Real Betis manager Quique Setien believes his side should have been cleverer after blowing a two-goal lead to settle for a 2-2 draw against Valencia.
Los Verdiblancos hosted Valencia for the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie at the Benito Villamarin stadium on Thursday night.
And Betis seemed on course to take away all the spoils after Loren Moron and captain Joaquin Sanchez had put them 2-0 up.
But the home fans’ hopes of seeing Betis play in the Copa del Rey final at their Benito Villamarin stadium this year suffered a major blow when Denis Cheryshev and Kevin Gameiro levelled the scoreline for Valencia in the final 20 minutes.
Speaking afterwards, Setien accepted that Betis should have been “smarter” while managing their strong lead.
“We had the ball for a long time, but Valencia penalise you a lot if you make an error,” said Setien, according to FourFourTwo.
“I already warned they are a very patient team, who expect you to make mistakes. It is the best thing Valencia have, that ability and speed with spaces to hurt you, and this has been the case in both the goals and in some more chances in the first half.
“We gave them the life they needed, including the last goal of the game. There was a ball in the other half that we could have managed differently.
“But winning by going to score [more] has made us draw a game that we thought we had won at 2-0. Maybe 2-0 was an excessive lead, but with that score we should have been smarter.”
Meanwhile, Setien’s Valencia counterpart Marcelino Garcia Toral refused to get carried away with their away goal advantage as Los Che chase a first Copa del Rey title since 2008.
“We have to control the euphoria,” insisted Marcelino.
“It’s up to us and you, journalists of Valencia. We are not in the final, we have to play another game of 90 minutes.
“Believing that we are in the final can play a trick on us. You have to be humble and respectful.
“They are a very good team and we have to play a great game to be in the final, otherwise, it may not be.
“We do not consider ourselves favourites, we must think that there are 90 minutes left in Mestalla which will be difficult for the two teams.
“Betis have won in Camp Nou, in the Santiago Bernabeu and, therefore, even if we have a favourable result, we are not in the final.”
The return leg between Valencia and Betis will take place at the Mestalla on February 28.