Espanyol rescued a point (2-2) in the extension of the match played this Sunday at the Benito Villamarin against Betis, who played inferior due to the expulsion in the 78th minute of Argentine central defender German Pezzella, which was a burden for that the Verdiblancos endured the result with which they came from behind in the first half against a rival who, despite the joy of the draw, is still without a victory after five LaLiga games.
A goal by the Brazilian Willian Jose in the 41st minute and another in the extension of the first half by the Frenchman Nabil Fekir traced back the one achieved by Aleix Vidal shortly after the first quarter of an hour, but in the 97th minute it was the Uruguayan Leandro Cabrera who put the final tie at two, a week after another wide extension left him without a point against Atletico de Madrid.
The Sevillian team returned to its stadium after it began its participation in the Europa League last Thursday on this same stage with a hard-fought victory (4-3) against Celtic Glasgow and the fourth day of LaLiga ended the previous Monday with another win, on that occasion at the Nuevo Los Carmenes de Granada (1-2).
His coach, the Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, again rotated his players a lot, compared to those two games, but this time he gave continuity to his compatriot Claudio Bravo, who took the place in goal from the Portuguese Rui Silva against the Scottish and that before the ‘parakeets’ he repeated as a starter.
The one who did debut with the starting ‘eleven’ this season was William Jose, who arrived this year on loan from Real Sociedad, so on this occasion Borja Iglesias stayed on the bench.
The Espanyol coach, Vicente Moreno, was more predictable in his line-up, to which the ex-Sevillista central defender Sergi Gomez returned, who was forced to leave last day against Atletico de Madrid (1-2) due to suspension, a match from which he was injured defender Fernando Calero, who joined the losses due to physical losses of David Lopez, Javi Puado or the Venezuelan Yangel Herrera.
The Barcelona team set on this fifth day the mission of achieving the first victory of the tournament after adding two points out of a possible twelve, but it was Betis who came out intense in the pressure, to the point that before the third minute was over Rodri Sanchez crashed a ball into a goal post defended by Diego Lopez.
The local impetus was interrupted when two minutes later the center back Victor Ruiz, undisputed until now in Pellegrini’s lineups, requested the change when he felt a muscle ailment, with which Edgar Gonzalez had to leave almost without warming up.
That set seemed to cloud the betico push and shortly after the first quarter of an hour, the visitors, after a couple of arrivals, made it 0-1 in a pass back from Raul de Tomas, which was reached by only one other ex-Sevillista, Aleix Vidal, who with a powerful shot beat Claudio Bravo between a misplaced defense.
As the minutes went by, the Sevillian formation recovered, took command again and pushed into the rival area, in which Espanyol knew how to defend itself and, furthermore, also came out quickly without giving up by surprising again in a game of a lot of contact.
After the hydration break, Betis came out much more determined to finish the first half well and Willian Jose took advantage of a great pass between the lines by Sergio Canales to equalize, not without the collaboration of defender Adria Pedrosa in his attempt to clear.
Already in the extension, the Verdiblancos, spurred on by the tie, looked for more and the faith of Hector Bellerin to get hold of a ball on the baseline had its reward when he recovered it and gave it to the Frenchman Nabil Fekir, who did not forgive in the fourth minute lengthen.
In the second half, after the surprising local comeback in the final phase of the first, Vicente Moreno brought in striker Loren Moron from the start, hired this season from Betis, and left midfielder Oscar Melendo in the locker room, but the de Pellegrini continued with one more march in search of solving the game on the fast track.
The Valencian coach did not see it clearly and brought more artillery to the field with the entry of the Chinese Wu Lei by a defender like Oscar Gil, with which he took many risks in the rear against an opponent who also moved the bench to refresh the team and face the final stretch with more physical.
But a big inconvenience came for the Andalusian team with the expulsion of Pezzella, to whom the Rioja referee Cesar Soto Grado showed him the yellow for a tackle on Aleix Vidal but shortly after, after consulting with the VAR, he changed it for a direct red .
From then until the end, Espanyol went all out against a numerically inferior rival and in the seventh minute, of the eight extra minutes given by the referee, Cabrera hit Claudio Bravo’s goal to make it 2-2 that was already definitive.

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