Spain’s biggest city derby took place in a lively contest and it was won by a solitary goal which saw Sevilla edge Real Betis to take the points.
Sevilla Edge Real Betis
A Tight Affair – A Tactical Analysis
Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis set up in an unfamiliar 4-4-2 formation. The Green and Whites were at full strength and looked to attacking midfielder come alternative striker Nabil Fekir and forward Borja Iglesias for a fifth successive win.
For Sevilla, Julen Lopetegui’s side formed a 4-2-3-1 formation with Fernando anchoring the midfield, Papu Gómez in the attacking midfield role and Youssef En-Nesyri getting the nod up front. Defensive duo Diego Carlos and Jules Koundé formed their formidable defensive partnership. Sevilla were looking for their first win in five matches.
Betis Assured but Sevilla Strike
It was a cagey opening to the derby with Betis looking the more assured and composed on the ball while taking control of the possession. Betis’ press caused the Sevilla defence problems and it would be Betis who had the first major chance with Iglesias launching a shot that tested Yassine Bounou in goal. But with Sevilla’s first major attempt came the opening goal and a wonderfully taken finish from En-Nesyri scored from a tight angle.
The script continued in the second half with a tense and tight affair. Both teams had chances to score with Fekir and En-Nesyri going close. But the tempo notably dropped in the second half with both sides putting in a big shift in an intense and industrious derby. And the final minutes proved tempestuous as is normal in a derby. However, Sevilla effectively nullified their rival’s threat as the game came to a close.
The Key Men in El Gran Derbi
Youssef En-Nesyri’s great strike showed all the hallmarks of a striker on form. It was the Moroccan’s 14th goal in La Liga. Therefore it is clear to see why he is a man in demand on evidence from his eye-catching strike.
Experienced defensive winger Jesus Navas caused problems for the Betis defence all night with his expert crosses. He showed his class with his positioning and his tackling. His overall defensive display gave Sevilla solidity and a cool head in a hothouse.
Frenchman Fekir was a live wire for Betis. He was at the heart of all their attacks, carrying the ball into rival territory time and time again. He had numerous shots on goal with one right at the end sailing just wide. Meanwhile, his skill and ability to keep the ball in tight spaces gave his team a composed tempo. His vision also gave Betis an attacking outlet and was the team’s main threat.
Betis right-back Emerson produced an accomplished performance with a competent defensive display. The Brazilian created danger on many occasions with some great crosses into the box which Betis’s attackers did not take advantage of.
Derby Day Verdict
There was very little to choose between the two sides from Seville. Two sides who put a lot into the game in a typically tense duel. However, one very well taken finish was the difference on the night.