Real Betis 2-0 HJK Helsinki
There was nothing on the line for Real Betis in their final Europa League group game, nor their opponents who have finished last, as Los Verdiblancos had already sealed top spot. So they did what every fan hoped they would – they enjoyed themselves.
Betis rotated, with neither of Nabil Fekir or Borja Iglesias starting, but looked comfortable from the very first minute. Playing the game in the HJK half, it felt like only a matter of time until they managed the breakthrough.
When it did come, it could not have been more spectacular. Aitor Ruibal received the ball on the left side of the box, Cruyff-turned his man, nutmegged a second defender and then rifled inside the corner from outside the box. A goal of the season contender for Real Betis.
Absolutely ridiculous goal from Aitor Ruibalpic.twitter.com/1IwEAobtRa
— Football España (@footballespana_) November 3, 2022
He added a second just before half-time, finishing at the near post after Betis got in down the right.
Some of the bigger guns came on in the second half and while Betis did not drop off, the lack of urgency and relaxed atmosphere made for an uneventful half. Until the final minute that is, when Iglesias was released on the counter and squared to give Fekir an open goal.
Betis exercised nice football without really putting their opponents to the sword. Overall, the victory was exactly what Manuel Pellegrini would have wanted ahead of their Sunday night date with city rivals Sevilla.