Verdiblancos hosted Deportivo Alavés at the Benito Villamarin, on Sunday in the battle for sixth place.

Three points would’ve taken Betis above El Glorioso and into fifth – potentially opening the door to the fourth Champions League position.

Following Sevilla’s shock defeat to relegation threatened Villarreal, there is still hope for both sides but for now it’s all about the top six.

Alavés have been in danger of blowing their European dreams in recent weeks with just one win in their previous five games before this one.

As for Betis, they have been far from impressive themselves. With only two league wins from their last five.

With Sociedad and Valencia breathing down their necks, it was a must win for both sides.

The away side were fast out of the blocks, Jony’s left-footed effort, deflected awkwardly for Pau Lopez in the Betis goal, who managed to tip it over the bar.

Despite the early vigour from Abelardo’s men, it was Betis who opened the scoring after 15-minutes, when Jesé initial effort found its way to Giovani Lo Celso.

The argentine who featured as a number nine simply couldn’t miss as the ball fell to him as he stood in the six-yard box.

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After a short VAR kafuffle, the goal was awarded and Alavés had to respond.

Jesé – who was making his first start for Los Verdiblancos, could’ve extended their lead minutes later but for Guillermo Maripán’s goal-line clearance.

The 24-year-old was the hero at both ends, equalising for the away side, reacting quicker than Lopez to convert Ximo Navarro’s knock down.

A game of missed opportunities at both ends, both Jonathan Calleri and Loren Moron failing to capitalise when presented with key goal scoring opportunities.

Betis remain in eight places, level on points with both Alavés and Getafe who are level on 36 points.

As for Alavés, they missed the chance to leapfrog Sevilla and move into the top four and face a struggling Celta Vigo next week.

Real Betis: (3-4-2-1) Lopez; Mandi, Bartra, Feddal; Barragán (Joaquín, 68), Canales, Carvalho, Guardado; Lainez (Loren, 75), Jesé (Sergio León, 64); Lo Celso. Unused subs: Robles, Emerson, Sidnei, Alonso.

Alavés: (4-1-4-1) Pacheco; Navarro, Laguardia, Maripán, Duarte (Marín, 59); Pina; Inui (Rolan, 83), Brasanac, Wakaso (García, 59) Jony; Calleri. Unused subs: Blanco, Sivera, Vigaray, Bastón.

Goal: Giovani Lo Celso (1-0) Guillermo Maripán (1-1)

Cards: (Yellows: Duarte, Guardado, Canales, Lainez, Mandi).

Stadium: Estadio Benito Villamarin (43,455 attendance).