First Division - Day 16

Betis 3 - Almería 1

Betis: Ricardo; Ilic (Damià 60'), Juanito, Rivas, Fernando Vega; Arzu, Rivera; Caffa (Babic 53'), Capi, Edu (José Marí 79'); Pavone. 4-2-3-1.
Almería: Cobeño; Bruno, Acasiete, Pulido, Mané; Soriano, Juanito (Diego Alves 26'), Corona; Juanma Ortíz, Negredo (Kalu Uche 63'), Crusat (Natalio 73'). 4-3-3.

Team changes: Betis: Fernando Vega, Caffa, Pavone for Babic, Mark González, Xisco / Almería: Acasiete for Carlos García.

0-1. 10. Negredo (penalty). After Juanma Ortíz tripped by Fernando Vega in area.
1-1. 28. Edu (penalty). After Cobeño sent off for bringing down Rivera near to goal.
2-1. 50. Pavone. Picked up pass from Capi and rounded Diego Alves to score.
3-1. 83. Pavone. Beat keeper at second try after first shot blocked by defender.

Betis are on the brink of climbing out of the relegation spots after beating regional rivals Almería 3-1, their second win in a row under caretaker coach Paco Chaparro. The Andalusians were unlucky not to go ahead in the opening minutes when Pavone turned the ball into the net only to see the goal ruled out for the positional offside of a colleague. But soon afterwards Negredo opened the scoring for the visitors from the penalty spot after Juanma Ortíz was brought down by Fernando Vega.

Almería were left with nine men though with less than half an hour on the clock after Acasiete picked up a second booking, and then Cobeño was shown a straight red for bringing down Rivera in the area. Edu fired home the resulting penalty, and five minutes after the restart Pavone gave his side the lead after picking up Capi's pass and rounding substitute keeper Diego Alves to score.

Betis themselves had to field third choice keeper Casto after injuries to Ricardo and Doblas, but he was up to the task with saves from Negredo and Uche. And with a few minutes to go Pavone stabbed the ball past Alves at the second attempt for his second of the night, putting the game beyond the reach of his opponents. Cúper's hard work was finally coming to fruition, even though he wasn't around to see it.