September 15th saw a match between two of La Liga’s most promising teams, Real Betis and Getafe, in an important fixture for both clubs.
Getafe was still chasing their first win of the season, and Real Betis have a new-look team and a new manager that have shown early signs of developing into challengers this season, enjoying a win at home to Leganes before the international break.
The Pre-match Set-ups
Before kick-off, the line-ups showed that both managers had set their teams up for an exciting evening of football. Betis had recently announced a sponsorship deal with easyMarkets, an online broker with offices in Cyprus and Australia. This new sponsorship deal had helped to finance some summer transfers that were set to rejuvenate the team, with new players like Nabil Fekir, who was in his preferred role sat behind two forwards.
Getafe was forming a traditional 4-4-2 in order to soak up the pressure and build from positive passing play. Pace and pressure were set to meet passing pragmatism in this late evening clash.
The First Half
Both sets teams knew how important retaining possession of the ball was to their game plans, and the eagerness of Betis players Aissa Mandi and Antonio Barrigan to reclaim the ball led to two early yellow cards that were a taste of things to come.
Getafe got their goal from a penalty that could have easily been avoided with calmer heads and some offside discipline, and Getafe’s Jamie Mata was handed a spot-kick on the fifteenth minute that put them ahead with a cool finish which Joel Robles was powerless to stop reaching the back of Betis’ net. More rash challenges were soon to follow.
William Carvalho was one of the more experienced players on the pitch with seven years at Sporting CP and nearly 60 international caps for Portugal, including winning the European Championship in 2016, yet he was soon off the pitch and on the sidelines after a 25th-minute red card. Betis were down to ten men with more than an hour left to play.
The Second Half
After what was surely a strongly worded team talk at half time, Betis came out stronger and did well to contain Getafe with only ten men on the pitch.
The tables began to turn when Getafe picked up two yellow cards themselves trying to defend Betis’ breaking counterattacks, and suddenly the side with more men on the pitch began to look nervous and a little overwhelmed.
The pace and passing skills of Nabil Fekir gave home side Betis the glimpse of an equalizer several times, but Betis’ forward players couldn’t click together. Getafe’s attacking players seemed to retreat, however, with very few shots on goal in the second half, giving the Betis players even more reason to believe they could rescue the fixture.
It was a 73rd-minute goal from Betis’ team captain Joaquin that evened the score and let Betis dream of a turnaround against Getafe’s 11 men.
The score stayed the same until the final whistle blew, giving both teams a point from the draw. This was not before Betis’ ranks were depleted even further though; forward Lorenzo Moron received a straight red in the last minute of added time.