I see that in his Guardian round-up of the weekend Sid Lowe includes last night in his list of games "changed" by "dodgy refs", which seems a a bit strong. (Anyone watching on TV disagree?) There again, he also once said that Nosa's derbi equaliser was "probably his last ever goal for Betis", so what does he know? (Yes, you're right, I've been waiting five and a half months for that line to be proved wrong.)
On the other hand, I'm also a bit perplexed to read that Béticos voted Guille Sara their man of their match - or #MVPCruzcampo to give the award it's official title. Antonio Amaya or Paulao, both of whom were imperious last night, would have been more logical choices, but the Argentinian keeper turned 26 yesterday, so let's call it a joint birthday present even though he didn't really have enough to do over the 90 minutes to merit being singled out.
Other players to emerge with credit included Lolo Reyes, rapidly becoming a crowd favourite for his busy-ness in midfield, and Juanfran, who made a difference on the right after coming on as a sub, while Vadillo had another slightly frustrating game (and got a mixed reaction when brought off) and Verdú continues to look a bit "style over substance" (as my wife put it).
Pepe Mel wasn't at his most convincing when claiming afterwards that Betis "deserved to win the game", but it was probably fair enough to hint that his side were due some luck with referees. (Betis players were adamant, for instance, that there were fouls in the build-ups to both Bilbao goals on Thursday.) Mostly, however, he'll just be happy with the win. It's obvious that this Betis squad contains enough class to finish comfortably in the top half of the table, but with so many new players it's only reasonable to acknowledge that their full potential might take a while to emerge. In the meantime, let's just take the points. As I said yesterday morning, by any means necessary.
Just time to link to my favourite developement of the new season: the pitchside highlights. (I could probably do without Kings of Leon, though.)
Top pic from Manquepierda.com's gallery of images from the game.