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Real Valladolid 0-2 Real Betis: Verdiblancos end winless run

Real Valladolid 0-2 Real Betis: Verdiblancos end winless run

Real Betis ended their five-match winless run on Sunday evening by defeating Real Valladolid 2-0 at the Estadio José Zorrilla in LaLiga.

Los Verdiblancos arrived at Valladolid on a bad patch of form following their Europa League exit at the hands of French side Rennes midweek and were in need a boost for Thursday’s second leg at Valencia in their Copa del  Rey semi-final tie.

Although things got off to a sluggish start at the Estadio José Zorrilla with neither side able to get a real chance on goal until the 17th-minute of the match when Valladolid’s Míchel Herrero shot the ball straight to Betis keeper Pau López.

The Spanish midfielder’s effort proved to be a rare highlight in an otherwise dull opening quarter of the game.

But Betis soon had other matters to worry about after it became apparent that full-back Antonio Barragán had sustained a foot injury and the game was later stopped to tend to Diego Lainez.

The Mexican winger was involved in an incident with Fernando Calero and had to receive some medical attention before he could return to action.

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In the 34th-minute, however, Barragán had to raise the white flag and ask to be substituted after falling to the ground with Andrés Guardado coming on for his stricken team-mate.

In light of this substitution, Betis manager Quique Setién moved Francis Guerrero back to his normal right-back position and placed Guardado up in the wing as the visitors began to up the tempo in search of a goal.

And it was Lainez who struck first, when his low shot forced Valladolid keeper Jordi Masip into a finger-tip save to keep the scoreline level at 0-0.

La Pucela then made an assault on goal themselves through a counter-attack, but were ultimately unable to capitalise on their opportunity with Sergi Guardiola not being quick enough to take his chance.

Valladolid paid dearly for that miss when Aïssa Mandi struck in first-half stoppage time to put Betis into the lead for his first goal of the season.

The goal came when Zouhair Feddal beat Masip to the ball and headed it towards Mandi’s direction, who then pulled off an acrobatic bicycle-kick into the bottom right corner of the net to put Setién’s men ahead for the break.

The second-half saw the injured Lainez finally being replaced for captain Joaquín, who slotted into the centre of the Betis midfield.

Meanwhile, Valladolid soon brought on Daniele Verde and Keko Gontán in an attempt to find an equaliser as the hosts desperately began to try and avoid suffering a fourth defeat in six league games.

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And Sergio González’s side nearly drew level in the 64th-minute but for Pau to pull off a miraculous goal-line save from Guardiola’s header to keep Betis in front.

As the game continued, Valladolid kept the pressure on Betis but their inability to find the net was becoming a real problem with chances of an equaliser growing increasingly unlikely.

Then some brilliant work by Sergio Canales gifted Joaquín an 86th-minute goal to seal a 2-0 victory for Betis.

TEAM LINE-UPS

Real Valladolid: Masip; Antoñito, Kiko Olivas, Calero, Nacho; Keko (Tuhami 62′), Míchel (Unal 82′) , Alcaraz, Hervías (Verde 54′); Óscar Plano, Sergi Guardiola.

Real Betis: Pau López; Barragán (Guardado 35′), Mandi, Javi García, Feddal, Francis; William Carvalho, Kaptoum, Canales, Lainez (Joaquín 46′); Sergio León (Sidnei 78′).