Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Pellegrini laments another Betis shoot-out defeat as Copa del Rey defence ended

SoccerNews in La Liga 19 Jan 2023

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Real Betis head coach Manuel Pellegrini lamented another penalty shoot-out defeat as their Copa del Rey defence ended at the hands of Osasuna in the round of 16 on Wednesday.

Betis and Osasuna finished 1-1 after normal time with David Garcia netting a 90th-minute goal for the visitors to level after William Carvalho’s 62nd-minute opener.

The hosts went up again in extra-time from Youssouf Sabaly but it ended 2-2 with Ruben Garcia equalising, before the visitors won 4-2 on penalties, with Sergio Canales and Guido Rodriguez spurning their spotkicks.

That defeat comes a week after Betis’ 4-2 shoot-out loss to Barcelona after a 2-2 draw in the Supercopa semi-final in Riyadh. It also ends Los Verdiblancos’ Copa del Rey defence.

“It has been a very tough week due to the cup elimination against Barcelona on penalties, where we were also superior in the 90 minutes, as has happened to us against Osasuna,” Pellegrini told reporters.

“At the last minute, for not clearing a ball they tied us, after being superior for 90 minutes. We have to continue competing although it has been a very hard week and we must compose ourselves.”

Osasuna converted all four of their penalties, like Barcelona did a week ago, although Pellegrini had no issue with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

“Things happen in football,” he said. “You don’t have to reproach him for anything from penalty shootouts.

“The one who shoots has more options to put it in than the goalkeeper to clear it. It’s not the goalkeeper’s problem.”

Pellegrini conceded the defeat hurt, with Betis now to focus on LaLiga, where they are sixth, along with the Europa League, where they are in the round of 16.

“It’s a mental and physical blow,” the Chilean said. “We’ve lost two competitions on penalties.

“We have to keep looking forward. We have to keep fighting for the league and we also have the Europa League.”

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