Sergio Canales sends warning shot to Celtic as Betis winless run ends
Real Betis put an end to their winless domestic run with a stunning goal from Sergio Canales – right before facing Celtic in the Europa League.
In an Andalusian derby between Granada and Betis, Los Verdiblancos went ahead late in the first half through Rodrigo Sanchez. Ruben Rochina equalised for the hosts on the 66th minute.
Granada looked decent value for a draw, but former Real Madrid man Sergio Canales cut in from the left and scored a fantastic solo goal moments before full-time.
It’s a result that will give Betis confidence, just three days before hosting Celtic. Draws with Cadiz and Mallorca, along with a loss to Real Madrid, would’ve had fans concerned. It’s Betis’ first time in the renamed Europa League, and despite dominating games in La Liga, goals just wouldn’t come.
There was bad news for Pellegrini’s side, however. Marc Bartra came off injured in the first half, pulling up after just 14 minutes [WhoScored?].
Overall, Betis were solid rather than particularly stand-out. The Andalusians enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, mustering 19 shots and enjoying far more touches than their opposition.
Arsenal loanee Hector Bellerin and Guido Rodriguez were relied upon for creativity, with the latter setting up both goals for Betis. They’re two players Celtic will have to watch.
What Celtic will have learned from Betis and their win over Granada
Frustration was a key part of Betis’ performances thus far. To have got that first win will be seen as excellent timing.
They have plenty of attacking threats, with Canales, Tello and Rodrigo Sanchez all capable of cutting inside and taking accurate shots.
Their weaknesses, though, appear to be in getting production from their centre-forwards. Both Borja Igelsias and Willian José had a go, but neither were efficient on a late, Monday night kick-off.
Granada enjoyed the majority of their dribbles and touches through Betis’ weaker left-hand side. By delivering crosses from their right, Granada found space and opportunities in and around the 18-yard box. Eventually, that pressure resulted in a goal.
Were it not for some excellent saves, though, Betis could’ve won this considerably more comfortably. Luis Maximiano ended up making 7 saves, 3 of which required dives [FotMob]. With a technically gifted midfield and wingers cutting inside, Pellegrini has a glut of attacking options.
However, for Postecoglou and his coaches, there’ll have been encouragement from how Granada kept Betis out for long portions of the game.
Thursday will be fascinating, as Betis look to build on this win with Celtic returning to Seville.
In other news: Paul Lambert left extremely impressed with Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou