Betis and Bayer Leverkusen draw and remain tied at the top of the group
Betis and Bayer Leverkusen tied 1-1 on matchday three in Group G of the Europa League, after a very competitive crash and with occasions in both goals that keeps the Germans as leaders of the group, although they are equaled 7 points with the Spanish team, with a worse overall goal difference.
After a first part with alternatives, in which the Rhinelanders sent even the reaction from their Betic Equator, the goals came in the second, with the 1-0 penalty scored by Borja Iglesias, in the 75th, and Robert Andrich's draw with 8 minutes remaining for Leverkusen, who did not take advantage of two clear chances to win in the added bonus.
In a duel between group favoritesBetis and Bayer Leverkusen were at stake to reach the halfway point of this phase as leaders: the Betis in a very good moment due to their victory in the League at the Alavés field (0-1) and their good game so far this year; and the Germans, injured by the home win against him Bayern Munich (1-5).
The Chilean Manuel Pellegrini made eight changes to his eleven compared to the one he won in Vitoria, with the Argentines Pezzella and Guido Rodríguez, Joaquín or Borja Iglesias as most outstanding novelties by Bartra, the Mexican Guarded, Canales -channel of the verdiblanco game together with the French Fekir- and the Brazilian Willian José.
At Leverkusen, with the loss of the Chilean medium Aránguiz and after his debacle against Bayern, the Swiss of Galician origin Gerardo Seoane also refreshed his team with six variants, with the German Bellarabi and the gaul Diaby of extremes and the Argentine Lucas Alario in point. On the bench, other offensive referents such as the Brazilian Paulinho, the young man Florian wirtz and the czech Patrick Schick.
Bayer Leverkusen came out very strong, dominated and created a lot of danger until the equator of the first half. He already warned when they only took 30 seconds in a shot from Alario to pass the incisive Diaby, a nightmare on the left for Montoya, but the Chilean Claudio Bravo, very successful in his comeback, saved the goal.
With the midfield controlled by the Rhinelanders, again The Argentine had two good options where he was not right either, in one of them a miracle, at 11 minutes, sending a ball to the crossbar that Bravo, providential, managed to deflect with his fingertips.
The young Frenchman Amine Adli and Bellarabi also tried it in a phase in whiche the German box was superior to a Betis that suffered from the speed of the rival and did not finish catching the air to the crash. Even so, halfway through this half he reacted, went forward and was also able to score through Borja Iglesias.
Betis was growing more and more, Nabil Fekir began to come into play more, Like the Galician forward, who sought the goal with a hard shot from the front in the 23rd minute that the Finnish goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky cleared and shortly before the break shot high after a commotion in the area.
In the resumption, Pellegrini quickly moved his pieces with the entry into Alex Moreno's left-back for Miranda and the Mexican Diego Lainez, who debuted after more than two months injured, by Joaquín, and Betis was more protagonist and continued to gain ground from the dangerous Bayer Leverkusen, now overcome in many phases.
A center to the area of the active Diaby brought the concern to the Verdiblancos, but solved it Pezzella crossing perfectly, Although from there the Spanish team pushed the most, they did not let themselves be overwhelmed by the physique and speed of the Germans and even Lainez scared Hradecky before game time.
Betis, already with Canales, Juanmi and then Willian José on the field, continued to control in a very competitive match, until the referee had a quarter of an hour to go, after consulting with the VAR and seeing the play on the screen on foot field, pointed penalty for hands inside the area of the Dutch Frimpong in a foul taken by Canales.
The maximum penalty was 1-0 Borja Iglesias, with a centered shot who cheated on the Finn Hradecky.
However, Leverkusen did not give up, went up in search of a draw and, after a goal disallowed to Diaby due to a clear offside, he tied at 82 with a shot from the edge of Robert Andrich who, with all the bad luck for Betis, diverted William Carvalho inwards.
With the equalizer, the one who sought the most victory, at least on occasions, was the German team, but first a tight Bakker shot and then another from Demirbay, already in added time, they met Bravo, who saved a deserved point for Betis.
- Data sheet:
1 - Betis: Claudio Bravo; Montoya, Pezzella, Édgar, Miranda (Álex Moreno, 46); Guido Rodríguez, William Carvalho; Joaquín (Lainez, m.46), Fekir (Canales, m.64), Aitor Ruibal (Juanmi, m.71); Borja Iglesias (Willian José, m.85).
1 - Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky; Frimpong, Tah, Tapsoba, Hincapié (Bakker, m.76); Andrich, Demirbay; Bellarabi (Paulinho, m.76), Adli (Wirtz, m.69), Diaby (Palacios, m.91); Alario (Schick, m.69).
Goals: 1-0, M.75: Borja Iglesias, from a penalty. 1-1, M.82: Andrich.
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (Poland). He admonished the locals Miranda (m.10) and Pezzella (m.71), and the visitors Alario (m.50), Tapsoba (m.62), Hincapié (m.71) and Diaby (m.86).
Incidents: Match of the third day in Group G of the Europa League, played at the Benito Villamarín stadium before 39,230 spectators.