"Victory by suffering"; Betis marksman Juanmi on tough Celtic test

By Euan Davidson

September 17, 2021

Betis forward Juanmi has described a victory made from “suffering” after scoring twice against Celtic last night.

Juanmi, who had a stint with Southampton in the Premier League, was at the double as Real Betis clawed back against Celtic.

Despite leading 2-0, the experience of Betis and their lightning-fast counter-attacking put paid to Bhoys hopes on a hot night in Seville.

The Spanish forward, 28, described the scale of the challenge against an enterprising but vulnerable Celtic side.

He said [Marca]:

“We got in before the break drawing it, and in the second half we went from the beginning to get that a goal that would give us peace of mind.

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But we are already seeing that no game is going to be easy and we have achieved victory by suffering.

“Yes, we were quite opposed [in] the game, but the team has shown that it does not give up.

“We have continued attacking, making our game and from there, after the draw and getting ahead, [we got a result] that has made us suffer.”

Celtic made Betis “suffer” on hot night in Seville, says Juanmi

Just as Manuel Pellegrini’s quotes show, there’s a respect for Celtic. Last season’s sixth-best Spanish team were made to work incredibly hard.

Fine, that won’t be too much comfort for many of us. Last night’s game is a genuinely difficult one to analyse. There were plenty of good points and reasons for optimism. Especially with all the injuries we had, and the freshness of the squad.

Yet, had it not been for some defensive errors, it could’ve been a very different discussion today.

Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Ultimately, Celtic have to be better-equipped in the future to deal with attacking talents like Juanmi. Amongst the likes of Rodri Sanchez, Sergio Canales, Nabil Fekir, Borja Iglesias and Joaquin, Juanmi represents the wealth of forward options at Betis’ disposal.

How to negotiate squad depth like that? It’ll take time, certainly.

Given where we are in terms of Ange Postecoglou and his rebuild, though, it’s heartening that we’re making good teams suffer. Especially with so much working against us in the build-up to last night.

If we can compound that suffering across the Europa League group, we’ll be in good stead.

In other news: The difference in Celtic that should make light work of Livingston

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