|First Division - Day 35|
Betis 1 - Sevilla 0
Betis: Doblas; Melli,
Juanito, Rivas, Luis Fernández; Arzu, Marcos Assunçao;
Joaquín, Fernando (Benjamín 80'), Denilson (Varela 62'); Oliveira
(Dani 87'). 4-2-3-1.
Team changes: Betis: Melli, Denilson for Varela, Pablo Niño / Sevilla: No change.
Third placed Sevilla were beaten 1-0 by city rivals Betis in a bad tempered match on Saturday evening, a result which takes Serra Ferrer's side back up into the UEFA cup spots. With so much at stake nerves were frayed, not helped by hostile declarations by club presidents Manuel Ruiz de Lopera and José María Del Nido in the build up to the match. Referee Pérez Lasa showed five yellow cards in the first twenty minutes, and the game was constantly interrupted by crunching tackles and theatrical dives by both sets of players.
Betis had not won this fixture since the 1994/5 season, but with only seven minutes on the clock they took the lead, Oliveira picking up the ball on the edge of the area and making himself space to beat Notario with an angled shot which bounced over the hands of the diving keeper. It was his 19th goal of the season in the league, setting a new club record for a foreign player in the first division.
Both sides had their chances after that, Martí putting a free kick wide and Denilson (making his first start since returning from injury) bringing a good save out of Notario which Oliveira should have done better with on the rebound. Baptista failed to beat Doblas at the other end with a dipping free kick which the keeper caught with ease, and Oliveira broke through five minutes after the restart only to shoot wide.
The chances continued, Darío Silva almost catching out Doblas when he stuck out a foot to poke a shot just over the bar, and Joaquín heading against the foot of the post at the other end following a corner. Both managers threw on extra forwards, Antoñito and Makukula for the visitors and Dani for the locals, but there were no more goals, and Betis came away with the three points they needed to keep their European challenge alive, closing the gap between the two rivals to just three points.