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RM Castilla Powered By Mariano Hat Trick, Down Gernika 3-0 To Go Top Of The Table

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RM Castilla take three points at home from 12th placed Gernika thanks to 3 goals by Mariano to put them at the top of the Segunda B II table.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

With Barakaldo dropping three points yesterday, Real Madrid Castilla knew that winning their match and collecting three points would take them to the top of the table. Ramis chose to rest Mayoral and Febas as they had competed the day before in the UEFA Youth League match against PSG.

So here was the starting XI he chose to feature against Garnika.

I'm not sure if this is the reason, but the heavy use of sprinklers on the pitch before games might've caused the pitch to be soggy, as you could see the rooster tails off the ball when it moved across the pitch. So you can imagine that it was pretty slick and played a part a couple of times, taking peoples feet out from under them.

RM Castilla came out firing on all cylinders, showing that they could own the pitch within the first five minutes of the match. They concentrated most of their attacking runs on the left with Alvaro, who gave his marker one hell of a headache.

Ødegaard played the pivot for most of the match distributing the ball all over the field and making it look pretty easy in the process.

He is a beast of the first order.

This is two matches in a row that he has really impressed. He's cool as a spring day with the ball, and can pretty much put it at the feet of anyone he chooses, even with his eyes closed (well I don't really know about that, but you get my meaning).

One great run came from a Ødegaard pass out to Alvaro on the left wing, the overlap was on but not needed as Alvaro sliced and diced his way through the Gernika defense, only to be denied by the deft hands of their keeper. Gernika just couldn't string together any lengthy attacks, as most of the action was on their side of the pitch.

A Gernika player would be brought down inside the box that would set them up for a penalty kick with five or so minutes to go in the half. Luckily Los Merengues have Carlos Abad as their goal keeper. He flat out denied Gernika with a sweet save with a out reached hand. It would only be minutes later when Mariano was brought down pretty hard in the box, but not hard enough apparently. He would take the penalty shot, driving it through the back of the net, putting Castilla up 1-0 just before the half. And that's how the half would end 1-0 to the good.

After the re-start, Gernika would come out trying to do their best Castilla impression by imposing their will with the ball. But RM Castilla quickly regained control and start to play keep away again.  They would go up 2-0 in the 67th minute as the Garinka goal keeper mistimed a challenge on Mariano to get himself a yellow card and an RMC penalty kick. This would be the third such kick on the night.

Mariano would step up and come through with his 21st goal of the season. He would score one more (his 22nd) before being subbed off with 15 minutes to go. Mayoral would take his place for the final minutes. Gerinka wouldn't have another chance or shot on goal from there on out. Once again RM Castilla showed that the ball is their's and only they can play with it.

Here's the current Segunda B Table II Standings.