Pepe Mel is far too sensible to pretend that a point on his 100th league game in charge of Betis - "the team of my life", as he posted on Twitter today - was anything to turn his nose up at. "Either side could have won, so I'd say it was a fair result," he told his post-match press conference. "It was the opposite of the other day [against Atlético Madrid in the cup] in that we had 25 good minutes and then it got difficult for us. But that's OK. Bilbao didn't keep anything back, and they've got a lot of talent in their side, while we had to make three enforced changes, so we finished very tired. But I can't fault the team in anything, except perhaps the goal we gave away."
Adrián has been voted man of the match - quite rightly - in every fans' poll I've seen today, while Joel Campbell has also earned plaudits for another sparkling performance (which left him sprawled on the turf in exhaustion at the final whistle).
Perhaps most importantly, the injury news isn't quite as bad as it looked last night after Mario, Salva Sevilla and Cañas had all hobbled off before 70 minutes were up. Of those three only Mario is definitely out for Thursday's cup game (with a calf strain), but Eder Vilachao became the latest player to hurt himself in training today and won't be available, while Rubén Pérez is suspended for the visit to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.
And what of Beñat, on who so many eyes were trained for last night's game against the one club in Europe who so stubbornly refuse to take an interest in him? He was noticeably off-form during the 90 minutes, giving the ball away uncharacteristically (which usually means at all), and struggling to keep up with neater, more nimble opponents. When, 30 seconds after the final whistle, I looked to see which of his friends among the opposition he was chatting to, I couldn't spot him, which suggests he'd headed straight down the tunnel, and a while later Pepe Mel came as close to offering personal criticism as I can remember. "When I have a player who I'd normally give 10 out of 10 and tonight can only give 6, of course I'm worried," he said about the Betis No. 10. "I think the fact that everyone is talking about him and asking him every day about his contract situation is affecting him a bit. I can try and help him but in the end it's up to him to free his mind from it all and just play football. We need him to be doing what he was doing up till now." He probably doesn't need me to tell him he didn't look a €20million midfielder last night, but let's put it down to "special circumstances" and hope it was just a one-off.
Personally, I'm already wondering how I can "get myself up" for Thursday's Copa del Rey second leg against Atlético Madrid - and I'm just watching. Two-down from the first game, it's definitely what sportsmen and women these days call "a tough ask".