Sevilla v Real Betis – Match Comments

It is a day of firsts! Sevilla’s first league game of 2018; the first Gran Derbi of the season; the first taste of what this means for our summer signings; and last but not least, Vincenzo Motella’s first game in charge of his team at the iconic Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. The term ‘baptism of fire’ gets used quite a lot, but today will surely be just that.

Now as we all know, even fairly routine Sevilla games are almost impossible to predict. And a general rule of thumb for local and fierce derby matches around the world is, “don’t even look at the form table, as it means nothing”. So we won’t, which for us is just as well, because we have been pretty woeful of late. How much of that poor form was down to Berizzo and a broken dressing room/team spirit, only time will tell…

Today though is a perfect time to look ahead. Yet another new beginning (we are getting used to those), and hopefully the start of a long and prosperous reign for Montella and Maresca, with silverware never far away. Realistically it will be very hard to emulate the glory of the past 10 years or so. With the added pressure of the reigns of Juande Ramos and Unai Emery still fresh in the memory, the benchmark as to which all new coaches will be judged on has been well and truly set. Montella may not equal their success with trophies, but the level of hard work, intensity and exciting football that helped bring us that glory is now the bare minimum that passionate Sevillistas expect.

Montella’s pre-match press conferences have showed that he is in no doubt what is expected of him tonight.

“All of the players and coaches live for these experiences. From my first meeting with the president, I understood what this derby meant.

“I recently went out in the city for dinner and many people told me we have to win so I know the importance.”

Interestingly, ex coach Sampaoli was present at our final training session yesterday, so whatever words of wisdom and experience he has passed on I am sure would have been greatly welcomed.

So tonight, Betis have the advantage of going into the game with no pressure at all, and will probably sit back and let Sevilla have the ball. All the pressure is on us, and with the new coach no one is really sure what to expect from us as regards formation, or tactics. So wisely I would suspect Betis will wait and see what we have to throw at them before deciding what they will throw back at us, with a cagey first half going in at 0-0 a very real prospect. The only certainty before the match is emotions and tensions will be running high in the stands and on the pitch, and which team deals best with that pressure will likely be the one who comes out on top.

Montella was also quoted as saying “Betis are the favorites” to win! One presumes this is just a classic Jedi mind trick to ensure our players don’t become complacent, whilst attempting to lure their players into a false sense of security. If the players are complacent then I am sure the home fans will ensure they know all about it when they step out on to the turf under the lights, with the Himno blasting out.

So let’s hope that in this day of ‘firsts’ that it is not the day we witness the first derbi win for Betis in La Liga since 2012! However, if we play the way we know we can then we will keep our proud and dominant record intact. So now more than ever my fellow Sevillistas, please fasten your seat-belts as things could get a little bumpy!

Team News

In the 18 man squad there is no room for Ganso, who I wouldn’t be surprised to see back in Brazil before the end of January, and only two out and out strikers to choose from in Ben Yedder and Muriel. Apart from that we have a fairly strong team to choose from, and I suspect we will rely heavily on the experience of Banega, Navas and Nolito in order to come away with the three points and bragging rights. As expected N’Zonzi is available to play again, and it will be interesting to see if he can rise above the pressures surrounding him and put in a performance we know he is capable of.

How do you suspect Montella will line us up tonight?

Looking forward to hearing your suggestions below

¡Vamos mi Sevilla!

Notable Replies

  1. Mark_L says:

    Vamos Sevilla! Huge match for us! This is the start of a new era! Good cup win to boost the confidence and give Montella his first win in charge!

    We need to show what we made of. Big month ahead on and off pitch. Need to get the crucial league points to stay in touch with the top 4 and also need to sign some top players to bolster the squad!

  2. yeah, Valencia beat Girona 2-1 earlier today, so from that point of view 3 points are even more vital tonight

  3. Pizarro out due to injury so Geis will probably step in, Montella can win our hearts and get off to flying start by winning the Gran Derbi, make it happen!

  4. ShendM says:

    An important match this one. Montella’s opportunity to win our hearts as KIR mentioned. I hope the players are 100% ready for this one, as this is a MUST win game.

    I would expect the following formation:


    Mercado - Kjaer - Lenglet - Escudero

             Banega - N'Zonzi

    Sarabia/Navas Nolito


    Not sure if Geis will be on this one, even though wouldn’t be a bad idea to test his skills in the midfield in a hot derby night like this.


  5. crazy game

  6. We’ve got them pinned against wall. Crush them FFS

  7. Crazy first half. Lots of fun!

  8. ShendM says:

    Crazy game indeed. I expected a similar game vs. Setien’s Betis to be honest. Rico and the defense a bit shaky, otherwise our defense to attack transition seems smoother with Montella. Could be Betis’s weak defense, but both teams are running a lot, and a lot of dynamism shown in the field from both sides.

    We should be able to win this if we don’t concede any other silly goal/s.

    I’m liking the Escudero that gets involved a lot in the middle. Also Corchia running channels non stop, and Navas finally making some intelligent crosses/long passes.

    We’re better than the green bastards and we can win this.


  9. Mark_L says:

    What a half. Thoroughly enjoyed that! Both teams playing their part. Great attacking play from both teams. Betis started better but we dominated the closing stages of the 1st half.

    An exciting derby. Lots of fun but let’s hope we keep attacking the way we are but try to defend better. Credit to betis too though, they playing well. It’s great to see 2 teams go at it and play attractive and exciting footy!

    Vamos Sevilla!

  10. Edinho says:

    Already the best derby in years! Perhaps it was good to concede early to kinda force the players to play with intensity. Loved the response. Gotta avoid those little mistakes at the back, and continue spreading the play. That’s when possession is best, in the opposition’s half. Banega didn’t linger with the ball either. The danger is coming from the wings so I hope for some better end product from Nolito and more accuracy from Navas’ crosses.


  11. Get Sarabia on now

  12. Mark_L says:

    Well deserved by betis! We have big problems!

  13. That was crazy!

    Could have been 4-4 or 3-5 and no one would have complained

    Their first win since 2012 in the league against us, and the first time they’ve scored more than 3 since something like 1940…

    terrible statistic, but some promising signs for us under Montella especially going forward

    on the negative side, we look poor at the back and we are a bit light weight in the centre forward position. Muriel doesn’t offer enough for my liking, Bacca mk.II he isn’t, not yet at least

  14. I’m not going to get too down about this game… it was the best chance Betis had to beat us in years and they did. It is quite understandable that we have yet to find our feet, and will maybe take until next season before Montella imposes his playing style properly.

    We could do with some reinforcements in this transfer window… especially up front and in defence

  15. ShendM says:

    Montella cannot be blamed, not before at least around 10 official matches with the team. He doesn’t know the players (beside a couple) and he doesn’t know La Liga, still a lot to learn for him.

    I liked our attacking play, but not sure why we took the foot off the pedal when at 2-2?

    Also, a fatal mistake tonight was subbing Mudo for Correa. There was no midfield and Betis held the ball for 2-3 minutes before scoring the third goal.

    A shocking statistic for the sport of football showed when the result was 3-4, but continued to the end of the match, Rico and Adan = 0 saves each.

    2 extremely weak and non-existent goalkeepers showcased their skills tonight, NONE!

    We need a new keeper urgently in the summer if we want a serious project, otherwise we’re doomed. Sell Rico and keep Soria, that’s the only way to go. Rico might luckily save a penalty vs. a Segunda team and as Tim said, he proved that even a broken clock is right twice a day, but we definitely cannot build a serious project with a joke of a goalie.

    Also the 3rd goal was 50-50 on Navas alongside Rico. Navas didn’t track the player, he simply lost sight of him and it was too late to look back after Durmisi penetrated through the box to get 1v1 with Rico… well, you know what happens on 1on1s with Rico.

    It is too difficult to say that I am optimistic in this situation, conceding 5 goals to our arch rivals and losing at home against them, especially that we haven’t lost for more than a year in RSP. However, I am… at least a bit. Montella needs to know that Sarabia should be in the field more often than not, and needs to see ways on how to fix the defense.

    Hell, why doesn’t he try the 3-5-2 of the Milan days. Can’t be worse right? Try it vs. Cadiz and see where it leads. At the point that we’re in, about to lose the EL places, I’d sacrifice the CDR for experimenting and focus on the league. CL is history, I just hope we don’t get utterly humiliated by Man Utd. They are white sharks for us and they are smelling blood already from a long distance.

    My dear Sevilla… conceding 5 at home from Betis… you don’t deserve this, but times are tough nowadays and when you have a pathetic management who doesn’t sign pragmatic coaches that focus on defense, and doesn’t make the necessary January moves already, and we still don’t have Arana to see what he’s made of etc. etc.

    Hugely missing Monchi already!

  16. Edinho says:

    Betis reacted better in the 2nd half. They knew they could expose our defence even more and patiently dismantled us for that 3rd goal. The 4th goal was one of those 1-2 punches we used to do to teams when we knew we were superior. Forget the 3rd striker talk, we need a defensive minded player.

    Congrats to Betis, as they deserved it. This was a classic. But let this be the first & last time we lose in the RSP this year.

  17. Brian says:

    How not to defend!


  18. The third photo is correct, most teams don’t man mark a wide player in that position. The second is unforgiveable, Navas asleep at the wheel, Corchia dragged over to penalty spot. The first photo shows how we undisciplined we are positionally. (This is exactly what started the Nzonzi saga)

  19. Brian says:

    I had thought the same before the game Tim, although I still took up my seat. I had the feeling that the derbi came at a better time for Betis than Sevilla and was proved right.
    After giving them a goal start in the first minute I thought we played ok up to half time and 2-2 was a fair result.
    However those 2 goals in 2 minutes due to our schoolboy defending in the 2nd half ended all hope of a win.
    After that Betis used every opportunity to waste time, disrupt the game and stop us playing, at one point 3 of them were on the floor faking injuries!
    I was impressed by Andres Guardado, their number 18, i got sick of shouting how much space he had every time he ran at us.

    Rico, Navas, Mudo, Benega, Correa & Corchia were very poor in my opinion. Muriel did his usual invisible man act after coming on ( I think he touched the ball twice)

    Montella has a huge job on his hands to turn the season around, hopefully some new players are coming in otherwise we will be torn apart by Man Utd and end up mid table in la liga which by some miracle we are still holding on to 5th place.

  20. Need a dominate CB for sure.

  21. ShendM says:

    A pity that these fans had to endure watching their beloved team concede 5 goals against the eternal rivals. These fans do not deserve it, nor do any Sevillistas around the world.

    Hopefully the glory days of Sevilla will return through proper managing, fingers crossed.

  22. Brian, your profile picture bears a striking resemblence to Anthony William Curry, can you confirm?

  23. Brian says:

    Yes the one and only. The best player to wear the shirt in my lifetime & boyhood hero. Good spot :yum:

  24. I’m not sure who that is. Care to educate? Google search didn’t bring up much.

Continue the discussion forum.monchismen.com

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