Real Sociedad – Real Betis: Betis Blitz La Real Late to Regain Champions League Spot (0-2)
In a match that had serious European qualification ramifications, it ended up being Real Betis who stole the three points. La Real were the better side for the first eighty-five minutes of play, but late goals from Juan Cruz and Borja Iglesias (both created brilliantly by Alex Moreno) put the away side ahead to take them into fourth place in LaLiga.
Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley
Immanol Alguacil’s La Real have had an excellent start to the season. They entered Matchday Twelve placed fourth in the LaLiga table, and they still remain unbeaten in the Europa League. This has all been done without Mikel Oyarzabal (torn ACL) and Alexander Isak (sold to Newcastle in the summer), a true testament to Alguacil’s ability to get the best out of his side. La Real had a real chance to capitalize on the slip-up of Atlético Madrid earlier in the weekend, and could jump Diego Simeone’s side into third place with a win over Real Betis.
Alguacil elected to field his starting eleven in a 4-4-2 diamond shape, a formation he has toyed with often this season. Álex Remiro started in goal, with Andoni Gorosabel, Jon Pacheco, Robin Le Normand, and Diego Rico as the defensive line. Brais Méndez, Martín Zubimendi, and Mikel Merino acted as the deeper midfield trio, with Pablo Marín as the tip of the diamond ahead of them. In a rare start, Carlos Fernández partnered Alexander Sørloth to form the striker partnership for La Real.
Though Real Betis started off the season brilliantly, they have tailed off in recent weeks. Be it due to injuries, player fatigue . . .