Mar 16, 2013 at 9pm UK at ​Mestalla
Valencia
3-0
Real Betis
Jonas (90'), Soldado (16' pen.), Paulão (85' og.)
Rami (38'), Mathieu (44'), Feghouli (75')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Nacho (11'), Molina (58'), López (75')
Amaya (15')

Live Commentary: Valencia 3-0 Real Betis - as it happened

Mestalla
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the La Liga clash at the Mestalla as Valencia record a 3-0 win over Real Betis.

Valencia and Real Betis met at the Mestalla on Saturday with both teams in the picture for Champions League football with the latter stages of the season approaching.

It was the home side that took the lead after 17 minutes when Roberto Soldado converted from the spot having been felled by Antonio Amaya, who received his marching orders for the challenge.

Both teams had chances in the second period, but it was Valencia that scored twice late on via a Paulao own goal and Jonas to secure a vital three points in their fight for fourth position.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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8.52pmEvening all! Our final live La Liga commentary of the night comes from Valencia as the home side welcome Real Betis. Both of these teams have top-four hopes as we enter the latter stages of the season, but this is the type of match that neither can really afford to lose. Valencia are strong favourites, but Betis enter the fixture in the better form.

8.54pmHaving moved into contention for fourth, Valencia’s standards have just dropped in recent weeks with defeat to Athletic Bilbao and draws against Levante and Real Zaragoza. They remain in seventh position, however, just two points off fourth-placed Malaga. Their home form has also been strong this season with eight wins from 14 matches.

8.56pmBetis are strong on the road, however, winning six of their 13 matches. Only Real Madrid and Barcelona have performed better on their travels this season. Betis would move into fifth with the three points this evening, but they have lost on both of their last two visits to the Mestalla.

8.58pmTEAMS:

VALENCIA: Alves; Mathieu, Rami, Pereira, Guardado; Banega, Costa, Feghouli, Parejo; Soldado, Jonas

BETIS: Adrian; Nacho, Lopez, Mario, Amaya; Benat, Canas, Castro, Molina; Pabon, Campbell


0 minHere we go then. Just a quick word on the main team news this evening. Adil Rami returns for Valencia this evening, while Andres Guardado switches to left-back. Jonas and Roberto Soldado, meanwhile, continue in attack. For Betis, Pepe Mel once more pairs Dorlan Pabon and Joel Campbell in the final third. The away side get the action underway.

2 minConfident start from the home side with Costa, Banega and Soldado all seeing plenty of the ball. Not a full house inside the stadium this evening, but there is a strong atmosphere. You just get the feeling that Betis need to silence the crowd in the early stages. But Pepe Mel's side are used to winning on the road.

4 minA reminder that as it stands Valencia sit in seventh position in the table with 42 points, while Betis sit sixth with 43 points. Real Sociedad's win earlier this afternoon moved them into the top four on 47 points, with Malaga dropping to fifth. It is going to be a fascinating fight for that final Champions League position in the latter stages of the season.

6 minNot too much to report in the early stages of the match with both sides just attempting to feel their way into proceedings. You suspect that Valencia will dominate possession this evening, with Betis attempting to use the pace of Pabon and Campbell on the break. No real goal attempts from either side in the opening six minutes of action.

8 minIt's good work from Campbell as the on-loan Arsenal striker collects possession in a wide area before combining with Pabon, but Rami is across to clear the danger. The Frenchman looks to find the run of Jonas, but the playmaker is quelled by Nacho. Two well-matched teams on display at the Mestalla. One goal could be enough to win it this evening.

10 minUnfortunately, the match is slightly one-paced at the moment with both teams comfortable in keeping possession, but neither offering too much in the final third. First real involvement for Soldado as the Spaniard combines with Feghouli before crossing into the box, but Mario clears for a corner, which Costa heads just wide.

12 minHalf-chance for the home side as Rami meets the resulting corner, but he can only volley over the crossbar from a difficult angle. It would have needed some strike to beat Adrian from that position. Strange atmosphere inside the stadium this evening. You just get the feeling that Valencia need a goal to settle everyone down.

14 minHalf-chance for the home side as Jonas floats a dangerous cross into the box, but Nacho is on hand to clear for a corner. The resulting set piece is whipped into the box by Banega, but once more the danger is cleared. Betis attempt to break with Pabon, but the striker is immediately surrounded by three defenders.

15 minValencia continue to look the team most likely to open the scoring as Costa drives a searching cross towards Soldado, but it just picks up pace off the turf before moving behind for a goal kick. Meanwhile, the referee has just been forced into action in the last couple of moments with both teams guilty of a succession of fouls.


15 minPENALTY TO VALENCIA, RED CARD FOR AMAYA!

16 minThe home side are awarded a penalty and Betis are reduced to 10 men as Amaya is adjudged to have felled Soldado in the penalty area. It is a terrible decision, with the striker kicking his own foot. What a moment in this match. Soldado will take the spot kick.

16 minGOAL! Valencia 1-0 Real Betis (Soldado)

17 minAs if it was ever in doubt. Soldado does indeed step up before stroking his effort into the back of the net. That is his 14th league goal of the season. Replays have suggested, however, that the penalty should never have been awarded. Big blow for Betis.

19 minFirst sign of Benat as the Betis midfielder whips a free kick into the box, but Costa makes the block. Some calls for a penalty down the other end, but the referee is not interested. No movement on the away side's bench at the moment, but you suspect it could be imminent with one of their key defenders sent from the field.

21 minIn fairness to Betis they have responded since losing a goal and a man. Pabon is the striker carrying the fight as he strikes from distance, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Meanwhile, the expected change is indeed made as Campbell is replaced by Paulao.

23 minAgain Pabon is involved for the away side as he combines with Costa before driving into the box, but Rami is across to make the challenge. Even if Betis went 2-0 behind, you would not count them out, we have seen it all too often this season. Just when you think they are out of the match they turn it around. Can they do the same in the Mestalla?

25 minHalf-chance for the home side this time as Pereira advances forward from defence before collecting a pass from Soldado, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. Not too many clear chances for either side in the opening 25 minutes of this match. Meanwhile, in truth, the atmosphere is really subdued.

27 minDecent spell of pressure from the away side as Benat twice delivers dangerous crosses into the Valencia box, but Castro heads the first over before Alves comes to claim the second. Valencia create a half-chance down the other end as Jonas strikes from distance, but his effort was always moving over the crossbar.

29 minValencia continue to craft and probe outside the Betis penalty area, but they just cannot find that elusive final pass. Parejo attempts to slide one towards Soldado, but Adrian is quick off his line to clear. Betis are just struggling to deal with the wide play from Valencia, as the crosses continue to come towards Soldado.

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32 minNot too much for the Betis supporters to get excited about at the moment with their side penned into their own half. Pabon remains a threat with his pace, but his teammates have been too slow to join the lone striker thus far. Valencia continue to probe outside the box, but they have found it difficult to open up this stern Betis defence. Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining.

34 minHalf-chance for the home side as Costa strikes from distance, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. That has been the story of the match thus far. Valencia may be leading, but they have been restricted to long shots in the opening 34 minutes of this match. Betis, however, have not offered any indication that they are capable of finding the back of the net.

36 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Guardado fires a low cross into the penalty area, Jonas makes the move across the defender, but Nacho is back to clear the danger. Betis do manage to launch a counter attack with Pabon, but he is immediately surrounded by three defenders. Difficult task for the lone striker this evening.

38 minValencia continue to utterly dominate possession as they switch the play from side to side, but unfortunately it is not making for an entertaining match with Betis unable to keep hold of the ball each time the home side's attack breaks down. Slightly harsh on the referee, but he has ruined this match as a spectacle. A Betis goal would really spice things up.

41 minLittle under five minutes of the first period remaining, with Valencia continuing to enjoy possession of the ball. However, their flow of passing has just been interrupted in the last few moments with a host of fouls from both sides. You'd like to see Castro playing closer to Pabon, but they need the ball first.

43 minAnother long-range strike comes from Jonas, but his effort is straight into the arms of the goalkeeper. Meanwhile, it is the Betis supporters that can be heard in the latter stages of the first period. Guardado is next to try his luck from distance, but he flashes wide. That has been the story of the first period thus far.

45 minHalf-chance for Betis as Pabon finds Castro in the penalty area, but his low strike is blocked by Rami, who has been impressive on his return to the team. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute at the end of the half.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Valencia 1-0 Real Betis

9.47pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Valencia leading 1-0 courtesy of a penalty from Soldado. The same incident also saw Amaya dismissed, but replays have suggested that Soldado fell under contact from his own foot, rather than from the Spanish defender. Controversy at the Mestalla.

9.51pmSTATISTICS: The home side have utterly dominated the possession with 73%, while they have had seven attempts to Betis' four. Valencia have worked the goalkeeper just once, but Betis are yet to test Alves. Those statistics are in indication of the amount of chances created by both sides.

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9.55pmBENCH WATCH: Valencia have a host of attacking options on the bench in the shape of Nelson Valdez, Jonathan Viera and Sergio Canales. Meanwhile, Betis, who have already been forced into one change, could call upon the likes of Alvaro Vadillo and Nono. There are certainly goals in that list of players.

9.59pmAs it stands Valencia would move into fifth position in the table, two points above Real Betis, who would drop to seventh. Malaga would also be bumped down into sixth. Terrible weekend for them ahead of their clash with Espanyol tomorrow. Right, the second period will soon get underway.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the second period. No changes for either side at the interval which is not too surprising at this stage of events. Valencia have dominated possession, but they have not created too many clear chances thus far. The home side get the action underway.

48 minExplosive start to the second period from the away side as Pabon finds Benat outside the box, the Spaniard takes one touch before flashing his effort just over the crossbar. Let's hope that we see more attacking intent from the away side in this half. Valencia do look slightly shaky at the back, there is something in this for Betis.

50 minCHANCE! Glorious chance for the home side as Castro advances through on the Valencia goal, but his effort is pushed wide by Alves. Calls for a penalty as the Spaniard was pulled back as he went to shoot, but the referee is not interested. Yet more controversy involving the official.

52 minCHANCE! End-to-end football at the moment as Soldado finds Feghouli in the penalty area, but the midfielder just cannot make proper contact, with Adrian on hand to make the save. Explosive stuff in the early stages of the second period, but the score remains 1-0 to Valencia.

54 minValencia force the issue once more as Parejo collects possession in the box before finding Costa, but his effort flashes wide of the post. Meanwhile, the home side make their first change of the match as Soldado is replaced by Nelson Valdez. Must be an injury for the skipper.

56 minNot too much from Betis in the last five minutes or so with Valencia once more taking control of the possession. It would not be a great surprise to see this match end 1-0. Neither is really threatening to add to the scoring. Just about 35 minutes of football remaining in the Mestalla.

58 minBenat's quality from set pieces continues to cause problems to the home side, but Rami once more wins the aerial battle with Costa. Guardado has also seemingly been given licence to attack from left back in the second period, with the Mexican once more driving down the wing before delivering a cross, but Adrian is out to collect the danger.

60 minCastro is once more not too happy with the referee as he attempts to meet a cross from Molina, only for the official to blow his whistle for a foul. I suspect that Cesar Muniz will not be on Castro's Christmas card list this year. Little over 30 minutes of football to play in Valencia, with that Soldado penalty still the difference.

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63 minA poor pass from Mathieu almost costs his side as the Valencia defender presents the ball straight to Pabon outside the box, but the striker's resulting pass towards Castro is just short. What a chance to create an opening. Betis just have to keep believing that something will fall for them in the latter stages.

65 minHalf-chance for the home side as Valdez combines with Jonas before striking towards the bottom corner, but Adrian gets down low to make the block. Betis attempt to counter down the other end with Pabon, but once more the striker is left isolated in the final third of the pitch. Little over 25 minutes of football remaining at the Mestalla.

67 minSlightly scrappy period of the match in the last few minutes with both sides guilty of a host of fouls. The referee is perhaps more involved than he would like to be at this stage of the match. Half-chance for the away side as Canas strikes an effort from distance, but it was always curling away from the post.

69 minMeanwhile, the home side make their second change of the match as Sergio Canales replaces Banega for the final 20 minutes or so. The home supporters have found their voices in the last five minutes or so, but their team continue to play at the same tempo. It really has been a poor 69 minutes of football between these two sides.

72 minBetis make their second change of the match as Nacho is replaced by Alex Martinez. Attacking chance from Pepe Mel. But it is a surprise that Alvaro Vadillo has not been introduced as they continue to chase a goal. A reminder that as it stands, Valencia would move into fifth position in the table, while Betis would drop to seventh. But there is still plenty of football to be played this evening.

74 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Feghouli drives into the penalty area before striking towards the bottom corner, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Pabon manages to win a corner down the other end, but Benat's delivery fails to beat the first man. Still no sign of either side adding to the scoring.

76 minFeghouli is once more involved as he meets a bouncing ball outside the box, but his effort is high and wide of the target. Alves is penalised for carrying the ball off the pitch down the other end, allowing Betis to whip a corner into the box, but once more Rami wins the aerial battle. Little under 15 minutes of football remaining in Valencia.

79 minAnother half-chance for Valencia as Jonas collects possession on the left before whipping a low cross towards Canales, but once more Mario is out to make the clearance. The home side have been in control of the possession in the second period, but you still get the feeling that there is something in this for Betis.

81 minBetis make their third change of the match as Nosa replaces Benat for the final 10 minutes or so. Pepe Mel continues to make his presence known on the side of the pitch, but his side just cannot gain any sort of possession. They have to keep believing that something will arrive in the latter stages. At 1-0, there is always a chance.

83 minDesperate defending from Betis as Angel Lopez throws his body in front of a strike from Valdez before Guardado is denied by a fine challenge from Paulao. They could have been curtains in terms of this match. Canales is next to try his luck from distance, but Adrian was always comfortable in claiming the danger.


85 minValencia make their third and final change of the match as Cissokho is introduced in place of Guardado, who has arguably been his side's best player this evening. Little over five minutes remaining for Valencia to hold onto their lead. No signs of late Betis pressure as we enter the final stages.

85 minGOAL! Valencia 2-0 Real Betis (Paulao OG)

86 minValencia have their second of the match as Canales whips a dangerous cross into the box, with Paulao only able to turn into his own net. It is cruel on Betis, but they have just not offered enough in the second period.

88 minCissokho's first real involvement is a positive one as he combines with Jonas before whipping a low cross into the box, but this time Adrian is on hand to collect. Little over two minutes for 10-man Betis to score twice. Any takers?! Not too many I expect.

90 min+1The possession statistics tell the story this evening with Valencia enjoying 68% of the ball up until this point. Comfortable for the home side in the latter stages as they continue to keep hold of the ball. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional two minutes added time and we are indeed into the first of those.

90 min+2GOAL! Valencia 3-0 Real Betis (Jonas)

90 min+3Jonas adds gloss to the score in the final moments as he darts into the penalty area before curling his effort into the back of the net. Valencia are heading for fifth position in the table.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Valencia 3-0 Real Betis

10.50pmSo there we have it. Valencia pick up all three points to move two points behind fourth-placed Real Sociedad. Meanwhile, Betis drop into seventh position. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us for more La Liga football tomorrow. Until then!

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid11003033
2Barcelona11002023
3Real Sociedad11003213
4Leganes11001013
5Valencia11001013
6Atletico MadridAtletico10102201
7GironaGirona10102201
8Espanyol10101101
9Sevilla10101101
10Athletic Bilbao10100001
11Getafe10100001
12EibarEibar00000000
13Levante00000000
14Malaga00000000
15Villarreal00000000
16Celta Vigo100123-10
17AlavesAlaves100101-10
18Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10
19Real Betis100102-20
20Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo100103-30
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