Real Betis suffered a damaging 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday evening, leaving themselves a tough job for their trip to Germany.
Expectations appear to have weighed on Manuel Pellegrini’s side in recent weeks and once again, they were unable to come up with a result in a big fixture. After going behind early to a Filip Kostic goal, the visitors had Betis perfectly in their sights, allowing them to counter at will.
This wasn’t to say that Real Betis weren’t finding their own space either. The impressive duopoly of Nabil Fekir and Sergio Canales were at the heart of Betis’ threat, with the two linking for Fekir’s caramel finish on the half hour mark.
All of their hard work was undone almost immediately however, as Frankfurt once again swarmed forward whenever a Betis attack broke down. A constant stitch for the home side, Daichi Kamada took advantage of this after a poor giveaway from Edgar Gonzalez.
This would be the pattern for much of the second half too. Despite the best efforts of Los Verdiblancos, their consistently threatening attacks almost always ended without incident. Open and committing men forward, Betis made themselves easy prey.
In contrast, the Germans attacked at pace whenever they got the chance and almost always managed a shot. One on of these breakaways, the sliding Aitor Ruibal conceded a penalty as his trailing hand brushed the ball. Fortunately for Pellegrini, his bet on Claudio Bravo paid off this time as he denied Rafael Santos Borre from the spot.
In a night of few heroes for Betis, it was the Chilean goalkeeper who prevented Borre from widening the margin with a hat-trick of good saves.
Betis continued to attack without troubling Kevin Trapp and Oliver Glasner’s side came away having imposed themselves both on the scoreline and in terms of game plan. Betis will once again have to rely on an away result to see them through to the next stage of the Europa League.