Monday March 5, 2012 Day 26 Finished Ciudad de Valencia

Levante UD 3 - 1 Real Betis

  • Barkero 34’
  • Xavi Torres 42’
  • Koné 51’
  • Jorge Molina 44’

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  1. Stylish Levante back to fourth

    Stylish Levante back to fourth

    Levante returned to fourth in La Liga with a 3-1 home win over Real Betis, putting them back in the European places. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Levante UD
    • Real Betis
    • - Thanks for joining me tonight for this relatively humble clash in the grand scheme of things - an entertaining game though, some very good football on show! Levante good for fourth place, or a flash-in-the-pan that big-spending Malaga will douse soon enough? Get in touch if you like on Twitter @Reda_Eurosport. FOLLOW ON TWITTER!
    • 90+5 And there you have it - a good win for Levante, who move fourth! Bravo! Betis, meanwhile, stay 12th, well clear of relegation but a good two wins shy of a Euro place.
    • 90+4 Benat with a through-ball to Santa Cruz, lovely turn from him on the edge of the box and he's in but in a panic of sorts he smashes a dreadful finish about five yards over! That shot was so rotten it practically had a half-life!
    • 90+3 Pereira slips a pass in for Molina, centre-right, a shimmy past the defender and a rising drive but with the angle right it's a routine parry for Munua!
    • 90+3 Lots of space for Barkero now on the left but a horrorshow of a cross sails about 20 feet over Suarez, who was neatly placed at the far post, and out for a goal kick, almost a throw.
    • 90+2 Some hesitant Levante defending lets Pereira in but a combination of an unlucky bobble and hesitant footwork mean he takes an age to dig out a shot, allowing the home defence to close him down and clear.
    • 90+1 Suarez in a lot of space on the Levante right but his cross is too close to Fabricio, who plucks it out of the air with ease.
    • 90' Four minutes added time.
    • 89' Molina and Santa Cruz - who is looking very heavy-legged - almost combine but the latter's touch lets him down and it spins away for a goal kick.
    • 88' A Betis attack of mild promise breaks down with a poor ball that Munua lets sail out for a goal kick.
    • 87' Juanfran tries a crossfield pass, but it's a bit Hollywood with Lopez nowhere near keeping that in.
    • 86' Pallardo on for Valdo as Levante make their final chance.
    • 84' Poor free-kick half-cleared but Nacho has it wide left: his cross is headed clear, then he commits a foul trying to retrieve the ball.
    • 83' Valdo commits another foul and needs to watch it, as he has been booked.
    • 82' Nice cross Nacho but Ballesteros again intercepts with his chest and Levante clear.
    • 81' Barkero and Valdo almost combine in style to tear Betis apart but the latter's final ball is intercepted by Canas and Betis clear.
    • 80' Munua punches Benat's delivery away but Betis have it once more...
    • 79' That corner will be taken belatedly as a Levante player - Iborra took a shot in the face earlier in that move. He's okay.
    • 78' Super cross by Castro and a header from Pereira but tipped over by Munua!
    • 77' LEVANTE SUB: Ghezzal, who appears to have either picked up a knock or tired somewhat, comes off to great plaudits. Suarez in place.
    • 75' Levante have tired of soaking up this pressure and decide to take a stroll forward. Decent move it is too, until Ghezzal strays offside.
    • 73' LEVANTE SUB: Javi Venta comes on, a defender, for Arouna Kone, the striker, who is afforded a standing ovation from his fans. Clap clap!
    • 72' Pereira is brought to a halt by Valdo, who is booked for his cynical shove.
    • 71' Unsurprisingly Juanfran gets up once he realises it was Munua that caught him and not a rival. He even takes a throw. Such speed in recovery! Hero!
    • 70' Juanfran goes down, holding his face, rolling in pain and then deciding it is his ankle that is hurt. It may be but that was in collision with his own keeper.
    • 69' The free-kick results in nought, but Betis get hold of the ball back in their half and build once more.
    • 68' Iborra has that pleading "what, me?!" look on his face after a handball on Canas's pass.
    • 67' Pereira shows some tricky wideplay to beat two men and fire in a low shot from the left but the angle is tight and the finish side netting.
    • 66' I thought Canas had come on; he hadn't. He does now though - and Salva Sevilla makes way, which is more sensible than the previously-touted Nelson, which would have left Betis with only two proper defenders.
    • 65' Nice swift booking for Pereira for a foul on Juanfran.
    • 64' Spain being Spain Ghezzal probably gets points for artistic merit; it was delightfully flamboyant. Betis swarm forward like sickly, green-and-white bumblebees as Castro pops up wide right. Poor cross, Ballesteros again heading away.
    • 63' Benat to Pereira but his cross is poor, gobbled up by Ballesteros. And here come Levante on the break as Ghezzal slips it in for Kone, Ghezzal dives and Iriney gives him a right rollicking! Surely worth a booking?
    • 62' Canas is set to come on for Betis as they try to salvage something from this match. Nelson trots off.
    • 61' Ghezzal is offside this time following Kone's ball.
    • 60' Here comes Ghezzal once more but this time his silky skills don't pay off and the visitors hoof to touch. BETIS SUB: This is a shame, as Montero is taken off for Pereira. Not sure about that, he was their main threat though was a touch quiet this half.
    • 59' In all that kerfuffle I neglected to mention the entrance of one Roque Santa Cruz. He came on for defender Paulao just after the third goal to Levante. The handsome pijo devil gets a touch but it's not a good one and Munua gathers.
    • 58' It was Benat who was booked; I repeat, it was Benat. Backchat I think as I didn't catch a foul or handball.
    • 57' Someone has been booked, I will assume for complaining or belatedly for a historic foul. I only saw the card, not to whom it was directed.
    • 56' Levante are enjoying themselves now as Ghezzal tries an impudent lob that catches keeper Fabricio scrambling back but ultimately lands just over!
    • 55' The softly-softly approach may not be Levante's forte but it almost yields a fourth! Ghezzal stays onside - looked off to me - and he elects to finish past Fabricio, who makes a good save, the loose ball trickling just beyond Kone and behind for a corner!
    • 54' Betis try to foray forward but here some Levante on the break - lots of space and men over but a poor ball from Valdo lands behind his team-mate; Levante retain the ball though and go for a less comfortable possession approach.
    • 53' Betis feel Kone was offside as Ghezzal cut inside to play him through - I think he checked his run in time though, Ghezzal cleverly delaying his pass.
    • 52' GOAL LEVANTE! Castro and Nacho almost combine but another duo, Cabral and Ballesteros, bring it clear; Ghezzal races clear on the break and Betis are in all kinds of trouble - big trouble! It's 3-1, Kone lashing home a vicious finish from just inside the box! Great play Ghezzal down the left!
    • 51' Benat puts the free-kick in the mixer but Levante clear; Valdo races away and almost releases Kone with a curved through-ball but it is intercepted by Nelson, who coolly controls and brings it away.
    • 50' Kone fouls Castro and Betis come again, Molina finds Montero wide left and he is chopped down by Cabral, another free-kick to the visitors!
    • 49' Salva takes it short to Benat, a fine cross from him but Paulao's header spins up and away! Should have buried that.
    • 48' Castro almost gets clean through but Cabral reads his run and slides in to concede a corner.
    • 47' Cattermole-esque rapid hack aside, a promising start to the half for a Betis side on the front foot as they seek to exploit the momentum following that late goal. Levante yet to make any progress.
    • 46' The second half gets underway with a foul from Salva Sevilla on Iborra; a booking for the Betis man.
    • 45+1 Half-time and the hosts lead 2-1; very entertaining too!
    • 45' The clowns of that piece were Cabral and Ballesteros; repeat viewing does not get any less amusing. 2-1 then as we approach injury time...
    • 44' GOAL BETIS! And as I say that Jorge Molina pokes a low finish through the advancing Munua after a mix-up in the Levante defence! Two defenders kicked air as a straightforward low pass was sent towards the box. Comic defending.
    • 43' Benat's corner is headed away at the near post but Betis retain possession and come again. They must be wondering how they are two down...
    • 42' Betis are shell shocked but they forge forward anyway, winning a corner on the right.
    • 41' GOAL LEVANTE! They just love to counter-attack! Juanfran flies down the left, he hits the touchline and whips in a delight of a cross that Xavi Torres flicks his head at, sending an angled finish across the keeper and into the bottom right. Lovely goal!
    • 40' Again a Betis move breaks down, and here come the hosts on the break...
    • 38' That passing move yielded nothing in the end. Betis are doing well from wide but weak centrally. Santa Cruz?
    • 37' Two excellent free-kicks there but only one found the target. Betis have it at the back and they rebuild an attack from their own half.
    • 36' Similar position to the one that Levante scored from, but on the other side. Benat and Salva are over this, my money's on the former... BENAT PUTS IT JUST OVER! Great effort, but it dipped just too late.
    • 35' Ballesteros hacks down Montero on the edge of the box after his mazy run left three Levante players for dead. Yellow card.
    • 34' GOAL LEVANTE! Barkero then with the free-kick, right of the box... and he unleashes a curling free-kick that just flies around the wall and swerves wickedly inside the near post for 1-0! What a goal! Not sure about the keeper's positioning but Levante don't mind - that means they now lie fourth!
    • 33' A free-kick to Levante now as Barkero lines it up right-centre. Taking their time to take this...
    • 32' Benat will take this, having been unimpressed by Sevilla's delivery; his is pretty predictable as Ballesteros nods clear.
    • 31' Montero is down... No injury, just a boot malfunction. He has won a corner, meanwhile.
    • 29' Salva Sevilla will take the corner, short to Benat and a neat one-two plays Sevilla in but his touch is somewhat Anglo-Saxon in its weight and the ball spins behind for a goal kick.
    • 28' Now Castro is in acres of space right-centre but Nacho and then Nelson get across to snuff that out. Betis do have a corner, mind...
    • 27' Betis do have a counter attack on but Montero is closed down by several blue shirts this time.
    • 26' That end-to-end spell has lost momentum somewhat with a scrappy passage following; the fast following the surfeit, to misquote the Bard.
    • 24' Levante on a trademark counter attack but this time Valdo delays his cross, meaning Kone is offside, the Ivorian checking his run and allowing Fabrico an easy claim.
    • 23' Levante's turn to have a spell in the oppo's final third but the move breaks dow with a weak cross from Valdo.
    • 22' Castro has a dig from range but straight at Munua. Montero created that half-chance again, the danger man for sure.
    • 21' After a cagey start, Betis are beginning to ask the questions of their hosts, who seem to struggle at home - possibly because they are a natural counter-attacking side.
    • 20' Free-kick to Betis on the right and that's one heck of a delivery from Benat this time! Somehow it's scrambled clear though, with players from both sides initially failing to make meaningful contact as it fizzed across the six-yard box.
    • 19' Good spell of possession for the visitors now but Castro again loses control of it and Nelson is able to clear.
    • 18' Ghezzal on the move down the other end but he gives it away and Montero now brings it away down the Betis left. He slows it down, now Nacho and Iriney with some short passing...
    • 17' Betis with another counter but Castro can't quite get on to Benat's ball and it's Munua's all day.
    • 15' Levante heed that warning and re-lay camp in the Betis half. These lads are decent defensively - Betis have conceded 32 so far this season, putting them in the top six at the back.
    • 14' Salva Sevilla takes this one, initially wanting it short to Montero but Lopez closing that out. The cross is a poor one in the end and Levante clear.
    • 13' Benat wants to take this, his first real chance to deliver... good ball near post too but a lunging Ghezzal gets his head on it. Corner.
    • 12' The first yellow card goes to Pedro Lopez for a foul on Montero, who has been Betis's bright spark so far. Free-kick on the left wing...
    • 11' Montero on the run for Betis on the break but, after playing it inside for Castro, the Spanish forward's control lets him down and Levante clear.
    • 10' Levante come again, getting into the swing of things now as Juanfran delivers from wide, Paulao able to clear.
    • 9' Poor effort in the end from Ghezzal, hammering it several hectares over the bar. Wasteful, was perfect for a low drilled shot or an up-and-under.
    • 8' A clumsy shove on Ghezzal by Iriney, on the edge of the Betis box, and Levante have a free-kick in a dangerous position.
    • 7' Montero with a mazy run down the left that poses some problems for the hosts but his low ball rebounds into the arms of a grateful Munua.
    • 6' Torres with a dangerous cross aimed for the late-arriving Ghezzal but it skims off his head and is way off target, Fabricio letting it run for a goal kick.
    • 5' Valdo gives chase down the right but Dorado gets across again to knock to touch.
    • 4' Almost a chance for Kone but Fabricio intervenes after the ball ricocheted off Dorado. Ghezzal with the initial cross from wide left.
    • 3' Well it was a bit much to call that an attack - Betis are seeing a bit more of the ball early on, keeping possession well across the width of the pitch.
    • 2' Early attack for Betis but good defending by Ballesteros, who nods it back to Munua as Castro loitered with intent.
    • 1' A minute or so behind schedule, the first half gets underway!
    • 19:57 Odds for the match: Levante 6/4, Real Betis 9/5, Draw 9/4.
    • 19:56 If you fancy Tweeting me during this match, please do so on @Reda_Eurosport; if not, I really won't mind. FOLLOW ON TWITTER!
    • 19:55 What does this match mean? Well Levante, despite their poor home run, are sixth and victory would put them back in the fourth and final Champions League slot. Betis, meanwhile, are only five points behind Levante but are 12th in La Liga thanks to the bunching effect dictated by the Real-Barca duopoly; a win would move them up a place or two, dependent on goal difference (head-to-head only comes into play at the end of the season). La Liga standings
    • 19:55 FACTS: Real Betis have scored on all five visits to Levante in Primera; Failure to win this game would put Levante on their longest winless run ever at home in a single top-flight season (six games); Betis are one of only two teams, with Granada, yet to draw on the road in La Liga this season.
    • 19:50 Pepe Mel: "Levante are having a great season and, being honest, I feel a bit of healthy jealousy towards them for the peace of mind they enjoy for their position in the table. They are a team who know how to play well in different ways and its no accident that they've spent the whole season up there, in the Champions League spots, although it's also true that if we beat them we will put ourselves within two points."
    • 19:50 Juan Ignacio Martinez: "We cannot be distracted. They are a rival who have plenty of attacking power. Until you have achieved and accomplished an aim, obviously you cannot brag about it."
    • 19:45 Levante welcome back forward Arouna Kone after he overcame a muscle problem to train this week. Nabil El Zhar also returns, the former Liverpool attacker on the bench, but full-back Asier del Horno is still out; Betis welcome back Ustaritz while Salva Sevilla is also at their disposal after finishing a suspension; the former is on the bench, the latter starts. Roque Santa Cruz is on the Betis bench.
    • - Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of Levante's Liga clash with Real Betis, kicking off at 8pm UK time.
  • Summary

    • 90+4 Benat with a through-ball to Santa Cruz, lovely turn from him on the edge of the box and he's in but in a panic of sorts he smashes a dreadful finish about five yards over! That shot was so rotten it practically had a half-life!
    • 90+3 Pereira slips a pass in for Molina, centre-right, a shimmy past the defender and a rising drive but with the angle right it's a routine parry for Munua!
    • 78' Super cross by Castro and a header from Pereira but tipped over by Munua!
    • 56' Levante are enjoying themselves now as Ghezzal tries an impudent lob that catches keeper Fabricio scrambling back but ultimately lands just over!
    • 55' The softly-softly approach may not be Levante's forte but it almost yields a fourth! Ghezzal stays onside - looked off to me - and he elects to finish past Fabricio, who makes a good save, the loose ball trickling just beyond Kone and behind for a corner!
    • 52' GOAL LEVANTE! Castro and Nacho almost combine but another duo, Cabral and Ballesteros, bring it clear; Ghezzal races clear on the break and Betis are in all kinds of trouble - big trouble! It's 3-1, Kone lashing home a vicious finish from just inside the box! Great play Ghezzal down the left!
    • 49' Salva takes it short to Benat, a fine cross from him but Paulao's header spins up and away! Should have buried that.
    • 44' GOAL BETIS! And as I say that Jorge Molina pokes a low finish through the advancing Munua after a mix-up in the Levante defence! Two defenders kicked air as a straightforward low pass was sent towards the box. Comic defending.
    • 41' GOAL LEVANTE! They just love to counter-attack! Juanfran flies down the left, he hits the touchline and whips in a delight of a cross that Xavi Torres flicks his head at, sending an angled finish across the keeper and into the bottom right. Lovely goal!
    • 36' Similar position to the one that Levante scored from, but on the other side. Benat and Salva are over this, my money's on the former... BENAT PUTS IT JUST OVER! Great effort, but it dipped just too late.
    • 34' GOAL LEVANTE! Barkero then with the free-kick, right of the box... and he unleashes a curling free-kick that just flies around the wall and swerves wickedly inside the near post for 1-0! What a goal! Not sure about the keeper's positioning but Levante don't mind - that means they now lie fourth!
    • 20' Free-kick to Betis on the right and that's one heck of a delivery from Benat this time! Somehow it's scrambled clear though, with players from both sides initially failing to make meaningful contact as it fizzed across the six-yard box.
    • 19:45 Levante welcome back forward Arouna Kone after he overcame a muscle problem to train this week. Nabil El Zhar also returns, the former Liverpool attacker on the bench, but full-back Asier del Horno is still out; Betis welcome back Ustaritz while Salva Sevilla is also at their disposal after finishing a suspension; the former is on the bench, the latter starts. Roque Santa Cruz is on the Betis bench.

Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Levante UD

    Manager: Juan Ignacio Martínez

  • Real Betis

    Manager: Pepe Mel

  • Line-up

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