Betis complete amazing comeback
Real Betis recovered from squandering a 3-0 half-time lead to seal a stunning 5-3 win at Athletic Bilbao.
Last Updated: 19/08/12 9:25pm
Real Betis recovered from squandering a 3-0 half-time lead to seal all three points at San Mames thanks to two goals from Jorge Molina and others from Ruben Castro, Benat Extebarria and Alex Pozuelo.
The visitors had flown into a 3-0 lead after just half an hour thanks to calm finishes from Castro and Molina were followed up by a wonderful strike by Benat.
But it was Athletic who stormed out of the traps after half-time when Oscar de Marcos reduced the arrears within 60 seconds of the restart.
Mikel San Jose then twice headed home from corners to bring the Basque side level but Betis were back in front four minutes later as substitutes Jose Canas and Pozuelo combined to allow the latter to slot home.
And with the Athletic defence all at sea, another fine counter-attack from the visitors saw Jonathan Pereira release Molina to seal the points with a delicate chip over Gorka Iraizoz.
With Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente looking set to leave Athletic before the end of the month, both Spanish internationals were left out by Marcelo Bielsa and their presence was missed as Betis soaked up Athletic's dominance in possession and broke with ease in the first period.
The opener arrived after just five minutes as Benat won the ball high up the field and fed Castro who gave Iraizoz no chance from inside the area.
Twenty minutes later another counter-attack freed debutant Juan Carlos down the right and his cross was swept in from close range by Molina.
It was Benat though who was pulling all the strings for the visitors and he capped his performance with a wonderful strike moments later as he picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and fired into Iraizoz's bottom left hand corner.
Bielsa introduced Aritz Aduriz for the ineffectual Gorka Toquero at the break and the former Valencia striker had an immediate impact as he found De Marcos on the left hand side of the area to curl the ball home.
San Jose continued Athletic's momentum as he bulleted in after Fabricio had got lost under Ibai Gomez's corner and 10 minutes later the centre-back had brought his side level as he again showed great determination to head in from another Ibai corner.
However, after hauling themselves back into the game, Athletic self-imploded again moments later as Jose Canas wriggled free inside the area and laid the ball off for substitute Pozuelo to calmly fire home.
And four minutes from time Molina completed the scoring with a deft chip over Iraizoz to seal all three points for Betis.