Reaching the Copa del Rey semi-finals cannot be “the most important night” for Real Betis, insists Manuel Pellegrini.
Betis booked their place in the final four with a 4-0 hammering of Real Sociedad at Reale Arena on Thursday, with Juanmi netting a double before Willian Jose and Aitor Ruibal struck in the closing stages.
Pellegrini’s side have scored four in each of their past three games, with the victory over La Real their biggest in the Copa against top-flight opponents.
The Chilean was pleased his side have improved upon their run to the quarter-finals last season but urged his team to demand more, particularly with none of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid in the final four this term.
“I am very happy to be in the semi-finals of the Copa,” said Pellegrini.
“When you win, you have to celebrate things with the appropriate moderation. I don’t think going to the semi-finals is the most important night. We have to keep working.
“It is already an achievement compared to last season, when we were eliminated on penalties in the quarter-finals.
“The dynamic is positive. We have scored four goals in each of the past three games, generating chances, but the team has been consistent since January of last year.”
I say yes. pic.twitter.com/kOGjuisoM4
— Real Betis Balompié (@RealBetis_en) February 3, 2022
La Real boss Imanol Alguacil was frustrated by the decision to disallow a first-half goal by Adnan Januzaj for a questionable offside decision against Mikel Oyarzabal in the build-up.
Imanol also expressed his displeasure at Alexander Isak being incorrectly called offside moments before Juanmi scored his 16th goal in all competitions this season – the best haul in a single campaign in his career.
“We didn’t play our best game, but someone has to explain what happened. Things happened off the pitch that didn’t help us at all and made the difference,” he said.
“I don’t understand why Januzaj’s goal wasn’t allowed. I think before their second goal, Isak wasn’t offside. It was clear.
“Betis deserved to win but I would have liked it to have been under normal and equal conditions. It wasn’t like that today.”