Real Betis post remarkable possession figures in Victory over Leganes
Real Betis have established themselves as pass masters under Quique Setién, who has totally transformed their style of play since taking over at the Seville club in 2017. On Sunday evening they enjoyed a remarkable 82.5% share of the ball but had to wait until an 89th-minute goal from Loren Moron to break down a dogged Leganes side.
From a tactical perspective, it was intriguing to see two totally opposing styles of play come up against each other. Real Betis' patient, probing approach saw them complete a huge 741 passes in the game while Leganes managed just 96. To put that in some perspective, Getafe, the team with the lowest passing accuracy percentage in La Liga this season, have still completed more than 200 passes per game on average.
Despite their inability to retain possession, Leganes came very close to coming away with a point, just four days on from their shock win over Barcelona. They frustrated their hosts for virtually the entire game and it was further evidence of how Real Betis are having to find new ways to cope with defensively-minded opponents clearly showing them much more respect this season.
The victory lifted Los Verdiblancos into 5th place and currently they look capable of defying pre-season La Liga predictions which suggested their European schedule could cause them to struggle to replicate their top six league finish in 2017/18.
They have managed to rotate their squad well, with the likes of William Carvalho, Takashi Inui and even goalkeeper Pau Lopez rested at the weekend but they appear to have sufficient depth to maintain a challenge on all fronts.
Their philosophy is clear and appears to suit the personnel that Setien has at his disposal. Another dominant display of possession football is highly likely as they prepare to take on Luxembourg minnows F91 Dudelange this Thursday in the UEFA Europa League.