Intensity was the key word for both Paco Jemez and Pepe Mel in explaining Rayo Vallecano’s 3-0 win over Real Betis.
Rayo were comfortable winners in Week 21 against Betis and their Coach put that down to the intensity the players put into the game.
“We knew that to compete against a team like Betis, we had to put everything into the game and end it with the same intensity that we would have at the start,” explained Jemez in his post-match assessment.
“The result looks like something else, but Betis are a team that have enough quality to be up there in the table and they are a team that mean if you want to compete with them, you have to have intensity.
“We understood that after their games against Athletic last weekend and Atletico in the Cup that if we played with intensity so that they would run, that eventually their fatigue was going to enter into things.
“But, Betis also had their chances and have proven that they are a top four team.
“My team, if we make a mistake, we are excessively generous. But, if we see games like we did here, we play well, put in intensity, run, from there the rest is foregone.”
Whilst Mel admitted that it was a deserved defeat for Real Betis, he also looked to add perspective.
“It was a tough game, we had no luck in front of goal and they have had more intensity, so we have conceded three goals,” concluded Mel at the end of the game.
“We have our feet on the ground, since we have 35 points and that means we are still going very well. We are even above Rayo, a great team that is also doing very well and I hope that both Betis and Rayo achieve great things.
“It is true that we have had absences for this game and they are a factor to consider, because the more pawns on the board the more you can facilitate. We were weakened, we missed clear chances and the opponents’ intensity was greater and that has tipped the balance.
“We had a whole bench of players from the cantera and whilst that is great, sometimes with great teams something else is needed, because the burden becomes a problem.
“My message is one of optimism, because we are well placed.”