Sociedad and Betis share the points

Real Sociedad and Real Betis shared the spoils in their mid-table clash with a 1-1 draw at Anoeta.

Ruben Castro’s 70th minute equaliser made it four goals from the last five games to cancel out Carlos Vela’s opener for the Basques 10 minutes after the break, leaving Betis on 39 points and Sociedad one place and one point below them.

On a pitch made heavy by continuous rainfall during the day, the hosts dominated for long spells in the opening period and had the chance to go ahead five minutes before the interval when Jose Canas handled inside the area, but Fabricio pulled off a superb stop to deny Imanol Aggiretxe from the penalty spot. However, the Betis keeper could do nothing to stop Vela’s opener on 55 minutes as the on-loan Arsenal man turned in Agirretxe’s cross.

The Andalusians immediately brought on Benat and Jonathan Pereira in a bid to get back into the game and the changes appeared to work as 15 minutes later Jefferson Montero’s driving run set up Castro to level things.

Both sides could have won the game late on as goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai, making his first start of the season for Sociedad in place of Claudio Bravo, thwarted Roque Santa Cruz before Ion Ansotegi saw his header hit the post, but a draw was probably a fair result.

Betis boss Pepe Mel declared himself satisfied, although he felt his side could have done a lot better, yet he is aware top-flight safety is not yet assured with six games remaining.

“We still need to keep on taking points,” explained Mel afterwards. “It is very difficult to come to somewhere like Anoeta against a Sociedad side that in the first half had an extra gear, particularly since I left Benat on the bench. He needed to rest, although I recognise we are a better team with him in the starting line-up.”

Sociedad Coach Philippe Montanier has far more pressing problems after having to endure a section of the crowd calling for his head during the game.

“I accept what the fans are saying,” said the Frenchman, “yet it was only two weeks ago they were doing the Mexican wave when we thrashed Rayo Vallecano. But I haven’t got a problem with that as they have paid for their tickets and are entitled to express their discontent.”

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