They've stuck to the script all season: let's make sure there's no danger of relegation first - and then we might talk about more ambitious targets. Well, it's open season now. Only one team with 43 points have gone down in the last 15 years, and with just 11 games left Betis find themselves just a point out of fourth place. As Pepe Mel put it after Friday's win: "We've fulfilled our objective and now we're going to try and give our some fans some excitement. And the next game's against Valencia, who are a direct rival. Yep, we can say that now." In other words, hold on to your hats - the next couple of months might get wild.
Some more reflections on the weekend...
l Fair play to Real Sociedad, who didn't just become the first side this season to take a point of Atlético Madrid in the Vicente Calderón, but actually won 0-1. There are now five clubs - Málaga, Sociedad, Betis, Valencia and Rayo - all within a single win of that all-important fourth place.
Perhaps it's time for a quick recap. The top four teams qualify for next season's Champions League, and, assuming those include the big two Madrid clubs, the next three will go for the Europa League. Strictly speaking Málaga are banned from both competitions for financial misdemeanours - in which case their place would go to the next club in the queue - but they're aiming to appeal and are adamant they'll get reinstated.
One further point: although "getting into Europe" is naturally considered A Good Thing, it might not be that much of a disaster if Betis ended up just missing out. Bradford City's chairman recently pointed out that the Europa League can actually cost you money, and it's hard not to think that the 16 extra games Athletic Bilbao played last season didn't contribute in some way to their disappointing 2012/13 campaign. A midweek trip to, say, Metalist Kharkiv in the east of the Ukraine would certainly stretch Betis's current resources.
l Having said that, if Betis do play 50 or more games next year, you can pretty much expect Rubén Castro to start every one he's fit for. Only absolutely top-class strikers can make goalscoring look quite as effortless as he did when tucking away the winner on Friday night. He's a gem.
l As is, in his own way, Jorge Molina. He might have looked like the anti-Rubén during the latter's recent absence through injury, but everyone loves a trier and his three good goals in as many games have restored his standing among the Betis faithful. Not only that, but his exemplary display of old-fashioned No.9 play on Friday night earned him the official Man of the Match award (voted for by followers of the club's Twitter feed) and several positive write-ups in the newspapers. Like Rubén, Beñat and Pepe Mel himself, Molina is very much seen as representing the blue-collar values of the post-Lopera era and it's good to have him back in form.
l The wet weather put something of a dampener on the planned celebrations of International Women's Day at the Benito Villamarín, but there's a nice selection of photos from the event over on Manquepierda.com. There's also an entertaining write-up of the game - and the whole Betis ethos - by Phil Ball on the ESPNfc.com website (with thanks to Theresa and others for pointing this out).
l One old friend who was back in Seville for the fixture - at long last - was our AWOL midfielder Nosa Igiebor. The Nigerian had been stuck in Lagos for about a month since the end of the African Cup of Nations and now the club has to decide who's to blame for the bureaucratic nightmare he found himself in. He's in line for a hefty fine if it's thought his negligence contributed to the mess, but he's probably more worried about the playing time he's missed. By the sound of it, he's also still a few weeks short of full fitness.
l As you might have noticed, the next home fixture is another of the dreaded Monday night games - against Getafe on April 1st, and at 10pm, which will take at least 5,000 off the gate compared to a Sunday afternoon. If the Monday nights were shared out fairly, a team would play a maximum of four times in that slot - but the Getafe game will be Betis's sixth, and we've still got a bunch of weekends left - not that anyone is under any illusions that fairness has got anything to do with the organisation of Spanish football. The last time Betis played before 9pm was the beginning of January.
(Pics by Fran Vega at Manquepierda.com)