I watched most of the first half on a feed from some South American TV channel or other and I can confirm what Ahsan and Matt said in the Comments to previous post: Betis played some very nice football in midfield, put themselves in several good positions, made a bunch of proper chances...and missed them all. Jorge Molina was the main culprit, as he was at times last season, but on the whole if you're creating opportunities to score against teams as solid as Everton then you're not doing too badly. As right winger Juanfran has just put it on Twitter: "We had tons of chances to score and we dominated the game against a great side...We ran, we pressed - I really like my team!"
If there's a worry it's to do with the goals conceded: one in each half, both from shoddy defending. For the first, Nikaca Jelavic was able to score from close range far too easily, despite being well outnumbered in the Betis box, while the second was a horrendous mistake from Stephan Andersen (who, they say, has looked a decent keeper up till now). Substitute Braian Rodríguez got one back late on.
The best news continues to be the danger generated time and again by the gifted triangle of Nosa, Cedrick and Verdú, but there's no doubt they could do with the movement and sharp finishing of Rubén Castro to take advantage of their inspired build-up play.
But let's no pretend that this defeat will smart for more than a few moments. The Betis players will already be on their way back home after three long weeks in England, during which time I think we can say we've learned that this squad has the potential to be at least as good as last season's - even despite the huge turnover of staff. Real Madrid away in seven days' time might not be the ideal starting place, but it shouldn't be too long before Pepe Mel's side are nestled comfortable in La Liga's top 10.
Betis: Andersen; Chica, Paulao (Jordi, m. 46), Perquis, Nacho; Matilla (Xavi Torres, m. 71), Nosa; Juanfran (Vadillo, m. 71), Verdú (Braian Rodríguez, m. 79), Cedrick (Chuli, m. 79); Jorge Molina.
Goals: 1-0, m. 38: Jelavic. 2-0, m. 63: Andersen o.g. 2-1, m. 91: Braian Rodríguez.
(Pic of the first goal from Correo de Andalucía)