|First Division - Day 30|
Zaragoza 1 - Betis 1
Láinez; Cuartero, Komljenovic, Pablo, Vellisca; Aragón
(Corona 75'), Toro Acuña, José Ignacio, Garitano (Esquerdinha
75'); Bilic (Juanele 80'), Milosevic. 4-4-2.
Team changes: Zaragoza: Láinez, Cuartero, Aragón, José Ignacio, Garitano, Bilic for Juanmi, César, Paco, Chainho, Juanele, Jamelli / Betis: No change.
Betis extended their unbeaten run to eleven games after drawing 1-1 at Zaragoza. The home side needed a victory to take them clear of the drop zone, but Luis Costa had to make several changes, particularly to his defence where an injury to César and a one match ban for Paco meant that Vellisca dropped back to play as a makeshift left back, with the out of favour Esquerdinha returning to the bench despite being in conversations for a move to Benfica. The surprise in his line up though was the inclusion of Bilic, who had not scored a single goal since joining last summer as an emergency replacement for Drulic. As it happened it was a shrewd decision, the Croat giving his side the lead midway through the first half with a well struck shot from the left of the penalty area which sailed over Toni Prats and in to the net. Earlier Milosevic had created some problems for the visiting keeper, but after the goal they handed over the game to Betis, who came out inspired by a magnificent Benjamín looking for the equaliser.
The second half was played almost entirely in Zaragoza's half, with the Andalucians attacking down both wings through Joaquín and Denilson. Benjamín accidentally got in the way of one shot from the Brazilian, and Garitano cleared an effort from Dani off the goal line with Láinez beaten. It was only a matter of time, and Dani finally got on the end of Benjamín's cross after Denilson had sent him away down the left. It was the young striker's fourth goal in three games, and he is already his club's top scorer after only starting seven times in the league. Juande Ramos had brought on Ikpeba just before the goal for his first appearance since falling ill with chicken pox soon after signing in the summer, and referee Mejuto González robbed him of his glory when he disallowed a goal a few minutes later for a more than dubious offside. Zaragoza could have snatched an unmerited victory at the end when Betis defender Juanito turned the ball against his own crossbar, but Luis Costa's side had to make do with a point which left them down in the relegation zone for the first time this season. Betis drop a place to fourth, but the bad news is that Denilson picked up his fifth yellow card of the season and will miss next Saturday's local derby against Sevilla.