Betis won an important victory against Villarreal, which puts them fully into the fight for Europe after causing the first defeat in their fiefdom of Unai Emery's team. Pellegrini's men sit in seventh place, three points behind Villarreal himself, winning a game in a very hard-working way thanks to two goals from Fekir and Emerson. Villarreal, very thick, only reacted in the final stretch, after Gerard Moreno shortened penalties. Betis maintains its good streak in 2021, only stained by the defeat against Barcelona last day. In Villarreal, he had 65 minutes of high level, to later suffer from local harassment. The locals let too many minutes pass without going for the game and when they did it was too late. Pellegrini, determined to get Betis into Europe, something he considers a personal challenge, triumphed in what was his home after changing the face of his team and making it much more competitive.
Villarreal and Betis came to the game highly motivated by the results of their direct rivals. La Real put pressure on Emery's men with their triumph in Getafe, while the Verdiblancos watched as they continued to lead the squad of hopefuls for Europe after the defeats of Granada and Levante. Pellegrini, always happy to return to a place where he became great, had placed his Betis at the gates of Europe. The clash, therefore, without being a final, was quite important in the continental fight.
VillarrealAsenjo, Alfonso Pedraza (Pervis Estupiñán, min. 59), Rubén Peña, Albiol, Pau Francisco Torres, Juan Foyth (Fernando Niño, min. 87), Parejo, Alejandro Rodriguez Baena (Raba, min. 60), Moi Gómez (Jaume Costa, min. 87), Gerard Moreno and Alcácer (Bacca, min. 60) BetisJoel, Víctor Ruiz (Sidnei, min . 77), Mandi, Juan Miranda, Emerson, Nabil Fekir, Aitor Ruibal (Montoya, min. 81), Guido Rodríguez, Guardado, Canales and Loren Morón (William Carvalho, min. 82) Goals0-1 min. 44: Nabil Fekir. 0-2 min. 51: Emerson. 1-2 min. 64: Gerard Moreno. Referee Jesús Gil Manzano Yellow cardsParejo (min. 42), Juan Foyth (min. 54), Emerson (min. 54), Rubén Peña (min. 83) and Juan Miranda (min. 94)
Forced by casualties, Emery had to place central midfielder Foyth, giving a band to the young Alex Baena. The two teams measured each other so much, aware of the importance of the match, that the game moved under the channels of enormous equality, with great fear in all the players not to make a mistake that would open the doors of the area to the rival team. Villarreal hardly burned in a very thick first half. Parejo did not command and the disconnection of the team with Alcácer and Gerard Moreno was evident
Betis, aware of their problems in defense, defended themselves with order, well supported by the double pivot made up of Guarded and Guido. The Andalusian team lacked mordant, although it always controlled very well a rival who was supposed to expose a little more. Villarreal, very stuck, was surprised in a long ball where the individual quality of Fekir shone. The Frenchman took a ball on the left side and went into the area holding up Pau's attack very well. His right leg shot was perfect. The world champion scored again a year later to catapult the options of a very serious Betis.
Emerson extended the Andalusian advantage in the second half, rewarding an ambitious team. Betis was a torrent of play in the second half, with Canales and Fekir at a high level, well supported by Guarded, who played his 100th game with Betis and, without a doubt, the most complete of the current season. Asenjo even went so far as to save his team from receiving the third goal. Betis dominated after completing 65 minutes at a high level, caressing a triumph that had been worked hard.
However, Villarreal entered the game after an action in which Gil Manzano decreed a penalty by hands of Emerson himself. A very complicated play and protested by the Betic players. As the last action of the crash was also protested. The referee whistled Miranda's foul outside the area when after it the ball had already entered Robles' goal. Emery exploded on the wing, but the referee had previously ruled a foul without leaving the law of advantage. It was the last gasp of a clash that ended with a winning Betis, which took the three points from a very complicated stadium and which, now, allows them to fight for that coveted sixth place.