HJK Helsinki 0-2 Real Betis
Manuel Pellegrini opted to rotate his side ahead of their fixture with Real Betis this weekend, including the likes of Paul Akoukou, Aitor Ruibal and Joaquin in his starting line-up.
Both goals came from Willian Jose, separated by half-time. The first was a penalty, on what was the Brazilian’s first start of the season, having not been registered until the most recent weekend of La Liga action.
The victory did come at a costly price though. Betis do not have the deepest of squads and on a synthetic surface, Pellegrini will have to deal with at least two, if not three injuries.
The first to go down was Juanmi, who twisted his ankle and was replaced by Rodri after just six minutes. Next central defender Victor Ruiz was replaced after the half by Luiz Felipe, while Luiz Henrique came off with discomfort 15 minutes from the end too.
Star forward Nabil Fekir is already on the injury list and out until at least the international break, in a costly week for Betis. On the plus side for Pellegrini, group favourites Roma went down 2-1 to Ludogorets this evening, handing Los Verdiblancos an early advantage.