With Barakaldo winning their match before Castilla took the pitch, Castilla knew that they needed to grab all 3 points on the road at relegation bound Club Portugalete to stay at the top of the table.
So lets take a look at was our starting XI
Castilla XI: Abad, Fran, Héctor, Salto, Tejero, Llorente, Febas, Ødegaard, Cedrés, Mayoral & Enzo(C) #RealMadridCastilla— RM Castilla Stats (@CastillaStats) April 23, 2016
It was good to see Mayoral back in the side after having a stint with the senior squad.
Real Madrid Castilla : WWWLW
Club Portugalete: LWLWX
The match started with RM Castilla controlling the ball well in the first 10 minutes or so, with Martin Ødegaard and Llorente spraying the ball all over the field. In the 4th minute Ødegaard would play a nice through ball to Mayoral. He would slice his way through the Portugalete defense to get a shot off only to be parried by the keeper. It had been raining in Portugalete and that would cause problems for the high passing offense of Real Madrid Castilla. Portugalete would have attacks that consisted of long balls aimed at the box.
There was no attacking creativity by Portugalete - and they were more than happy to waste time as the keeper was warned (no card) to speed things up. They were a thorn in the side of RMC, cutting off most of the midfield on a bumpy wet pitch that would get wetter as the day progressed. Portugalete would have to use a sub in the 30th minute due to an injury. This signaled a change to a more physical aspect of the game, but strangely, the referee kept the whistle in his pocket.
There were so many hard challenges by the home side, but no free kicks or cards were given. Fran would get a free kick in a dangerous spot outside the box, only to have the kick to skim the top netting, resulting in a goal kick. It would pick up with about 10 minutes left in the half as Llorente was playing the ultimate pivot as RMC went on the attack. Portugalete couldn't handle that fast attack of RMC and couldn't get near the ball at times - which would lead to some rough challenges that would go unpunished. Portugalete would finally be shown a yellow for a rough challenge just before the half.
At the re-start, we would see a heavy downpour which would only make the pitch worse that it already was. Portugalete, a team with only 4 wins and 13 draws to it's name, started the half on the attack. But like other teams, they also continued to foul RMC while the ref stood aside and watched. I'm not sure he even knew what a whistle was.
In the 57th minute, Febas would go on an excellent run and fire onto goal. His shot would be saved by pure reaction from the home side goalkeeper. Real Madrid Castilla just could not convert their chances when they were presented to the them, and struggled to work through the parked bus that was Portugalete. Castilla did manage to get several chances late in the match, but it wouldn't be enough to score a goal.
It would come to an end in a 0-0 tie allowing Barakaldo back to the top of the table. This wasn't the ideal result with only three matches of the season remaining. Castilla needs to finish strong and hopefully win the league to secure a good seeding as they are play-off bound.
Next Match: May 1st
As soon as highlights are uploaded I'll add them here.