‘I hope’ - Real Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini sets sights on Man Utd ahead of Europa League clash
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The Seville side put on another impressive performance on Sunday night, in their last game before going up against the Red Devils. Shortly after Erik ten Hag’s men were beaten 7-0 by Liverpool, Betis held Real Madrid to a goalless draw on Sunday evening, frustrating the La Liga champions to remain on course for a top six finish.
Betis are currently in fifth place in La Liga, three points off the top four and four points ahead of Villarreal in sixth ahead of facing the Yellow Submarine this weekend. The performance Pellegrini’s men put on against Los Blancos will be raising concern for United fans, particularly given Betis will likely concentrate on a defensive game plan for the first leg at Old Trafford.
After the game, Betis boss Pellegrini said: “From when I started work here I have felt proud of my players. We have put together campaigns that people didn’t expect. They all want to play, and during the week, we work with different teams, there is no A or B team. We play with formations and with the importance of changes, thinking only about that game.
“Now we go up against Manchester United and I hope we can have a very good game there as well.”
Asked about qualifying for the Champions League, Pellegrino ignored the possible route through winning the Europa League, adding: “We need 42 points. It’s difficult to think we are going to qualify. What’s important is to keep the competitive spirit, to score goals, to keep clean sheets. Now we think of Manchester United and then a direct rival in Villarreal. We only think of the present, not of the future.”
Betis and United have never met competitively, but the Spanish side did beat Ten Hag’s men in a warm-up fixture after the World Cup in the winter.