While presumably most of you were watching Gareth Bale light up Wales' Euro campaign with a vintage free-kick, I had the bounty of watching Castilla get picked apart in their last game of the season. Below are some quick notes I took for you to enjoy - or not to enjoy.
Real Madrid Castilla's season has ended in an inexplicable and harsh way. It was, for the most part, a terrific season filled with breakthroughs for various young talents throughout the squad. But today, everything will seem erased - bundled into the crude reality that the season is over, and that Castilla won't qualify for Segunda next season.
As was the case in the first leg, Castilla dominated possession but failed to create enough clear-cut chances - if any. De facto, in the first leg, they created more. This time, though displaying patches of excellent build-up play between Alvaro, Mayoral, and Llorente - the team was completely defanged when it came to creating definite chances. Lleida defended diligently, and apart from Alvaro's carving runs from the right back position, were relatively unthreatened.
Alvaro was certainly one of the more impactful players today - along with Marcos Llorente and Borja Mayoral - despite the loss. Lleida had no presence to attack Alvaro on that flank, so the Castilla right back was able to push up as high as he wanted, and was often able to act as an extra forward, linking up really well with the other attackers.
It all came undone when...
Carlos Abad was victim of a terrible giveaway by his midfield and was ultimately exposed into a 1-on-1 scenario trying to prevent a goal. He committed a foul, was sent off, and Lleida open the scoring from the penalty spot. From there, Castilla needed to score three goals with just 10 men on the field.
And then it spiralled. Castilla's attacks became more laborious. Lleida sat back deeper and deeper while unbothered with their nonexistent offensive push. They ended up nicking two more goals by the time this was over - each one burying Castilla's soul little-by-little. Ramis' men were rattled, and by the time it was 0-2, they had accepted defeated. At 0-3, they were walking corpses.
There were plenty of positives to take away from this season, even if the ending wasn't ideal. Castilla will remain in the third division, and will probably lose many of their better players - namely Mariano and Mayoral, among others. It's a dangerous scenario. The plan is to do a podcast in the next few days to breakdown Castilla's season and what they need to do moving forward, so please keep an eye out for that.