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Immediate reaction: Fuenlabrada 0 - 2 Real Madrid

Penalties provide the difference at the Estadio Fernando Torres

Fuenlabrada v Real Madrid - Copa Del Rey Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid scored two away goals (Asensio PK, Vaquez PK) while keeping a clean sheet in what was a compete humdrum at Estadio Fernando Torres. Here’s our quick reaction. Still to come: Player ratings, tactical review, and post-game podcast.

This is my first ever immediate reaction, so apologies if it isn’t immediate at all -- or if it’s too immediate for your liking for that matter. If you know who I am you’ll know I usually cover all the goings-on with Castilla. As an annual treat, I’m allowed to venture further and enter the world of the first team.

Of course, there’s no better fixture for me to cover than the early stages of the Copa Del Rey, where opponents often originate from the lower leagues, and the squad usually consists of a couple of Castilla players.

This year would be no different. There were no less than five Castilla players who got the call-up. Moha Ramos also got the call up from Juvenil A.

Last season against Cultural Leonesa, the tie turned out to be one of the most entertaining matchups of the season. Goals were raining from everywhere. This year against Fuenlabrada, of the same Division, it promised the same level of interest. Sadly the game was not nearly as exciting.

Here are my notes from the first half:

  • Achraf disappointed me in this half. I have very high standards for this youngster, who scored his first senior goal at this stadium last year. On the ball he looked very shaky, often making the wrong decisions. His positioning was at times a bit dodgy, but game time is the best remedy for any early set backs.
  • Fuenlabrada looked pretty good. They were more of a threat than Real Madrid in the first half, and put in a valiant shift.
  • Going forward Madrid looked pretty stale, managing less than a handful of shots in the opening 45 minutes. Mayoral was kept very quiet, and neither Vazquez nor Asensio put in their best performances in a white shirt.
  • Dani Fernandez looked pretty good. He should never have been allowed to leave Castilla in the summer. That being said, he’ll have a better year than most of the Castilla players... Sad times.
  • Dani Ceballos is a fun player to watch. This of course, we already knew. Probably Madrid’s best attacking player in the first half.
  • Those big numbers Real Madrid have to wear look terrible.

The second half brought some goals, but not much more action:

  • The penalty won by Achraf wasn’t the most clear cut. It was well finished by Asensio, but Fuenlabrada should feel hard done by.
  • Codina was arguably the most impressive Castilla graduate on show. Very strong perfomance from him!
  • The second penalty proved a stronger case. The arm was wrapped around Theo, bringing him down. This resulted in a second yellow for the defender. Vazquez stepped up this time, and provided an equally tidy finish.
  • Franchu came on for Achraf to make his Real Madrid debut. Maybe this will give Solari some incentive to play him.
  • Jesus Vallejo, unfortunately, was shown a straight red for a late challenge late in the second half. It sucks not having him get playing time in the second leg at the Bernabeu.
  • A win is a win, and Real Madrid have two away goals to take back home. Let’s hope the home tie produces a bit more entertainment!

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