0-0: Chances created but lack of goals
The Rojiblancos played an almost perfect match against Real Betis in which their outstanding defensive display triggered a clean sheet for the first time this season. Rachad made his first-team debut
UD Almería battled it out to earn a goalless draw against Real Betis with countless chances created but lacking the penalty-box precision. The visitors were down to 10 men following the sending-off of Bellerín in the 27th minute. From then on, they had to focus on averting danger. The Indálicos also showed a new defensive solidity with Akieme and Edgar playing a leading role at the back in one of the best games of the current season for Gaizka Garitano's side.
Gaizka Garitano unleashed a new approach by ringing the changes. There was a rotation within the starting XI that took on Getafe CF on the previous Matchday. Maximiano remain between the sticks; defence: Pozo replaced Mendes and César Montes started instead of Chumi. Akieme operated on the left wing and Edgar played centre-back; midfield: a double pivot midfield pairing (Robertone and Melero) with an emphasis on defensive play and building possession was accompanied, a little further forward, by Embarba, Arribas and Ramazani; Léo Baptistão alternated a false 9 role with the Belgian. A team roster with many changes, but with the same great motivation to clinch the first victory of the season.
It took a while to get going. As time began to wind down, the Rojiblancos dominated play as they fought for every ball and excelled in using quick-fire combination play, together with a crowd of 14,253 cheering fans over these opening forty-five minutes. Betis also tried to develop a game of touch and timed runs, but the UD Almería defenders stayed strong and fully focused to repel all these efforts. Furthermore, in the 27th minute, the Verdiblancos were down to 10 men. Bellerín’s reckless challenge on Embarba earned the opponent a straight red card.
From minute 40 onwards, UD Almería squandered two big chances to go into half-time with an edge on the scoreboard. Arribas missed the game opener 42 minutes in after a great cross booted by Ramazani, but after dribbling past the goalkeeper, his shot hit the Béticos sidenetting. Just one minute later, Léo Baptistão was close to sweeping home after Embarba played a killer pass, however, his shot was denied by Rui Silva with a great save. Without a doubt, the Rojiblancos outplayed the Béticos throughout the first half (0-0).
In the second half, the Indálicos continued to keep that intensity and fluidity in their game up and began to have quite a few goal-scoring opportunities, hitting the crossbar twice in the first 15 minutes after the restart, one from Baptistão and another from Melero. Real Betis were clear about their approach for this second half; long balls for Diao and Abde, however, they found themselves stopped again and again by a strong defence, especially Edgar González, who repelled all their counter-attacks.
Goalie Rui Silva was a key Betis figure as he showed himself very confident snuffing danger in goal. However, UD Almería never give up and pushed forward as they looked for ways to unlock the Sevillian outfit's back-four and record the first W of the season. Because of bad luck and Rui Silva's gloves, the Rojiblancos had to settle for a goalless stalemate putting an end to a losing streak (0-0). Rachad, the Spanish-Moroccan player from UD Almería 'B' made his debut with the first team.