Evening all! Our final La Liga live commentary of the evening comes from Seville as Real Betis
welcome Celta Vigo
. As mentioned, Betis impressed last weekend against Real Madrid, but a late header from Isco secured all three points for the home side. Celta, meanwhile, were forced to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw with Espanyol on their own patch.
Recent statistics seem to suggest that we will be in for a tight match this evening. Betis were 1-0 winners in the corresponding match last season, which was the same score when they travelled to Vigo in December 2012. There have also been two draws in the last five matches, while just nine goals have been scored between the two sides in the last five meetings.
Betis were battling for fourth for large parts of the campaign, but were eventually made to settle for seventh. They have lost a number of their first-team squad this summer, but Pepe Mel has been able to add in the correct areas, which should give them a strong chance of launching another Champions League assault.
BETIS: Sara; Perquis, Nacho, Chica, Paulao; Verdu, Matilla, Igiebor, Mabwati; Carlos, Molina
CELTA: Yoel; Cabral, Mallo, Fontas, Oubina; Krohn-Dehli, Fernandez, Toni, Lopez; Nolito, Charles
Here we go then. No real surprises in the Betis team this evening with the impressive Mabwati continuing in an attacking area. Meanwhile there are also starts for Joan Verdu and Javier Matilla. Celta, meanwhile, continue with summer signing Charles and Nolito in the final third. Right, the away side get the action underway on this warm evening in Seville.
Bright start from the away side with Fernandez and Toni enjoying early possession of the ball in and around the Betis penalty area. I would be astounded if we did not see some goals this evening with the way that both of these sides have set up. Good tempo to the opening couple of minutes in Seville.
Half-chance for Molina as the Betis forward appears to break the offside trap before advancing into the box, but the flag is raised at the final moment. The home side again threaten in a wide position moments later, but Mabwati's cross is headed behind at the back post by Spanish defender Fontas.
Celta just cannot get out of their own half at the moment with a poor challenge from Alex Lopez presenting a free kick to the home side in a wide position. Verdu stands over the set piece, but his effort is pushed behind by Yoel in the Celta goal. The resulting corner also causes problems in the box, but following a period of pinball the danger is cleared for another corner.
Another half-chance arrives from a set piece as Verdu delivers a dangerous cross into the box, but Matilla can only turn wide from close range. In among the bodies, Perquis appeared to have a decent penalty shout after falling to the ground in a challenge with Fontas, but the referee was not interested. Still goalless, but it has been a lively opening eight minutes in Seville.
Good spell for the away side in the last couple of moments with Alex Lopez forcing a couple of corners in quick succession. The first presents Toni with an opportunity inside the box, but his effort is deflected wide of the post. Cabral attempts the spectacular from distance moments later, but it was always moving high and wide of the post.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last few moments, but Betis are enjoying possession of the ball. There is certainly a new dimension to their midfield this season following the summer arrival of Verdu from Espanyol. Despite their dominance with the ball, they have not really worried Celta in the opening 12 minutes at the Estadio Benito Villarmarin.
CHANCE! Clearest opportunity of the match by some distance as Paulao rises to meet a Verdu corner, but his powerful header is pushed wide of the post by Yoel. That is some save from the Spanish goalkeeper. Betis should be ahead, but Celta remain firm with 15 minutes on the clock.
Just a reminder that Betis began their season with a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid last weekend, while Celta had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw with Espanyol. Decent spell for the away side in the last couple of moments with Charles and Nolito both having attempts from inside the box, but neither was able to really test Sara in the Betis goal.
CHANCE! Another wonderful chance for the home side as Mabwati beats the offside trap before advancing into the Celta box, but once more Yoel is on hand to make a fine save. What on earth are the away side's defenders doing there? They have their goalkeeper to thank after switching off from a Verdu free kick.
Celta cannot get out of their own penalty area let alone half at the moment as the home side continue to force the issue with a series of dangerous balls into the box. Another half-chance comes to Mabwati from a Verdu corner, but the number 22 can only fire his header wide of the post when he should have scored. Betis could and should be out of sight here.
Good response from Celta in the last couple of moments with Alex Lopez starting to see more of the ball in the final third, but we have seen little from the likes of Charles and Nolito thus far. A half-chance arrives for the home side as Fernandez meets a corner from Toni, but he can only plant his header high and wide of the crossbar.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but Betis are still in control of the possession. You just get the feeling that Celta need to score first if they are to take something from the match. The stadium would just explode if the home side were to open the scoring there is no question about that.
CROSSBAR! Oh my good grief how are Betis not winning this match?! Another golden chance as Molina smashes an effort towards the goal from close range, but it smashes off the crossbar before falling to a Celta shirt. It could easily be three or four with 28 minutes on the clock.
CHANCE! Another wonderful opportunity for the home side as Nosa meets a corner from Verdu, but somehow Yoel manages to keep it out. Good grief what on earth is happening? Betis could be out of sight, but somehow Celta are still in the game. It cannot continue, however, because eventually Betis will score. I am certain of it.
Slight stoppage in play as Perquis receives treatment for an injury. The right-back cannot continue following an examination with Amaya the player to enter proceedings. A half-chance comes to Celta moments later as Toni stands over a free kick outside the box, but his effort is straight into the arms of Sara. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining in Seville.
CHANCE! Another incredible chance for the home side as a poor piece of defending presents Molina with the ball just inside the box, but the striker fires his effort straight at the goalkeeper. Nolito threatens with a low strike down the other end, but Sara is on hand to make the save.
I have seen a lot of Spanish football over the last few years, but I have never seen a half quite like this. Betis have utterly dominated proceedings and in truth, could be about 5-0 ahead, but somehow Celta have managed to hang in the game. Wouldn't it be just like football if the away side went down the other end and scored? Little over five minutes of the first period remaining in Seville.
Slight sign of frustration for the home side in the last couple of moments as Mabwati enters the book for a late challenge on Oubina just inside the Celta half. The resulting free kick allows Lopez to deliver a searching ball into the box, but Sara manages to clear under pressure from Charles. Better from Celta in the last few moments, but the score remains goalless in the latter stages of the half.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but Betis remain in control of the possession. Celta might have kept a clean sheet up until this point, but Luis Enrique
will surely be worried with what he has seen. Yoel is forced into action moments later to deny Igiebor, but it is a save he would have been expected to make.
End-to-end football in the last couple of moments with Alex Lopez leading a three-on-two counter attack for the away side, only for the move to break down at the final moment. The home side have possession down the other end with Igiebor moments later, but he cannot find the run of Molina inside the box. Celta will be glad to hear the half-time whistle that is for certain.
HALF-TIME: Betis 0-0 Celta
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 1-1. Betis have utterly dominated the first period, but have simply been unable to find the back of the net. Surely if the pressure continues in the second half then they will eventually make the breakthrough. Be sure to remain with us to find out.
STATISTICS: Betis have dominated the possession with 61%, while they have had eight attempts to Celta's four. Despite the home side's obvious superiority, Celta have had their moments, suggesting that they can cause a problem in the second period. The only thing that the first half did not produce is a goal.
The home side have already been forced into a change with Amaya replacing the injured Perquis. However, Pepe Mel still has options on the bench in the shape of Lorenzo Reyes and Ruben Castro
. Celta, meanwhile, have the liks of Levy Mandinda, Rafinha and David Rodriguez in reserve.
Here we go then. Both sets of players enter the pitch for the second period. In case you have just joined us, there has already been three results from La Liga this evening. Atletico Madrid were 5-0 winners over Rayo Vallecano, before Levante picked up a 0-0 draw at Sevilla. Barcelona were also in action with Adriano handing them all three points away to Malaga. Right, the home side get the second period underway.
Will we see more dominance from Betis in the second period or can Celta take advantage of some poor finishing from the home side? You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be vital in this type of match. Bright start to the half from the home side, who have taken control of the possession.
Good pressure from Celta in the last couple of moments with Charles starting to see more of the ball in the opposing half. The Brazilian has a half-chance as he collects a pass from Toni before turning and attempting to find the bottom corner, but his effort was always moving wide of the post under pressure from Nacho.
Slight nervousness in the crowd in the last couple of moments with Celta starting to see more of the ball in the opposing half. Alex Lopez is again a threat in a wide position as he cuts inside before firing a low cross into the box, but it is deflected behind for a corner, which is also cleared. The pressure is rising.
Almost a break for Betis as Mabwati collects a loose ball inside the centre circle before breaking into the opposing half, but he is dragged back by two defenders. I think that is what is known as a good foul there is no question about that. Much more of an even contest with 55 minutes on the clock in Seville.
Couple of half-chances for Betis in quick succession as Verdu's free kick causes all sorts of bother in the penalty box, but following a period of pinball the danger is cleared. Juan Carlos has an opportunity moments later, but his effort is blocked by Fontas, who has been the pick of the Celta defenders. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining this evening.
We are getting to the stage in the match where both managers could consider looking to their bench. Betis should be out of sight based on their performance in the first period, but Celta held strong and now they are threatening to take the lead. I am convinced that we will see a goal in the final 30 minutes.
POST! Wonderful chance for the away side as Toni thumps an effort from outside the box, but it smashes against the post before Sara is able to collect. A number of players are undergoing warm-ups on the sidelines, which suggests that we will soon see a change. Celta have another half-chance inside the box as Krohn-Dehli strikes one from close range, but he fires it wide of the target.
The change is indeed made as Chuli enters the field in place of Molina for the home side. Celta have just started to retreat in the last couple of moments, which is allowing Betis time and space in midfield. Chuli is involved moments later when he collects possession inside the box, but he loses his footing at the vital moment, allowing Fontas the chance to clear.
Celta make their first change of the match Krohn-Dehli, who had that glorious chance, is replaced by Rafinha, who is the brother of now Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago. Can the on-loan Barcelona attacker make himself a hero in the final 25 minutes? It is so delicately poised between these two La Liga rivals.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges from both sides. The latest free kick allows Verdu the chance to put a dangerous cross into the box, but Mabwati can only head wide of the post when he should have done better.
GOAL! Betis 0-1 Celta (Charles)
Celta take the lead with little over 20 minutes remaining as Charles collects possession inside the box before turning and finding the bottom corner. What a moment for the Brazilian, who scored goals for fun in the Segunda Division last season.
Pepe Mel's expression says it all as he shakes his head in amazement. How on earth are the home side losing this match? They look to their bench for the third and final time as Ruben Castro enters the field to replace Juan Carlos, who has faded badly in the second period. Little under 20 minutes of football remaining.
Good response from the home side with Castro involved almost immediately as he collects possession inside the box before finding Mabwati, but the attacker cannot convert from close range. Matilla is involved moments later, but Fontas is across to make a fine challenge at the vital moment.
Betis force their 11th corner of the match as Igiebor plays it off Fontas down the left. The set piece is whipped into the box by Verdu, but once more a black shirt is on hand to clear the danger. Celta were poor defensively in the first period, but they have been very impressive in the second there is no question about that.
GOAL! Betis 0-2 Celta (Nolito)
Celta have their second with 15 minutes remaining as Nolito cuts inside Nacho before thumping a fine effort into the bottom corner. Sara should have done better, however, with the goalkeeper allowing it to slip through his fingers.
In fairness to Celta, they have been wonderful in the second period. It would have been easy to crumble after their display in the opening 45 minutes, but they have shown some serious character here. Betis, however, just do not know what has hit them. Neither do I.
Celta go in search of their third as Rodri collects possession outside the box before attempting to find the bottom corner, but his effort just moves wide of the post. Meanwhile, the away side look to their bench once more as Costas enters proceedings in place of Fernandez, who has been very impressive in the second period.
Mabwati thinks he is in for the home side as the attacker collects a pass from Castro before driving into the box, but the offside flag is raised, much to the frustration of the home supporters. Celta have just started to drop deeper in the last few moments, but their 2-0 lead remains in tact.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last few moments, with Celta comfortable in repelling the danger. Betis continue to force the issue with a series of deep crosses into the box, but it just will not fall for a green and white shirt. In fairness to the home supporters, they have remained with their side all evening.
The away side make their third and final change of the evening as Levy Mandinda enters the field in place of Alex Lopez, who has been very impressive in the second period. Bar a late show, Celta will move onto four points for the season, while Betis will be yet to register. This result is nothing short of a disaster for them there is no question about that.
RED CARD! Celta are reduced to 10 men as Oubina is adjudged to have handled just outside the box. It is harsh, but the rulebook says that he had to go. Having had the chance to look at the replay a couple of times, the Spaniard is very unlucky to be given his marching orders. The resulting free kick is taken by Verdu, but his effort is straight into the wall.
The Betis supporters are just starting to make their way towards the exits as we enter stoppage time in Seville. Celta have been impressive in the second period, but Betis should have been out of sight before the interval there is no question about that.
GOAL! Betis 1-2 Celta (Castro)
Betis cut the deficit to 2-1 in the final minute as Castro pounces on a loose ball inside the box before converting from close range. Surely they cannot force an equaliser? Little over two minutes of stoppage time remaining.
CROSSBAR! Oh my word what a chance to level in the final minute. Verdu's cross moves over the head of everyone in the box, but Chuli is on hand to strike towards goal at the far post, only to see his effort smash against the crossbar. What a moment.
FULL-TIME: Betis 1-2 Celta
So there we have it. The referee brings the match to an end with Celta picking up all three points against Betis. It is a vital victory for the away side, but Pepe Mel will be wondering how his side managed to lose after such a dominant first-half performance. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Good evening!