Real Betis and Granada ended up sharing the spoils in what was an intriguing affair that resulted in a 2-2 draw thanks to some late drama. Real Betis completely dominated possession – seeing 80% of the ball – but it took them until the 85th minute to find a way passed the stubborn Granada defence via a penalty, which was shortly followed up by a second thanks to Tello’s cross managing to miss everyone in the box and nestle inside the far post.
Granada were quite happy to sit back and absorb pressure in their 4-2-3-1 system and looked to break quickly to catch Betis on the counter attack and this worked effectively when they opened the scoring through a well-taken Carlos Fernandez goal midway through the first half. Then, despite throwing away their 1-0 advantage late on and finding themselves 2-1 down in the 88th minute, substitute striker Roberto Soldado was able to find the equaliser in injury time following a corner.
Real Betis set up in a fluid 4-3-3 formation that looked to the full backs to provide width whilst the likes of Fekir and Joaquín were allowed to drift more centrally at times. In possession, Gonzalez would drop from holding midfield in between the two central defenders, effectively creating a back three which allowed the full backs to push on. However, they struggled to break down the Granada defence and despite their abundance of creative talent, they seemed to lack ideas when going forward, especially in deeper areas during build up play. In the end, they were perhaps fortunate to find a way through thanks to a penalty and fortunate cross / shot and a draw could be seen as a fair result given Granada’s defensive resilience for long periods.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Brazilian
- Age: 21
- Date of birth: 14/01/1999
- Current Club: Real Betis, on loan from FC Barcelona
- Career: Ponte Preta, Atlético Mineiro, FC Barcelona, Real Betis (L)
- Position: Right back
- Preferred foot: Right
FC Barcelona loanee Emerson put on a promising display from right back as his team drew 2-2 with Granada. The Brazilian looked dangerous when going forward, making some threatening runs down the line all match before being withdrawn with 10 minutes left to play. He liked to take on defenders and get to the by-line before putting in crosses from wide areas and he showed good skill and close control to beat his man and drive with the ball at his feet. He put some dangerous deliveries into the penalty area and seemed very confident in possession and when passing. The 21 year old showed good vision to clip the ball into the strikers feet or switch the play and had the confidence normally associated with wingers in attacking phases.
Defensively, the right back had little to do due to Betis’ dominance of the ball but he showed good levels of strength in duels and aggression to press the forward and hassle them into going backwards. At 5’11 and with a solid build, the Brazilian is athletic which allowed him to compete in aerial duels (winning 5 in the match) and he displayed a good burst of pace when tracking back or getting forward down the line. He did give away a couple of needless fouls which let him down slightly but overall a solid defensive performance.
On the whole, Emerson looked confident and creative in forward areas whilst carrying out his defensive tasks competently.
- Nationality: Spanish
- Age: 24
- Date of birth: 09/04/1996
- Current Club: Real Betis (On loan from Villareal CF)
- Career: Villareal, Lugo (L), Leeds United (L), Alavés (L), Real Betis (L)
- Position: Left Back
- Secondary Position: Left Wing
- Preferred foot: Left
Pedraza seemed to be a creative force and attacking outlet from left back for Betis, putting in a fairly promising performance whilst out on loan. The Spaniard was very comfortable when going forward, showing willingness to make overlapping runs into dangerous areas which at times stretched the opposition defensive line. He was composed in possession, maintaining an 84% pass completion rate, with many of his passes finding teammates in more advanced areas of the pitch.
Despite at first not appearing to be that quick, he was in fact a powerful runner who was able to drive with the ball at his feet and link up well in wide areas to create crossing opportunities. The quality of his final ball was mixed, failing to beat the first man on occasion, in addition he did hit a couple of loose passes and overran the ball once or twice which slightly hindered his attacking threat. He also had a shot from range that was well hit and on target but didn’t cause too much of a problem for the goalkeeper.
At six foot and with a sturdy build, Pedraza is a strong physical unit who battled well in duels to win or retain the ball. Generally, he timed his tackles well to win possession or step out of the line to make an interception. He also possessed an aerial presence when defending which allowed him to adequately challenge for headers. However, his slow change in direction sometimes hindered his one v one capabilities, allowing the winger to cut inside on to his stronger foot or being beaten and forced to commit a silly foul that eventually resulted in him receiving a yellow card.
Overall, Pedraza was able to get forward a lot in this match and provided a good amount of width for his team, but much like the rest of his teammates, his final ball lacked precision. He did not have too much defensive work to do and as a result it is difficult to judge his ability in that area, but he seems to be strong and aggressive yet sometimes his body position allowed him to be beaten.
- Nationality: Spanish
- Age: 23
- Date of birth: 01/04/1997
- Current Club: Real Betis
- Career: Espanyol (Y), Cornellà (L), Real Betis
- Position: Defensive Midfield
- Secondary Position: Centre Back
- Preferred foot: Right
Edgar Gonzalez had quite an uneventful game at the base of the Betis midfield. He was very much the more defensive minded player in the midfield three and when his team had the ball (which was the majority of the match) he dropped very deep and almost created a back three, with the full backs being asked to push forward. He recycled possession well, with a 90% pass completion rate, but he struggled when looking to make forward passes, preferring to make short sideways or backwards passes in order to retain the ball. He was capable of linking up the play when Betis looked to move the ball from side to side but was unable to make many progressive passes into more advanced players.
The 6’4 holding midfielder is solid in build which allows him to be strong in the tackle and hold off opposition players, and of course he is also a big aerial presence in midfield winning several aerial duels for his team. He also posed an aerial threat in the opposition box from set pieces but the quality of Betis’ deliveries were inconsistent and gave him little to attack. He made some effective tackles to win possession but also seemed quite slow when covering ground and this hindered him when closing down the opposition at times.
Overall, Gonzalez was consistent yet unremarkable in possession and by dropping deep he freed up space in the midfield for more creative players, whilst he broke play up effectively in midfield in defensive situations and was strong in the tackle despite being quite lethargic when covering ground.