Juvenil didn't have to travel too far for Saturday's away match against Unión Adarve, because Unión's stadium is actually about 10mins away from Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Unión, who are sitting in 4th spot, have a nearly perfect home record this season (just one loss all season) and they have been a revelation.
Juvenil A starting XI against Union Adarve. Game starts in 8mins on RM TV. #RealMadridJuvenil pic.twitter.com/w6TnU4BY8J— Ondra Paul (@OndraPaul) January 28, 2017
Guti rotated his lineup as usual. Sortillos and Javi came on for Manu (who was given a day off) and Álex Martín, who was called up by Solari to Castilla. Cobo and Ousama came on for Fran and Mink.
This wasn't a pretty match by any means. It wasn't even a football match, it was a proper physical battle that you would expect from the 5th division in UK. Unión's pitch is very narrow and small and they employ a very high press with rough tackles. In the first 10-15 minutes, both teams hardly managed to string 5-6 passes together and the ball was more in the air than on the ground. Both teams bypassed their midfields and played long balls straight to their forwards. It was a very chaotic start to the match.
Unión had the first of the few bigger chances in the match. In the 5th minute their winger made a run down the right flank and played a very dangerous cross to the far post. Only thanks to an excellent block from Gorka Zábarte and save from Moha, the score stayed 0:0.
Juvenil struggled to play out of the back and the midfielders were forced quite deep to get the ball, and they couldn't exert control over the match. But in 11th minute, Toni delivered a perfect cross right on Ousama's head, who had a free header, but his header was saved.
The only bright spot for Juvenil was Franchu. He was the key offensive player who made things happen. Most of the dangerous plays went through him, and his left side. Frequently he was able to overcome his defenders with superb dribbling skills and this led to the biggest chance of the first half. Franchu made a run into the box, skipping past 2 defenders, and he cut it back to Martín, who was fouled on the edge of the box. Óscar stepped up and his excellent free kick was saved by Unión's keeper.
In the 53rd minute, a Unión player attempted a lovely overhead kick and Moha was forced into an excellent save. He managed to tip it over the bar, but it was close. A few minutes later Toni released Alberto with a great long pass and Alberto managed to get past the keeper, but his shot was blocked by the defender, who managed to get back in time.
In the 60th minute, Javi ventured forward and his pass to Franchu, who was in the box, was stopped by a defender's hand and the referee correctly awarded a penalty to Juvenil. Óscar, who is the designated penalty taker in Juvenil, calmly converted it. 1:0 for Juvenil.
The penalty (hand ball from Union's defender) was the only goal and it was nicely converted by @oscararnaiz10 . #RealMadridJuvenil pic.twitter.com/Uc91QRPEwq— Ondra Paul (@OndraPaul) January 28, 2017
Unión in the last 20 minutes really went for it and created some half chances, but Javi and Sortillos were rock solid and very few shots actually managed to get past them to Moha, and those which did, were easily saved by Moha.
It was a very laboured victory, but it was 3 points nonetheless. Juvenil are comfortably sitting in first and have an 8-point cushion on second place Atletico Madrid.
Moha finally had some work to do in this match and we could see what the fuss is about. Throughout the match he showed his aerial and box dominance and was able to easily claim any cross coming into the box. Even though he is quite tall (1.88cm), the ability to claim crosses is one of the toughest skills to learn. His shot stopping ability wasn't tested enough in this, but he is a very agile and quick goalkeeper, especially if we consider his age and height and he has good long throws, he created 2 counters with them. However, there is one area, which we have observed a lot, and that is his ability on the ball and how he deals with pressure from the forwards. He is good, when he's being pressured, but sometimes we can see him dribbling his way out of it, which is something I hope he stops doing. But his overall ability on the ball needs to improve. He isn't poor per se, but he isn't amazing. He is decent, but that isn't enough if he wants to become a first team starting goalkeeper, which I know he really wants.
January 28, 2017
Translation: Donnarumma who? I prefer Moha.
Here are Moha's highlights of his saves from this match.
Busy day for @moharamos25 today compared to the majority of matches. Very dominant in the air. #RealMadridJuvenil pic.twitter.com/NuvL0AGPxM— Ondra Paul (@OndraPaul) January 28, 2017