Andrés Guardado was among the scorers when he netted the third goal for the Spanish team, with which Betis defeated Zenit of Russia 3-2 in the Europa League. This goal is more than meaningful for the Mexican as it is his 40th goal in Europe and his second in European competition.
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El Principito scored the third goal in an afternoon full of goals in St. Petersburg, where all five goals were scored in the first half.
Guardado had not scored a goal in international competition since 2014 with Valencia in the Emirates Cup and this is his second goal in a European tournament, as in 2008, playing for Deportivo La Coruña, he scored one against Feyenoord of the Netherlands.
Zenit vs Betis Highlights
Betis picked up a good result on their visit to Russian soil in the Europa League round of 32. Manuel Pellegrini's side got off to a breakthrough start to put their opponents, Zenit, on the ropes before suffering a defensive slump that shaped a key 45 minutes.
The 2-3 result, although not ideal, favors the Spaniards. Away goals no longer count double in the event of a draw, but the Verdiblanco side showed more than enough ability to overcome the St. Petersburg backline and will face them at the Benito Villamarin with thousands of fans lending their support.
Guido Rodríguez also scored
Guido Rodríguez made it 1-0 for Betis in the 7th minute with a header and in the 17th minute, Willian José made it 2-0 with a long-range shot.
Zenit responded and Artem Dzyuba made it 2-1 on 25' and Malcom equalized on 29'. And that's when Guardado came on and made it 3-2.
The effectiveness of the Verdiblancos ended up being the key to the victory because, thanks to it, the team was able to focus in the second half on covering itself from the numerous attacks of Zenit.
The St. Petersburg side was in control and even harassed Pellegrini's team. The coach responded by introducing William Carvalho and a few other adjustments that made the rival's control ease and brought the victory closer to his team.
In any case, and not without luck -a brutal through ball from Malcolm to Kuzyaev ended with the latter finding the crossbar-, Betis got a result they can work with for the second leg. The second 'round', in a committed Benito Villamarín where, a priori, it will not be so easy for the Russians to score two goals in three minutes.