After 20 video games on Spanish soil, Celtic have but to win. They have most likely by no means lost one in fairly this style both.
While the eventual end result of this Group G opener might not have been overly stunning, the style in which it was arrived at most actually was.
Bold, bullish and infrequently good in the opening interval, Ange Postecoglou’s aspect raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of Albian Ajeti and Josip Juranovic’s penalty. Remarkably, their lead would possibly nicely have been much more good-looking.
Albian Ajeti celebrates opening the scoring with Celtic’s first purpose in opposition to Real Betis
Josip Juranovic (proper) doubled Celtic’s early lead from the penalty spot, beating Claudio Bravo
How rapidly that early promise was washed away. By the break, Betis had restored parity then seemingly put the sport past the Scots with a rapid-fire double initially of the second interval.
You had to hand it to the Australian’s aspect thereafter. Needing to climb the mountain once more, they hung in there and claimed the seventh purpose of an engrossing match by way of Anthony Ralston with three minutes remaining.
There was to be no bonus level on the finish of it, although. The night time ended with plentiful positives for Postecoglou to take from Seville in an attacking sense however extra defensive complications to nurse.
It was an event when modest expectations have been raised solely to be dashed.
Juan Miranda scored to claw one again for Manuel Pellegrini’s aspect simply after the half-hour mark
There was a lot for the Celtic supervisor to admire in the best way his aspect went for the jugular from the off.
They surprised the hosts with their urge for food, aggression and motion. The provide strains from center to entrance have been vast open.
With Adam Montgomery and Jota thriving in the vast areas, probabilities have been created nearly at will.
Real Betis (4-2-3-1): Bravo 6; Montoya 6, Gonzalez 6, Ruiz 6, Miranda 7 (Moreno 69); Guardado 6 (Carvalho 69), Canales 6 (Gonzalez 82); Joaquin 7 (Ruibal 54), Fekir 7 (Rodriguez 68), Juanmi 7; Iglesias 7.
Subs not used: Da Silva, Akouokou, Tello, Jose, Pezzella, Bellerin, Rodri.
Booked: Guardado, Fekir, Ruibal, Moreno
Celtic (4-3-3): Hart 6; Ralston 5, Starfelt 5, Carter-Vickers 5, Juranovic 6; Soro 5 (McCarthy 56), Rogic 6, Turnbull 6; Montgomery 6, Ajeti 7, Jota 7.
Subs not used: Barkas, Bain, Scales, Urhoghide, Shaw, Murray, Henderson, Welsh.
Booked: Soro, Carter-Vickers.
Man of the Match: Juanmi.
Referee: Fran Jovic (Croatia)
The much-maligned Ajeti scored one and earned the penalty which gave his aspect their second. Jota had arrange the primary and was menacing all through.
How the Portuguese was left to remorse a missed probability for a third when despatched clear on purpose. It felt like a huge second on the time and so it proved.
Ultimately, an unfamiliar Celtic aspect didn’t have the solutions when Betis finally obtained into their stride.
A defence which had began solidly didn’t reply nicely to concerted stress. Each concession was low-cost.
Watching in bars all through this nice metropolis, the 1,000 or so visiting followers should have seen the following collapse with a nagging sense of familiarity.
Their aspect confirmed promise right here nevertheless it was not sustained for lengthy sufficient.
Postecoglou has undoubtedly made progress in his quick time in Glasgow however this all the time had the look of a bridge too far.
Already with out Kyogo Furuhashi and James Forrest, the Australian was denied the companies of skipper Callum McGregor and Greg Taylor by way of harm plus Liel Abada and Nir Bitton due to the Israeli duo observing Yom Kippur.
It made for a makeshift aspect; Juranovic switched to left-back, Ismaila Soro holding, Montgomery making his first begin of the season on the left and Ajeti the designated purpose menace.
An unlimited largely uncovered area on the south of Seville, the Estadio Benito Villamarin was little greater than half full for this Group G opener however what a din the locals made all through.
The first half was totally relentless and engrossing – each side going toe-to-toe, comical errors mixing with some extraordinary sequences of play.
Postecoglou had promised Celtic would go for it and he wasn’t joking. Only Claudio Bravo in the Betis purpose denied Jota an immediate opener after Tom Rogic’s by way of ball.
Celtic’s willingness to press Betis at each flip appeared to startle the Spaniards.
Jota’s talent and tempo quickly left Juan Miranda in his wake. Ajeti bundled his cross over the road from 5 yards however the frantic protests of the Betis defenders curtailed Celtic’s celebrations.
Jota’s (left) tempo left Juan Miranda (proper) in his wake for Ajeti to bundle his cross over the road
The two minute VAR verify felt prefer it took an age however the determination stood.
Nabil Fekir and Andres Guardado each drew saves from Joe Hart but Betis struggled to get into any rhythm.
Ajeti may have doubled his and Celtic’s benefit when despatched clear by Soro. This time Bravo superior and blocked.
Soro had been booked inside eight minutes for a late problem on Fekir and was lucky to keep on the park when he took out veteran Joachin as Betis countered.
If that call was debatable, the identical couldn’t be stated for Croatian referee Fran Jovic’s subsequent involvement.
With Ajeti despatched clear on purpose by David Turnbull, Bravo cleaned him out. Penalty.
Betis goalkeeper Bravo fouled goalscorer Ajeti (proper) to reward a penalty kick to the guests
After one other interminable VAR wait, Juranovic smashed the spot kick excessive to the keeper’s proper. Celtic have been in dreamland.
Incredibly, it’d even have been higher. Jota spurned a superb probability for a third when Bravo threw up an arm to repel his tried chip. You sensed he would possibly rue that.
Within a minute, skipper for the night time Hart turned Miranda’s low strike away for a nook and the house followers roared their encouragement.
Sixty seconds later, Celtic have been undone when Miranda loved a beneficiant break of the ball 15 yards out which put him in behind. He calmly planted his shot to Hart’s left from 10 yards.
It was now a question of Celtic’s nerve holding. It lasted scarcely three minutes.
With the defensive position ragged, Borja Iglesias sneaked in behind and made for the road. With the guests nowhere in the shot, his sq. go offered Juanmi with a tap-in from three yards.
Juanmi (left) scored the hosts’ second purpose in two minutes to stage the scoring earlier than half-time
Only Cameron Carter-Vickers’ well timed sort out on Joachin maintained parity on the break.
The probabilities of Betis beginning the second half as sloppily as that they had the primary have been someplace between slim and 0.
It took them solely 5 minutes to get their noses in entrance. With Ralston nonetheless monitoring again, Soro was sluggish to shut down Sergio Canales on the Betis left.
His cross had the requisite curl and tempo for Iglesias to caress the ball into the far nook of the online.
It took solely a additional three minutes for a now tough process to turn out to be nearly not possible.
Borja Iglesias (proper) celebrates handing Betis the lead simply 5 minutes after the restart
Iglesias added a purpose to his first-half help with a deft contact to put Real Betis in entrance
Having half-cleared a nook, Postecoglou’s males have been sluggish in closing down the second ball. Standing two yards contained in the field, Juanma had time to compose himself and drill a shot into the bottom and in off the far submit.
Finally, Betis had Celtic the place they wished them. Rogic and Ajeti compelled Bravo into a superb low saves however Celtic’s reserves of vitality and inspiration have been flagging.
With three minutes remaining, although, their persistence was rewarded. David Turnbull’s free-kick was whipped onto the six-yard line. Ralston confirmed extra want than some other man of the park and bulleted a header residence.
It made for a nervy closing for Manuel Pellegrini’s aspect however the one gilt-edged probability Postecoglou’s aspect wanted simply didn’t materialise.
Anthony Ralston scored Celtic’s 88th-minute third purpose with a header from a free kick