Action but no goals at Real Betis
Real Betis had a man sent off and missed a second-half penalty in an entertaining yet goalless clash with Levante on Thursday.
Last Updated: 01/11/13 6:18am
Real Betis had a man sent off and missed a second-half penalty in an entertaining yet goalless clash with Levante in the Primera Division on Thursday.
Francisco Chica was dismissed with just 30 minutes gone after picking up two yellow cards but despite being a man down Betis could well have taken all the points had Jorge Molina not fluffed his lines from the spot 17 minutes from time.
The draw sees Pepe Mel's Betis extend their disappointing run of results, although given the circumstances the coach will perhaps take plenty of positives from the match - particularly a welcome clean sheet four days on from a 5-0 thrashing at Atletico Madrid.
Betis nevertheless remain third-bottom and without a win since the end of September. Levante stay seventh and are now unbeaten in their last three games.
Both sides exchanged shots in an open start to the game but it was defender Chica who made the most significant contribution as he first picked up a yellow for a foul on Andreas Ivanschitz on 13 minutes before hauling down Baba Diawara on the half-hour to earn his marching orders.
That was the cue for Levante to step up their efforts on the home goal, with Papakouli Diop and Ivanschitz both denied by Stephan Andersen before the break.
Betis stemmed the flow of the Levante attacks by adopting a disciplined formation and inside the final 20 minutes their efforts were rewarded when visiting goalkeeper Keylor Navas fouled Molina in the area and the referee pointed to the spot.
Navas escaped with a booking and then further frustrated Betis as he guessed right to claw away Molina's spot-kick.
Diawara almost added to Betis' frustration in the 79th minute but his shot was parried by Andersen.
And with three minutes left the hosts had final confirmation it was not to be their night when Alvaro Vadillo's strike drew a brilliant fingertip save from Navas.