Pellegrini gets opening win with Betis, keeper error saves Sociedad

Cristian Tello of Real Betis celebrates 0-1 during the La Liga Santander match between Deportivo Alaves v Real Betis at the Estadio de Mendizorroza on September 13, 2020 in Vitoria Gasteiz Spain.

Real Betis beat Alaves 1-0 on Sunday in their first game of the La Liga season courtesy of an injury-time goal from Cristian Tello, giving coach Manuel Pellegrini a winning start in his first game in charge of the Seville club.

Also on Sunday, Real Sociedad earned a 1-1 draw at Real Valladolid with the help of a goalkeeping howler from Jordi Masip.

Tello collected a pass following a short corner and cut inside on the edge of the area to unleash a left-footed strike which crept inside the near post.

Veteran goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made an impressive debut for Betis on his return to Spain after four years with Manchester City and did well to keep out a header from Alaves’ Rodrigo Battaglia early in the second half.

Sergio Canales had come closest for Betis with a powerful free kick which hit the crossbar before teeing up Tello for the decisive late goal, which got former Real Madrid, Malaga and Villarreal coach Pellegrini off to an ideal start on his return to Spain after stints with Manchester City and West Ham United.

Valladolid took the lead against Sociedad in the 39th minute when Michel tapped into the net following fine work by Sergi Guardiola down the wing.

But they lost their lead due to a moment of madness from keeper Masip, who let a tame free kick from Roberto Lopez slip through his hands and over the line on the hour mark.

Villarreal were in action against promoted Huesca later on Sunday, with Valencia then hosting city rivals Levante.

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