Report from our pre-season friendly.
Leeds United 2 (Bamford 6’, Klich 57’)
Real Betis 3 (Aitor 10’, Iglesias 22’, Sabaly 55’)
Leeds XI: Meslier (GK), Ayling (C), Firpo (Klich 45’), Koch, Bamford (Roberts 45’), Raphinha, Llorente (Shackleton 24’), Dallas, Rodrigo, Struijk (Greenwood 88’), Harrison (Costa 66’).
Subs not used: Caprile (GK).
Betis XI: Silva (GK), Ruiz, N. Fekir, Iglesias (Calderon 66’), Canales, Moreno (William 66’), Guardado (Camarasa 61’ (Hermoso 90’)), Sabaly, Aitor, Rodri (Tello 76’), Edgar.
Subs not used: Joel (GK), Paul, Sidnei, Loren, Y. Fekir, Rober, Delgado, Raul.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United side played out an entertaining friendly clash in Loughborough, with five goals in the match against La Liga side Real Betis.
The Whites opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a stunning team move. Link up play down the wing between Jack Harrison, Junior Firpo and Stuart Dallas saw Harrison whip a cross into the middle, where Patrick Bamford got across his defender and flicked a header into the back of the net.
Betis then equalised a couple of minutes later, when Aitor broke down the left into the box and shot. His effort was deflected and that helped it find the back of the net, after going in off the post.
Harrison then came close to putting Leeds back ahead but his effort went over the bar, then Raphinha stung the palms of Rui Silva in the Betis net with a strike from outside the box, then the ‘keeper denied the Brazilian once again from just inside the area this time.
In the 22nd minute, Betis took the lead with a nice team move of their own. Alex Moreno and previous scorer, Aitor linked up well before laying the ball off for Borja Iglesias to fire into the back of the net and put his side ahead.
Bielsa was forced to make a change after the goal, with Diego Llorente coming off and Jamie Shackleton entering the action.
After coming on, Shackleton was straight into the play. After defending well at one end, he raced down the other and crossed into the box at pace for Rodrigo, who saw his goal bound effort blocked by Victor Ruiz.
The Spaniard would then go close again before the break. Raphinha whipped in a dangerous free-kick and Rodrigo was the player to meet it, but he powered his header over the bar.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 1-2 Real Betis
The Whites made two changes at the interval. Firpo and Bamford were replaced by Tyler Roberts and Mateusz Klich whilst the visitors remained unchanged.
Straight into the action, the first effort on goal in the second half was a curling strike from Klich, which Betis ‘keeper Silva saved comfortably.
The away side went further ahead 10 minutes into the second half, when Sabaly’s cross surprised everyone and found its way into the net.
Just two minutes later though, a mistake in the Betis defence allowed Klich to run through on goal and finish with precision into the bottom corner, putting the Whites back within one goal.
Nabil Fekir was lively throughout and had two excellent chances in the second half to extend the lead further for his side, but both times he struck wide from inside the box.
Showing his frustration in the final 10 minutes at his earlier missed chances, the French international was booked for a bad foul on Pascal Struijk, for which the defender had to be replaced with Sam Greenwood coming on.
With both teams exchanging attacks at either end, the final chance of an entertaining game fell to Rodrigo after good work from Costa, but he saw his right-footed shot blocked as it looked to be heading in.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 2-3 Real Betis
Venue: Loughborough University Stadium
Referee: Micheal Salisbury
Booked: Nabil Fekir