The last time these two sides met in November, Betis led their city neighbours by 13 points in the league table, but the hosts had the chance to cut that gap down to just five with a victory at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Considering they had prevailed in nine of the last 10 Seville derbies on home soil prior to kick-off, the signs pointed to another triumph for Jose Luis Mendilibar’s outfit, but the marathon extra-time UEFA Europa League semi-final victory over Juventus in midweek had clearly taken it out of the players.
As such, the boss made eight changes to his starting lineup, which contributed to a disjointed first half from the Los Nervionenses that saw them muster just two shots and only one on target.
Although they had not played since the 3-1 win against Rayo Vallecano on Monday, the visitors looked equally lethargic and posed even less of an attacking threat before the interval as they failed to test Marko Dmitrovic even once before referee Jesus Gil Manzano brought an unexpectedly dull first half to a close.
Perhaps finally realising how much this match-up means to the supporters, Sevilla increased their intensity after the interval, although that wasn’t too much of a challenge considering their first-half display.
Within two minutes of the restart, Rafa Mir almost sneaked an effort beyond Claudio Bravo at the back post, while Suso and Erik Lamela forced the Chilean goalkeeper into quickfire saves around the hour mark.
Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini introduced club legend Joaquin into the fray, while his Sevilla counterpart Mendilibar brought on some of the heroes in an attempt to sway the outcome, but to no avail.
Juan Miranda’s reckless challenge late on earned him a red card and led tempers to flare, yet neither side could argue with a share of the spoils.
As such, the home side sit two points adrift of a continental spot with three games remaining and, while Betis are almost guaranteed a place in European football, their already-slim UEFA Champions League hopes are now all but over.