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6:30 PM UTC Mar 31, 2017
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6:45 PM UTC Mar 31, 2017
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AS Nancy Lorraine
5:00 PM UTC Mar 31, 2017
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Real Betis
6:45 PM UTC Mar 31, 2017
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6:45 PM UTC Mar 31, 2017
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By ESPN Staff

Betis coach can see green shoots of recovery

Real Betis coach Paco Chaparro is confident his side are now starting to move in the right direction following a potentially pivotal week.

Betis had lost five of seven games prior to last weekend's derby at Sevilla, but they recorded their first win at the home of their bitter rivals in 13 years and then followed that up with a 2-2 draw against mighty Barcelona.

Betis might even have ended Barca's 21-match unbeaten run in La Liga after racing into an early two-goal lead, but in the end had to settle for a point after being pegged back by a Samuel Eto'o brace.

The big-spending Andalusian club are still uncomfortably close to the relegation zone despite their recent improvement but Chaparro is hopeful they are on the up.

"I'm happy with how we played, because little by little we're getting back to our old selves and the results are starting to come," said Chaparro, whose side face last season's top two Real Madrid and Villarreal in their next two matches.

"I would like us to have more possession in the coming games. The attitude of the all the players was extraordinary, it was a great effort because we knew that's what we needed to do against Barcelona. I think we could have won."

Chaparro felt the turning point of last night's game was the penalty that Barca were awarded on the stroke of half-time when Andres Iniesta went to ground under a challenge from Juande.

Betis' players were furious at the decision but they could only stand and watch as Eto'o, having seen his initial effort from the spot saved by Ricardo, slotted home the rebound to halve the home side's two-goal advantage and give Barca a massive boost just before the interval.

"It seems it was a penalty, soft but a penalty," said Chaparro.

"That allowed them to get back into the game, so that incident just before the break was key. At 2-0 they would have found it much harder to get back."


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