Top-flight football returned in Spain on Wednesday night with Sevilla enjoying a relatively comfortable 2-0 win at home over Real Betis in the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
Although football returned in Spain on Wednesday night with Rayo Vallecano’s 1-0 win over Albacete in the second division, the Seville derby was the big test of how football in the “new normal” would be without fans in the stands and after a three-month break.
Echoes were heard from the dugouts ringing around the stadium, which would typically be packed to the rafters for one of the most passionate games in Spain.
Although both sides played at a surprisingly high pace on a benevolently cool evening in Seville, only the home side’s Lucas Ocampos was able to create a clear cut chance in the first half as he thrashed a shot against the post.
The second half saw Sevilla take the lead from the penalty spot after Betis defender Marc Bartra was penalized for a push on Sevilla forward Luuk de Jong following a corner in the 54th minute.
Ocampos sent Betis keeper Joel the wrong way from the spot to put his side ahead and then played a big part in his side’s second goal with a back-heel to allow Fernando to head home from close range following a corner.
Betis failed to produce much of a response, despite using all five substitutes and Sevilla strengthened their place in third in the table.
With Munir and Marc Batra, both suffering muscle injuries on a relatively cold night and teams due to play every three days, many in Spain will be wondering how many injuries the coming weeks will produce.