First Division - Day 12

Sevilla 1 - Betis 0

Sevilla: Palop; Daniel Alves, Javi Navarro, Aitor Ocio, David; Jesús Navas (Alfaro 87'), Martí, Maresca, Adriano (Renato 71'); Kanouté, Luis Fabiano (Dragutinovic 30'). 4-4-2.
Betis: Contreras; Varela (Marcos Assunçao 73'), Juanito, Rivas, Melli; Arzu (Fernando 51'), Rivera; Joaquín, Capi, Edu; Dani (Xisco 51'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Sevilla: Jesús Navas, Martí, Luis Fabiano for Fernando Sales, Renato, Saviola / Betis: Rivas, Capi for Castellini, Xisco.

1-0. 50. Maresca (penalty). After Joaquín handled in area from Martí free kick.

Sevilla finished this chaotic derby with only nine players but still won thanks to a Maresca penalty. The scorer later joined Javi Navarro for an early bath after a second yellow card. Referee, Mr. González Vazquez, had one of the busiest nights of his career.

He set the tone for the match by booking Betis midfielder Capi after only fifteen seconds. The bookings soon accumulated with squabbles and personal vendettas breaking out all over the park. Arzu was booked for squaring up to Fabiano and the Brazilian's theatrical reaction saw him booked as well. Any filmmakers planning future spaghetti westerns in Andalusia may well inquire into his availability. The Sevilla coach wasn't so impressed with Fabiano and withdrew him shortly afterwards.

This was due, however, to the loss of Javi Navarro rather than Fabiano's dramatics. It was only a matter of time before someone would be red carded, and again it was the Sevilla defender. He could have no complaint after a backwards mule kick on Dani, which left the Betis forward's ability to father children in doubt.

Among the bedlam, there was the odd bit of football. Betis had the better first half chances. Capi chipped just over after Palop had to race from his goal to beat Dani to the ball. Then, Joaquin fired across goal when a cutback might have been a better option.

Sevilla took forty minutes to get a shot on target. But just after half time the home side took the lead. The referee spotted that Joaquin had raised hand to ball and Maresca made no mistake from the spot.

Despite having more possession Betis were unable to break down ten man Sevilla. In the sixty third minute Rivera picked out the lively substitute Xisco, but his shot was weak. Sevilla broke up the park and almost pinched a second after a fabulous slalom run between two Betis defenders by young Jesús Navas.

A Maresca pass split the Betis defence after 80 minutes, but Alves pulled the shot wide in what was a carbon copy of Joaquin's earlier effort at the same end. Maresca's eventful night was complete when he received a second yellow in the 85th minute. The challenge looked rather innocuous and he was very unlucky given that the first yellow had been picked up for taking his shirt off after the goal.

A long period of stoppage time was inevitable. Assunçao almost produced an equaliser from a trademark free kick but Palop produced a fine save in the game's final seconds as Sevilla held on for a dramatic victory.