Sevilla beats Real Betis as La Liga returns after 3 months

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Sevilla FC has beaten Real Betis 2-0 in the Seville derby on Thursday, as La Liga returned after a three-month suspension.

Reportedly, large groups of fans from both sides ignored the government’s safety restrictions as they gathered outside the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium just before the game started. Obviously, fans were keen to watch the game after a long wait of over 90 days.

The hosts won the first match to be played in Spain since the coronavirus pandemic halted La Liga on March 10.

The Spanish League became the second major European competition to resume after Germany’s Bundesliga, with the English Premier League set to resume next week.

The match kicked-off after a minute’s silence in memory of those who have died due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lucas Ocampos was the key player for the hosts throughout the game. He posed an early threat as he rattled the crossbar from a narrow angle during the first half.

While the first half remained goalless, Ocampos scored his side’s first in the 56th minute from a penalty. Six minutes later, defensive midfielder Fernando scored the second and final goal of the match, thanks to Ocampos‘ ingenious backheeled flick from the corner.

Real Betis couldn’t score any goals despite possessing the ball 53% of the time. The visitors also ended up seeing two yellow cards after committing 16 fouls. Sevilla committed 13 fouls but weren’t shown any card.

The visitors’ defence was kept busy throughout the match as the hosts’ forwards took four shots on target and also earned 11 corners. In contrast, Real Betis only had one shot on target and could earn only two corners.


Ramon Sanchez-Pijuan Stadium
Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Similar to what is being done in Germany, there was artificial crowd noise inside the stadium in Seville as well. However, the volume was way too low to be audible for much of the game.

The empty stands were filled with “virtual support” as there were images of supporters wearing club colours.

The actual effect inside the stadium was low key and appeared more like a collage of coloured dots that were visible only on wide camera shots. The artificial crowd disappeared whenever the cameraman changed the angle.

During the breaks, the BBC reports that the vacant stands displayed “Safe sport, safe tourism – Spain welcomes you.”

La Liga leaders Barcelona will return to action for the first time on Saturday and Real Madrid will play on Sunday.