Wednesday, May 25 2022

Real Betis cruised into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey on Thursday after thrashing Real Sociedad 4-0 to continue their superb season under Manuel Pellegrini.

Betis sit third in La Liga with genuine hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League and on this form they will take some stopping in the cup.

They join Rayo Vallecano and Valencia in the semis, with Real Madrid facing Athletic Bilbao later on Thursday for the last spot.

Madrid are firm favourites, especially after Barcelona, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid were all knocked out, but Betis look to be the greatest threat now to Carlo Ancelotti’s team sealing a Spanish double.

Betis have not reached the Copa del Rey final since they last won the competition in 2005.

Juanmi, who joined Betis from Real Sociedad in 2019, scored twice against his former club at Anoeta but his opener owed much to some brilliant work by William Carvalho, who burst through and then cut back for his teammate to slot into the corner.

Adnan Januzaj had an equaliser for La Real ruled out before half-time and then shortly after it, Juanmi struck again, firing in with his left foot after Alex Moreno raced onto a curving ball through from Sergio Canales.

Betis made the score more emphatic in the last seven minutes as Willian Jose converted a penalty and then Aitor Rubial, on off the bench, sprinted clear and smashed in to make it four.

ta/mw

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